A building for bird enthusiasts, which nests on a windswept site at the edge of medieval Rainham Marshes on the Thames, is benefiting from Kingspan Insulation roof insulation.
The £2m Environment and Education Centre was designed by architects van Heyningen and Haward (vHH) for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB); and from its observation deck, bird watchers now have the chance to see species such as Lapwing, Avocet and Little Egret.
From the outset, the RSPB had ambitions to achieve the highest possible environmental credentials for its new centre and the result is a deliberately tough building, designed to withstand the elements. Working with vHH, a menu for exemplary environmental performance was drawn up. Kingspan Insulation products formed an important part of this menu, being some of the most thermally efficient insulants on the market, with conductivity as low as 0.023 W/m.K.
Project architect, Loretta Gentilini-McGregor explained: "We specified the Kingspan Thermaroof TR27 LPC/FM and Thermataper TT47 LPC/FM products for Rainham, in consultation with our services engineer Max Fordham LLP, because their credentials in terms of: thermal performance, embodied impact and blowing agent content, were suitable to achieve the related Ene3, Mat4 and Po15 BREEAM credits. Kingspan Insulation was very helpful in providing us with all the evidence necessary to secure the ‘Excellent’ score we expect this building to achieve."
Because of the reliable lifetime thermal performance of Kingspan Insulation, the RSPB should also see benefits for the foreseeable future; and this longevity will further enhance the building’s sustainability rating, because operational energy use creates the vast majority of environmental impact.
The lifetime performance of Kingspan insulation can be attributed to a closed cell structure, which, unlike mineral fibre, provides resistance to moisture and water vapour ingress. Unlike mineral fibre, the high performance rigid urethane insulation is also unaffected by air infiltration, so no matter how cold the Rainham Marshes’ wind may blow, the RSPB building’s flat roof insulation will continue to perform.
The new Environment and Education Centre houses a shop and café as well as education spaces and offices; and a huge picture-window affords magnificent views across the marshes. Additional features include: a ground source heat pump; photovoltaic cells and a rainwater harvesting tank; and when the 15kW wind turbine comes into operation the centre should also be energy self-sufficient.