Thinking fast with Kingspan Kooltherm

A new special education and training college, dedicated to the future of the UK’s rail industry, is the latest project to benefit from the outstanding thermal performance of the Kingspan Kooltherm K110 Soffit Board.

The National College for High Speed Rail, which opens its doors to learners for the first time in September, is the largest of five new national colleges being created by the Government to ensure British workers learn world-class skills.

The Birmingham-based college has been designed by Bond Bryan Architects to embody the institution’s mission to pioneer technical excellence in the next generation. Constructed by Willmott Dixon, the facility contains a variety of practical and classroom-based learning spaces inside a visually striking, yet simple building shell formed from two intersecting blocks. The solid bronze cladding, redolent of the site’s industrial past, has been perforated in places with binary code patterns. This is effectively juxtaposed with the transparency of large areas of glazed curtain walling which allow onlookers a glimpse of the activities within.

This commitment to creating a truly contemporary facility also included ensuring the building was as energy efficient as possible and, in line with funding guidance from BIS and the Skills Funding Agency, a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ has been targeted for the new development. To meet these requirements, a fabric first approach was adopted and several Kingspan Kooltherm products were specified across the site, most notably the new Kingspan Kooltherm K110 Soffit Board.

The main entrance is defined by a simple yet striking cantilevered upper floor, providing a sheltered social space in front of the building. To insulate this, Kingspan Kooltherm K110 Soffit Board was installed by Sage Roofing. The product is a premium performance insulation board comprising an advanced fibre-free rigid thermoset phenolic insulation core with a thermal conductivity of 0.018 W/m·K across all board thicknesses. This performance, combined with its BRE Green Guide rating of A+, help to contribute towards the award of credits within the BREEAM assessments.

The boards can be fixed directly to concrete soffits using thermally broken fasteners, making installation quick and simple. The product offers excellent fire protection, passing all the requirements of FM approval to FMRC 4880 Class 1 fire classification. Further details on the fire performance of Kingspan Insulation products may be obtained from the Kingspan Insulation Technical Service Department.

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