Looking for insulation to meet the high standards of the project, specifiers opted for proven Celotex GA3000 boards.
At a cost of £150 million, the Knowsley scheme, delivered by Balfour Beatty Construction, is part of a wider government funded programme that is rolling cutting edge schools out across the country. The stylish buildings, packed with a host of modern facilities, have replaced the borough’s aging secondary schools and have already won prestigious British Council for School Environment awards for excellence.
In keeping with the high standards of the project, energy efficiency was high on the list of specifications for the buildings. As the exterior walls of the structure were to be constructed by layered panel cladding and cement board with plasterboard finishing the internal walls, it was essential that high performing insulation was chosen to provide an effective thermal envelope. Architects Aedas specified that Celotex be used betweenand under the rainscreen cladding for this reason.
Installed by specialist contractors Speedwell Roofing, the 50mm foil faced polyisocyanurate (PIR) boards, prove to be more effective insulators per mm than many other materials – including modern mineral wools.
As rigid, self-supporting boards, Celotex products are exceptionally durable and will perform consistently over the lifetime of the building; ideal for installation under rainscreen cladding on steel frame constructions, the chosen building method of the Knowsley developments. Alongside its excellent thermal properties, Celotex GA3000 is A+ rated when compared to the BRE Green Guide 2008.
Easily cut into shape, a task performed on site, the insulation was then pinned to cement particle boards that were attached to the structure’s steel frames. Effective under rainscreen cladding to a height of 18 metres, the GA3000 boards not only provide high grade insulation, but create a warm environment within the building envelope that reduces cold bridging from the metal helping hand cladding supports.
Once installed, the Celotex boards were covered by a breather membrane for heightened protection from the elements. This also provides an effective air and moisture barrier that protects the internal structures of the schools, preventing water damage and corrosion to the steel frames within.
The GA3000 insulation is suitable for use with a wide range of cladding materials. In this application it was covered with a mix of mechanically fixed black terracotta panels and conventional aluminium rainscreen cladding interspersed with attractive sections of wooden panelling.
The attractive exterior cladding, made possible by Celotex’ protection of the structure’s thermal envelope, is in direct opposition to the functional plate glass facilities of yesteryear and creates a stimulating and engaging learning environment. Built to benefit not simply students but entire communities, the centres for learning in Knowsley represent a fresh architectural perspective and a new and inclusive philosophy.
Now prepared for an influx of students, the seven Knowsley BSF centres for learning provide the community with attractive institutions that offer a standard of education fit for the 21st Century. From the technology laden classrooms to their stylish open atriums, they boast supremely high energy efficiency that lowers costs and protects the environment – thanks to the hidden magic of Celotex GA3000.