Darwin Centre discovers a new benefit of KoolDuct
The new Darwin Centre of the Natural History Museum is using Kingspan’s KoolDuct System of pre-insulated ductwork in an unusual way.
This spectacular 8-storey cocoon-shaped structure requires a closely controlled environment to provide the constant temperature and humidity necessary to protect the irreplaceable 3 million plant and 17 million insect specimens. It opens to the public in September 2009.
A primary concern regarding the air-distribution system was that if any pests should find their way into the collections area from outside, traditional ductwork would provide an ideal place for them to hide, breed and potentially multiply out of control.
The problem has been addressed by lining 3-sided metal troughs with KoolDuct to provide thermal insulation. The sections have an internal support structure and were made offsite using 1200 m2 of KoolDuct rigid phenolic insulation. The external metal is coated with white powder and bolted flush to the ceiling, which forms the fourth side of the duct, to eliminate any grooves where insects could conceal themselves.
Greg Byrne, associate director of Fulcrum Consulting, specifying engineers for the project, explains, ‘Due to the museum’s integrated pest-management requirements and following a number of meetings and workshops with Kingspan Insulation, we decided that the KoolDuct system would provide the best solution for this particular project.’