Cutting edge design


A spectacular new medical school building has been designed to pay as much attention to how well it works on the inside as to how good it looks on the outside. The futuristic glass structure is home to the Queen Mary University of London’s Institute of Cell and Molecular Science and uses an innovative approach to internal space to facilitate collaborative research.

But it isn’t just the structural design elements of this College Hospital that have received careful consideration. The ductwork carrying vital conditioned air through the building was installed using the very latest materials and methods in the shape of KoolDuct pre-insulated ductwork from Kingspan Insulation.

The specification of KoolDuct arose from the challenge posed to multi discipline engineering and environmental consultants WSP, by the groundbreaking design of the interior. A number of pods in the shape of a cloud, a mushroom, a giant orange cell and a spiky object provide spaces for meetings and seminars. These are suspended so that they appear to float over open plan laboratories and work spaces, which can accommodate up to 400 medical researchers. The laboratories have an extremely high level of mechanical and electrical service requirements.

Creative building services solutions were needed to meet the high specification demands of building layout and function. A separate vertical plant room over four floors provides the heart of the M&E operation. Kingspan KoolDuct pre-insulated ductwork was installed in all of the main risers and runs, helping to solve the problem of the sheer complexity and depth of the service runs needed.

Unlike traditional sheet metal ducting, which needs to be lagged with insulation as a second operation, the Kingspan KoolDuct System requires only a single fix installation, and can be installed in hard to reach places where conventional ductwork can’t be lagged.

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