New research findings report a return on investment can be as high as 856 per cent when analysing the use of advanced slimline wall insulation solutions in new non-residential buildings, when compared with conventional solutions using glass wool fibre batts.
World-leading asset management and construction consultancies, Currie & Brown Australia and Sweett Group UK were commissioned by Kingspan Insulation to investigate the “Real Value of Space in Commercial Real Estate”. The study was to quantify the potential financial benefits that result from insulating the external walls of new non-residential buildings using Kingspan’s high performance slimline wall insulation solutions.
Currie & Brown and Sweett Group developed a research program to analyse the thickness differentials of various insulation systems and evaluate their impacts on costs and returns in a development. They then analysed three case study buildings to illustrate the outcomes of the analysis.
Concrete external wall constructions were examined and two Kingspan Kooltherm build-ups were compared against conventional steel stud and track wall systems using 90 mm glass wool fibre batts. The differential in thickness and cost were taken into account in the analyses.
The study found that Kooltherm K12 and K17’s slimline design allowed for thinner external wall build ups, returning a greater internal floor area, and the potential for an improved return on investment.
The findings show that despite the requirement for an increase in capital expenditure of $18.03 per square metre for the wall build-up using Kingspan Kooltherm K12 Framing Board, a positive return on investment was found for all scenarios with rental rates of $400 per square metre or greater, across all yield rates, the highest of which was 856 per cent. Finally more than 70 per cent of the building scenarios analysed showed a positive return.
The study also found that because Kingspan Kooltherm K17 Insulated Plasterboard is cheaper as an installed system than conventional steel stud-and-track wall systems incorporating 90mm glass wool fibre batts, every square metre of additional space created with this system produced a net gain in value.
Kingspan Insulation Technical R&D Manager, Keith Anderson, says that is partly because Kooltherm K17 does not require framing.
“The rigid Kooltherm insulation board is already pre-bonded to plasterboard so it can be fixed directly to a solid wall without needing any framing, making it both quicker to install and thinner.”
Anderson adds that both the Kooltherm K12 and K17 systems both facilitate internal space gains without having to increase the overall footprint of a building.
“The width of external walls incorporating Kingspan’s Kooltherm concrete wall insulation systems is up to 16 per cent slimmer than the built up width of concrete walls using glass wool fibre batts in a stud-and-track system,” he said.
“Kingspan’s Kooltherm wall insulation solutions feature ultra-low conductivity, which means they can achieve the same thermal performance as glass wool fibre batts in a much thinner profile.
“While commercial real estate values continue to be at a premium, Australian developers and their design teams will continue to be under increasing pressure to maximise usable internal areas to boost returns on their investment in new commercial buildings. These new research findings very convincingly demonstrate the first step,” Anderson says.