With the objective of uniting all departments together under one roof, the Knauf Insulation Process and Product Development (PPD) Laboratory building underwent a refurbishment programme, which resulted in a highly insulated and thermally-efficient building fabric, in place of the older and extremely inefficient one.
Architects Gornall Cross based in St Helens, who assisted in the new design, utilised the full internal space of the laboratory to enhance the external appearance whilst maintaining a breathable building fabric.
To upgrade the thermal efficiency of a solid wall, an insulation layer is required either on the internal surface (Internal Wall Insulation, commonly known as IWI), or on the outer surface of the wall (EWI). “In this instance, EWI was the most suitable solution,” said architect Stephen Culley, “as it avoids any internal disruption, so it is particularly suited for large residential properties, flats and office buildings.” Due to the scale of the building, over 400m2 of insulation was required.
The benefits of the EWI solution included:
• Reduced CO2 emissions
• Reduced fuel consumption and energy bills
• No disruption to occupants due to the external insulation
• In line with current thermal regulations
• Durable solution for the lifetime of the building
• Prolonged building life
• Aesthetically pleasing
• Low maintenance
• Extensive range of finishes and colours
• Non-combustible providing a Euroclass A1 fire rating
• Improved acoustic performance of existing wall