Towering 105ft above the terminal, the new air traffic control building at Birmingham Airport is an iconic addition to the city’s skyline.
Featuring an attractive aluminium rainscreen cladding system, Knauf Insulation’s Earthwool® RainScreen Slab was chosen as the insulation component, thanks to the product’s excellent thermal and acoustic performance – as well as the high-level technical advice, U-value calculations and condensation analysis provided by the manufacturer.
Built to replace the 79ft control tower that had been in use since the original terminal opened in 1939, the new £10m building has been designed to meet high standards of sustainability. With such an ambitious project, ensuring the accuracy of the performance specifications was absolutely paramount and so main contractors, Simco External Framing Solutions Ltd, turned to Knauf Insulation’s Technical Advice and Support Centre (TASC) for assistance.
Luke Cresswell, Designer at Simco, commented: “The U-value calculations were extremely important as they helped us to integrate our rainscreen system design with the rest of the building and with the client’s design team. We have worked with Knauf Insulation many times before and we chose them again for this project as we knew they would deliver accurate calculations quickly and efficiently, enabling us to establish our insulation requirements with minimum fuss. We will be using Knauf Insulation’s products again in the future, without question.”
Knauf Insulation’s Earthwool RainScreen Slab is a rock mineral wool slab containing a water repellent additive. 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. This made it perfect for the curved walls of the funnel shaped control tower, as the insulation moulded easily to the surface, creating a snug fit that could not be achieved using rigid foam boards.
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 – both key considerations for safety and comfort within the busy airport environment.
Will Heynes, the Airport’s Development Director said: “Sustainability, energy performance, fire safety and acoustic protection were all crucial factors taken into account during the design of the new air traffic control tower and so all materials specified within the project needed to meet these multiple requirements. We are extremely pleased with the building which will be operational in April and believe it is a leading example within aviation construction.”