Slim VIPs from Kingspan Optim-R Specified for Compact College

Slim Vips from Kingspan Optim-R Specified for Compact Colleg

Joseph Leckie Academy in Walsall has replaced outmoded and poor performing accommodation with its three-storey construction, to provide an energy efficient build, with the help of the Kingspan OPTIM-R Rainscreen System.


The original 1930s school building has been replaced with a purpose-built 725 m2 structure, designed by Seymour Harris Architecture. The new building has been constructed by contractors, Speller Metcalfe, and offers space for modern classrooms, special education, reprographics, and administration facilities. To ensure the new building achieved a high level of thermal performance, 139 m2 of the Kingspan OPTIM-R Rainscreen Cladding System within the perforated aluminium feature window pod locations and 675 m2 of the Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board in a 120 mm thickness was installed to the main wall elevations by sub-contractors, Sky Green Ltd, helping to create a warmer, more comfortable learning environment.


Building materials were carefully selected to meet both the design requirements and to ensure they are efficient for the building’s life cycle. The school was also designed to target an air permeability value of 5 m3/hour per m2 @ 50 Pa and a ‘B’ rated EPC.


Joe Harris, Associate Director from Seymour Harris Architecture, commented on the specification: “The design aimed to provide an attractive and robust building that helps to define the aspirations of the school through some striking sculptural features and a meaningful approach to building efficiency. In order to create the architectural vision for the building, we chose the Kingspan System as it allowed creative flexibility as we designed and detailed the envelope, whilst maintaining the high levels of insulation required for the project.”


Kingspan OPTIM-R vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) feature a microporous core which is evacuated, encased and sealed in a thin, gas-tight envelope. This design provides optimum thermal performance and can achieve an aged thermal conductivity of 0.007 W/m∙K, which is five times better than other commonly used insulation materials. The Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board also offers thermal conductivities as low as 0.020 W/m·K. This was essential to accomplish excellent airtightness to reach the school’s targets for energy efficiency.


Adrian Speller, Sustainability Director from Speller Metcalfe, added:“We were aware that constructing a new building on the site was going to be a challenge, with numerous constraints including restricted access and the need to maintain the operational integrity of the school. The Kingspan OPTIM-R panels were delivered to site ready to use and were easy to handle, making it easy to plan in the installation.”


Kingspan’s specialist technical team helped to streamline the installation by providing detailed system layouts and instructions for the project. The Kingspan OPTIM-R vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) do not require cutting which meant it was quick to install behind the cladding. The Kingspan OPTIM-R Flex strips were also included with the system, which were delivered in the same thickness as the VIPs, to fill in any gaps around the fixings and brackets.


20 – 40 mm thick Kingspan OPTIM-R panels are the only vacuum insulation panels in the world to be certified under the independent BDA Agrément scheme. This confirms that the products will perform as expected when installed to Kingspan Insulation’s recommendations. The certification is also recognised by bodies such as the NHBC and LABC.


In addition, all Kooltherm, Therma and KoolDuct insulation products and cavity closers manufactured at Kingspan Insulation’s facilities in Pembridge and Selby are certified to BES 6001 (Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products) ‘Excellent’. They are also manufactured with a blowing agent that has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and low Global Warming Potential (GWP).



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