Kooltherm pipe insulation fitted on leading biomedical research building


The University of Warwick’s Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) is breaking new ground in building design. The £33m facility has been constructed with a cutting-edge offsite approach featuring Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation and Kooltherm Insulated Pipe Support Inserts.

The research building, designed by Hawkins/Brown and Fairhursts Design Group, will provide world-class facilities for over 300 biomedical researchers helping to deepen our understanding of the origins and mechanistic basis of diseases of the brain and body. Working closely with the project team, which included Willmott Dixon and Hoare Lea, NG Bailey has manufactured and assembled much of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations at its specialist offsite facility in Bradford. This specification included the installation of over 20,000 lm of Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation and Kooltherm Insulated Pipe Support Inserts, with onsite fitout carried out by specialist contractor Insulation & Cladding Services Ltd (ICS).

The University of Warwick set a target to complete at least 50% of the building work using offsite methods. NG Bailey helped to achieve this with a bespoke, five-storey ‘megariser’, which contains all of the buildings’ primary wet and dry services. The riser was delivered to site in eight sections, greatly reducing the number of deliveries and disruption to neighbours and allowing the installation to be completed in two days compared with the 15 weeks it would have taken with traditional methods. The sections were constructed horizontally at the NG Bailey facility and were lifted and installed using a crane – cutting time spent working at height.

As with all offsite work, careful pre-design was essential to ensure the ‘megariser’ and services were aligned correctly once in-situ. The project team collaborated closely with the use of BIM technologies and this process was supported through the specification of Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation and Kooltherm Insulated Pipe Support Inserts. These products are supported with bespoke BIM objects which can be freely downloaded from www.bimstore.co.uk.

This allowed service engineers and designers to accurately plan and position pipework and supports. With their leading thermal performance, the products also contributed to the project’s sustainability targets.

Stefan Watson, Offsite Integration Manager, Midlands, at NG Bailey explained: “By using offsite manufacture to produce the MEP elements, we removed circa 11,000 working hours from the project and reduced deliveries by around 190 HGV vehicles. The Client set the challenge of at least 50% of the construction being delivered through offsite techniques – and this was achieved.

“This greatly reduced the carbon footprint of the project and the completed building is expected to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. Building services play a significant part in reaching this target and we carefully developed a specification which will keep the building’s energy use to a minimum.”

Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation is one of the most thermally efficient pipe insulation materials in common use. This allowed the project team to effectively insulate the full range of pipe diameters on the project with a minimal thickness of insulation, supporting a faster, installation both in the factory and as part of the onsite work completed by ICS.

The project team also carefully addressed the risk of heat loss through pipe supports by installing Kingspan Kooltherm Insulated Pipe Support Inserts. The premium performance inserts effectively limit thermal bridging through the supports and form an effective vapour barrier. For larger diameter pipework, the inserts are supplied with a metal spreader plate which prevents insulation compression, ensuring the efficiency of the pipework is maintained over time.

The specification of the Kingspan Technical Insulation products also supported work to achieve credits within BREEAM assessment. An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) certificate for Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation can be accessed at www.greenbooklive.com. The product is also certified as Eurofins Air Comfort Gold, recognising it as having low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and both products are manufactured under an environmental management system which is certified to ISO 14001:2015.

With Kingspan Industrial Insulation’s free Pipeline Technical Advisory Service, which can be contacted on 0808 168 7363, clear advice and guidance can be accessed at every stage in a project.

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