Knauf Insulation, the UK's leading manufacturer of insulation products, has supplied award winning developer Crosby Lend Lease with 4000m2 of Rocksilk 115mm RainScreen Slab to thermally insulate the rainscreen cladding system at new Birmingham development, The Hub.
The Hub, an innovative and contemporary seven storey canal-side development of studio and one and two bedroom apartments, has a perforated rainscreen system, and will therefore leave the black tissue facing of Knauf Insulation's Rocksilk 115mm RainScreen Slab visible to the public. This is the first time such a system has been used in the UK, reinforcing The Hub's status as a cutting-edge development. The Hub is located in the rapidly emerging Gun Quarter of Birmingham, which adjoins the city's famous Jewellery Quarter.
Knauf Insulation's Rocksilk RainScreen Slab is a rock mineral wool slab containing a water repellent additive, specially developed for rainscreen cladding applications. Rainscreen cladding systems typically comprise outer cladding panels that are bolted to a supporting framework of rails, which are supported by cleats fixed to the building structure. A layer of Rocksilk RainScreen Slab has been fixed independently against the building's substructure using proprietary insulation fasteners.
At The Hub, an airspace separates the insulation from the outer cladding panels, allowing wind-driven rain to run down the back of the rainscreen panels, providing additional protection to the insulation layer. Knauf Insulation's Rocksilk RainScreen Slab is lightweight, but rigid enough to resist the compression forces generated when installing the insulation slabs to the masonry substrate. The water repellent additive in Rocksilk RainScreen Slab also provides a further line of defence against rain penetration of The Hub's external wall.
Knauf Insulation's Rocksilk RainScreen Slab is made from non-combustible inorganic rock wool and has a thermal conductivity of 0.035W/mk. The U-value of a proprietary rainscreen cladding system is dependent on the degree of thermal bridging in the system, but typically 100mm of Rocksilk Rainscreen Slab will achieve a U-value of 0.35 W/m2k.
Andy Bassett, site contracts manager at The Hub contractors Sisk, explains that Knauf Insulation's Rocksilk RainScreen Slab was the obvious choice for The Hub: "Knauf Insulation's products are industry-leading, consistently on budget and readily available at short lead times. We opted for Rocksilk RainScreen slab largely due to its incombustibility. It's easy to handle and install, too, which makes our job easier! I'm proud we've been the first in the UK to use the product in this way."
Knauf Insulation's Rocksilk product manager, Lynn Quigley, concludes: "With increasing thermal performance requirements, Knauf Insulation is proud to be at the forefront of recommending, manufacturing and supplying compliant insulation products. What sets us apart is the effort we put into building relationships with architects and contractors, and it's great that we are working on The Hub as a result."
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