Knauf Insulation has supplied its Earthwool® rock mineral wool insulation to phase one of Birmingham City University’s ambitious 18,310m² city centre campus. The new facility will provide a state-of-the-art home for the University’s Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) and media facilities, marking the first step in creating a multi-million pound centre of excellence.
The new campus includes shared facilities and workshops – allowing collaboration in the shared academic areas of textiles, 3D design, architecture, visual communication and media production. Facilities include wood, metal, ceramic and glass workshops, print making facilities, photography, TV and radio studios as well as design studios and staff offices.
Targeted with achieving a minimum BREEAM rating of Excellent and with only a short window of time to complete the project, Associated Architects, who designed the building, needed insulation products that would meet strict thermal and environmental requirements – as well as a manufacturer that could offer quick turn around times and high levels of technical support. Knauf Insulation’s Technical Advice and Support Centre provided assistance with U-value calculations throughout the initial stages of the design process, helping to achieve the required U-value of just 0.15 W/m²K.
James Hall Director of Associated Architects commented: “The technical support from Knauf Insulation was really beneficial during the early design stages, helping us achieve the correct specification for the wall build up. We have used Knauf Insulation many times in the past and would certainly be happy to work with them again.”
With the help of Knauf Insulation specification manager, Marc Lawson, James specified a through wall solution using 5,000m² of Knauf Insulation’s 100mm Earthwool RainScreen Slab – a rock mineral wool slab containing a water repellent additive, specifically designed for rainscreen cladding systems. It is quick and easy to install and is simple to cut and fit around brackets. The slabs knit together with no need to tape the joints – ensuring maximum acoustic and thermal performance, with no air gaps. Knauf Insulation’s Earthwool RainScreen Slab is also non-combustible and has the highest Euroclass A1 reaction to fire rating, as well as excellent sound absorption performance.
To further enhance the thermal properties of the element, 10,500m² of Knauf Insulation’s Earthwool Flexible Slab 100mm, was installed in two layers within the SFS system. Designed to friction fit between metal studs, rafters and joists, Earthwool Flexible Slab is a multi-purpose rock mineral wool insulation slab, which provides excellent thermal performance and acoustic properties.
Knauf Insulation mineral wool products, with ECOSE® Technology, are made with a formaldehyde-free binder derived from rapidly renewable materials, instead of traditional petro-based chemicals used in other insulation. Additionally, ECOSE Technology is up to 70% less energy intensive than traditional binders.
Chris Kinman, Senior Design Manager at Wilmott Dixon, the main contractors on the project, commented: “Knauf Insulation’s products are easy to handle and cut which makes them very easy to use on site. The first phase of the project has gone well and the architect has adopted a similar approach to Phase 2 – which is testament to the excellent performance so far. Overall, we have been very impressed by the help and support we have received from Knauf Insulation on the project and we have since recommended them to other colleagues.”