Striking exteriors: 3 stylish buildings championing sustainability

21 December 2017 Kingspan Group
Tuhoe 2
Sustainable, eco-centric projects are being delivered the world over, and without any sacrifice to either aesthetic or ergonomic developments. Kingspan takes pride in pioneering new technologies with energy conservation at heart and the use of Kingspan products in some of the world’s most technically advanced projects is proof of this.
 
As fossil fuels are being depleted, energy costs are increasing, and climate change is looming on the horizon. If there were ever a time for sustainable architecture, that time is now.
 
Fortunately, sustainable architecture is full of promising developments. Day-by-day, more and more architectural and construction industries strive to become more energy efficient. Progress in solar and thermal technologies have led to resource-efficient methods of energy production and retention, and recycled materials have never been employed more extensively.
 
Below are three examples of buildings which use these technologies to champion sustainability, and stylishly so:

Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua—The Living Building

Tuhoe Te Uru Taumatua
Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua, commonly known as the “Tūhoe building”, is the sustainable headquarters of the Māori Tūhoe tribe, located in Taneatua, New Zealand.
 
Architectural firm Jasmax designed the building; with JASMaD co-founder Ivan Mercep serving as the lead architect. Mercep had a history of designing Māori influenced structures, having previously designed the Te Papa Tongarewa museum in Wellington.
 
Notably, Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua is the first building built to the criteria of the International Living Future Institute’s “Living Building Challenge”, a rigorous sustainability performance standard which evaluates across seven areas—site, water energy, health, materials, equity and beauty.
 
Impressively, the Tūhoe building is demonstrably triple net-zero, successfully balancing its production and consumption of water, waste and energy.
 
This balance is possible in-part due to the high-performance insulation solutions installed throughout the Tūhoe building, including Kingspan Kooltherm K12 Framing Board on the walls, and Kingspan Therma TR27 LPC/FM on the roof. These products offer high levels of thermal insulation, minimising the energy required for cooling and heating.
 
On top of being environmentally sustainable, the Tūhoe building is also visually stunning. Its frontage is particularly remarkable, incorporating contemporary Māori designs and a prominent lean-to roof. The lean-to roof is supported by a laminated timber arch, an intentional reference to the curved arches of the Tūhoe tribe’s flag.
 
Perhaps Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua’s greatest achievement is its simultaneous embrace of both modern innovation and the culture and ethos of the Tūhoe tribe. The Tūhoe building has managed to exceed contemporary environmental standards without any sacrifice of native identity.
 

Elsworth Show Home—The Home of the Future

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The Elsworth Show Home is the UK’s first show home to meet the rigorous criteria of the Passivhaus Standard. The show home is exhibited at Potton’s Self Build Show Centre, in Saint Neots, UK, where it demonstrates the manifold design potential of Passivhaus builds.
                                                           
The Passivhaus Standard emerged from a conversation between physicist Wolfgang Feist and engineer Bo Adamson in 1988. The two men had a vision to build an affordable house that could provide peerless thermal performance, precision airtightness, and effective ventilation—without impinging upon design opportunities.
 
Passivhaus builds are designed to establish thermal comfort solely through the post-heating or post-cooling of the air, diminishing the need for traditional heating systems and reducing the build’s ecological footprint.
 
The Elsworth Show Home was designed to include intentionally complex architectural elements, such as an unconventional butterfly roof and an outer skin of brick.
 
Although outer skins of brick are commonplace in residential architecture, they generally aren’t incorporated into Passivhaus or Structural Insulated Panel builds (SIPs). This is because brick skins can compromise thermal performance through extensive cold bridging. To avoid this problem, the brick skin has its own thermally separate foundation to the central raft foundation. Furthermore, junctions along the external wall had to be meticulously taped and sealed using the Kingspan TEK Building System.
 
Kingspan TEK Building System Panels were also used to construct the show home’s striking butterfly roof. The panels used had a considerable thickness, which allowed them to cover the breadth of the roof without supplementary support. These panels contributed to the home’s modern identity without jeopardizing the project’s insulation targets—triumphantly achieving the incongruous goals of the Passivhaus Standard. 
 
The Elsworth Show Home manages to present a compelling modern aesthetic while achieving an airtightness that’s approximately ten times of the minimum requirement of current building regulations.
 

Dalmunach Distillery—Brewing Sustainability

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The Dalmunach Distillery was built in response to an increasing global demand for scotch whiskey. It was erected on the site of the former Imperial distillery, originally established in 1897, in Carron, Strathspey, Scotland.
 
Production was overseen by Douglas Cruikshank, who—as a former employee of the Imperial Distillery—was keen to preserve some of the old mills character. As a result, Cruikshank used actual materials from the Imperial distillery in Dalmunach’s construction.
 
Fittingly, the Dalmunach Distillery was Cruikshank’s final project before his retirement. Despite his diverse 47-year occupation in the Scotch Whisky Industry, Cruikshank finished his career where it began.
 
Dalmunach’s architecture is inspired by the sheaf shape of barley—an essential ingredient of single malt whisky. The building is divided into three major parallel components, each representing a different head of barley. The structure is also adjacent to a modest body of water—the other essential ingredient of whisky.
 
The distillery is remarkably energy efficient, in part due to its deployment of Kingspan Day-Lite Trapezoidal, polycarbonate rooflights. The polycarbonate daylighting solutions are precision extruded for superior roof panel integration, enhancing the thermal performance of the building envelope and delivering long-term light transmission. These rooflights enable natural daylight to illuminate the building, reducing the requirement for traditional lighting. The Dalmunach Distillery’s roof is also constructed using Kingspan's reputable KS1000 trapezoidal roof panels, that are exceptionally designed for integration.
 
Dalmunach effectively employs both old and new technology. It takes advantage of the old Imperial distillery’s spring water supply, but also incorporates up-to-date heat recovery technology. Dalmunach is the most energy efficient distillery in the Chivas Brothers’ portfolio.
 
Kingspan's commitment to sustainability is instilled at every level of the company and at every step in the manufacturing process. For more information on Kingspan's commitment on sustainability please click here

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