Quantock House, Taunton

Quantock House, Taunton

“We needed extremely detailed U-value calculations, and Knauf Insulation is one of the best at supplying these”, Paul Mann, Sales & Pre-Construction Director, TAC Projects.

3,000m2 of Knauf Insulation Rocksilk® RainScreen Slab is providing essential comfort and fire safety for vulnerable residents in a new development on a challenging site.

Quantock House, Taunton is a new collection of 88 assisted living apartments set over nine storeys in a prime position at the heart of Somerset’s county town. It is the latest development from Platinum Skies, part of the Affordable Housing and Healthcare Group (AHH). Specialist contractor TAC Projects was tasked with the technical design and overall delivery of the façade

There were two essential considerations for the insulation specification. The first was that it had to be non-combustible, with a Euroclass A1 reaction to fire classification. “We never use combustible materials on any residential façade, regardless of height” explained Paul Mann, Sales & Pre-Construction Director, TAC Projects. “This is especially important in developments with vulnerable residents.”

The second was thermal performance. The façade had to achieve a U-value of 0.18W/m2K, but with a complex design including acute angles between elevations and an undercroft car park, detailed calculations would be needed to support the specification. This was not just for best practice; to insure the building, the NHBC insisted on detailed supporting data for all products used in its construction.

“The original specification from AAH’s architect was for Rock Mineral Wool. Our need for more robust U-value calculations, among other reasons, led us to choose Knauf Insulation Rocksilk® RainScreen Slab” said Paul. “That meant we were able to get 3D U-value calculations from its Technical Support team”.

3D U-value calculations provide a much more detailed and accurate model of a building’s thermal performance. They give contractors, architects and third parties valuable reassurance that the interactions between different building elements have been properly considered, such that the calculations will more accurately reflect the energy efficiency of the building in the real world.

Rocksilk® RainScreen Slab is a non-combustible Rock Mineral Wool insulation that offers exceptional thermal and acoustic performance. It achieves Euroclass A1 reaction to fire classification, and is BBA certified for the broadest range of build-ups of any rainscreen solution on the market.

It is designed to be easy to install correctly. Slabs are robust enough for easy manoeuvrability, but capable of flexing to adapt to imperfections in the substrate and to interlock when butted together. This is critical as it prevents the air gaps that can occur when using other, more rigid types of insulation; gaps which can compromise thermal, fire or acoustic performance.

Rocksilk® RainScreen Slab is also manufactured with ECOSE® Technology, Knauf Insulation's unique bio-based binder that contains no added formaldehyde or phenol. It is made from natural raw materials that are rapidly renewable and is 70% less energy-intensive to manufacture than traditional binders, so it is more environmentally-friendly. Products made with ECOSE® Technology are soft to touch and easy to handle. They generate low levels of dust and VOCs, and have been awarded the Eurofins Gold Certificate for Indoor Air Comfort.

In addition to the 3D U-value calculations, the project required an extra level of service and logistical support. With no storage space on site, and only room for one lorry at a time, deliveries had to be meticulously planned to keep the job running smoothly. Distributor CCF, who supplied the insulation, worked closely with TAC Projects to schedule deliveries in line with their plan of works.

“Our business is all about trust” continued Paul. “AAH is trusted by its customers to provide safe and warm homes. We’re trusted by them to build non-combustible, energy-efficient façades. And in turn, we trust Knauf Insulation to give us the innovative products and service we need to do that.”

Thanks to these trusted relationships, the residents at Quantock House will enjoy their new homes in warmth and comfort, with the peace of mind that comes from knowing they are built using sustainable, non-combustible materials.

Client TAC Projects