Floorspace and headroom in buildings are under constant pressure, particularly where there is less space on average per occupant e.g. prison, educational and healthcare facilities. As a result, space efficiency is becoming increasingly important in both the construction of new buildings and the refurbishment of existing buildings.
Whilst the amount of space in buildings is generally calculated in terms of ‘building floor area’, volume can also be just as important. For instance, space is required in commercial and institutional buildings to accommodate the range of often necessary services e.g. electrical, plumbing, structural, IT & communications, conveyance, fire suppression and HVAC systems, including its insulation. For space efficiency to be delivered it must remain high on the agenda throughout the project briefing and building design stages, particularly where services are concerned.
Ductwork fabricated from The Kingspan KoolDuct System is space saving by virtue of eliminating the space required to manually install a separate layer of insulation around the ductwork.
During research carried out by Independent consultants, Rider Levett Bucknall, respondents consistently commented on the space saving properties of ductwork fabricated from The Kingspan KoolDuct System e.g. the ability to install ductwork in-situ between members of steel roof trusses.
As a pre-insulated material, with the capability of being constructed with flush joints between sections, it was possible to install ductwork flat against structural elements, thus maximising the space available for other service installations and in some instances, reducing the space required for service zones. This was particularly advantageous for main riser ductwork and could, with early design consideration, lead to marginal increases in useable floor space. With service co-ordination often an area of risk for construction programmes, any risk-mitigating properties are a useful attribute.
Rider Levett Bucknall carried out an independent cost analysis of the benefits the above mentioned space saving facility has on floor to floor dimensions in UK multi–storey buildings. The results of this analysis showed that if the structure can be reduced to take advantage of these space saving facilities, the use of Kingspan KoolDuct, as part of a VAV (Variable Air Volume) air-conditioning system, can save 1–2% in overall project construction cost. This saving comes predominantly from reduced structure, cladding, internal wall and wall finishing costs.
It is clear that, as a result of the findings described above, The Kingspan KoolDuct System should be considered the product of choice for insulated HVAC ductwork systems where space efficiency is a key requirement.