World class Library benefits from Kingspan quality

A prestigious £50m restoration project to transform the Grade II* listed Liverpool Central Library into a world class facility has achieved a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating with the help of Kingspan Insulation.

The ambitious three-year restoration and redevelopment project at the UNESCO World Heritage site, in the heart of Liverpool’s cultural district, features more than 3700 m2 of Kingspan Insulation Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board. The redevelopment of the library was carried out by Amber Infrastructure, a leading sponsor and manager of social and economic infrastructure projects, as part of the Inspire Partnership, a joint venture with Shepherd Construction. The partnership also included Liverpool City Council and architect Austin-Smith: Lord, who aimed to strike a fine balance between restoring the listed buildings and introducing new 21st century spaces. Premium performance insulation plays an important role in helping to maintain a controlled environment in the new building in order to protect some of the city’s most historic and priceless collections, some of which are 800 years old. Ideal for both new build and refurbishment projects, Kingspan Insulation’s premium performance Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board holds LABC System Approval for use in rainscreen applications. It helps to streamline the Building Control checking and approval process and features a highly insulated core delivering thermal conductivities as low as 0.020 W/m·K. In addition to its outstanding thermal performance, Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board can also contribute towards a number of other BREEAM credits including Responsible Sourcing and Embodied Impact. The product has been assigned the highest possible Green Guide Summary Rating of A+ and is certified ‘Very Good’ under the demanding BES 6001: Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products standard. The new library features five floors of accommodation and the restoration involved the sensitive retention of the library’s historical façade, while demolishing the newer 1950s sections to make way for the new building. Features include an atrium, reading and information floors, meeting rooms, a café and a roof terrace. A climate controlled repository provides storage for the Liverpool Record Office where 14 km of archives and historic treasures are housed. Spokesman for Austin-Smith: Lord, Maggie Mullan said:

“To be involved in this highly prestigious project and to play a role in the restoration and development of such a magnificent, world-class building was terrific. “It was absolutely essential to specify the very best performing materials for the job and this included Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board which proved to be perfect for our requirements and the exactingly high quality required.”

Giles Frost, Director of Amber Infrastructure, said:

“Gaining recognition for the successful redevelopment of Liverpool Central Library shows Amber’s commitment to financing and managing high quality social infrastructure. Amber continues to have a healthy pipeline to invest in similar projects in the UK and overseas.”

Use of the Kingspan Insulation product is one of a number of key innovative and low impact design features aimed at reducing the energy required to service the building. Other sustainable features include solar protection, high efficiency boilers and lighting, water leak detection and rainwater harvesting. Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board is supported by Kingspan Insulation’s Technical Service Department which can provide specific U-value calculations for the product’s use with a wide range of rainscreen systems.