Kingspan Insulation’s new warehouse and corporate headquarters in Malaga, Perth, Western Australia, showcases the latest building materials and design philosophies to optimise industrial workplace efficiency and comfort. The facility was officially opened today by Irish Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Noel White.
Tone Wheeler, Principal Architect at Environa Studio and newly elected President of the Australian Architecture Association, says he worked on the design of the new buildings in conjunction with Kingspan Insulation’s senior management to create spaces of exceptional energy efficiency, build quality and functionality. In addition, the design breaks tradition with conventional industrial estate architecture to offer true ‘premium office-quality’ comfort for staff and visitors – an initiative aimed at promoting superior staff interaction and workplace enjoyment.
The result is a 1,650-square-metre storage warehouse abutting a single-level administrative and corporate headquarters. The headquarters building will consume approximately half the energy of its predecessor structure while accommodating greater numbers of staff. Kingspan Insulation products, including Kingspan Kooltherm®, Pre Insulated Panels and AIR-CELL®, are used extensively throughout both the warehouse and headquarters, producing R-values in some applications that exceed minimum BCA requirements by 100%.
“What we set out to do was rethink how the headquarters building, in particular, would be designed from the ground up,” says Tone. “This is a single-storey, long, thin office which is elevated off the ground to provide car parking beneath it. The ground level is mostly cars and trucks circulating on flat terrain, so we made this long, raised box that runs out longer than the warehouse to give it the predominant street view.
“It is reverse built, which means the concrete structure of it, including the concrete floor, is insulated from the outside; we’ve built a kind of highly insulated esky up on sticks to try to give staff the best possible chance of gaining natural daylight, as well as the highest levels of thermal comfort to keep it cool in summer with a minimal amount of air-conditioning. There are four things we were trying to achieve: substantial natural light; great natural heating and cooling; removal from the noise and busy interruptions of the ground level; and fourthly – and most importantly – a sense of space.
It has a sloping roof made out of insulation panels, which forms the roof and ceiling. This means the large open plan office spaces are very much to do with volume, with a feeling of more generosity of space than a low ceiling would provide. We built the building in such a way that it has nothing in common with a normal office building in a typical office park – so there are no ceiling tiles, plenty of uplighting and recessed lighting, as we were very keen to make sure we got a very high level of sensory amenity.”
Other significant features include a screened outdoor timber deck area (or ‘sundowner’), extensive LED lighting, a solar hot water system, and rooftop solar PV panels with the capacity to save 16,000 kg of CO2 per year.
Scott Gibson, Managing Director, Kingspan Insulation, says the new complex, which uses insulation materials, and green energy initiatives from all major Kingspan divisions, marks a new era in the ongoing expansion and growth of Kingspan in the region. “As Australia’s most trusted insulation brand, we understand how progressive design can promote efficiency and reinforce quality – principles that are at the heart of our business,” he says. “This new complex represents the marriage between contemporary architecture and sustainable cost effective design and allows us to continue to expand our operations with confidence and in comfort.
“Kingspan Insulation was recently voted Australia’s No. 1 trusted insulation brand, and our new premises will allow us to consolidate that position into the next decade and beyond.”
MAJOR DESIGN ELEMENTS:
- Leading insulation products, including Kingspan Kooltherm® and AIR-CELL®, as well as Kingspan Insulated Panels.
- Kingspan Powerpanel solar PV panels, designed to save 16,000kg of CO2 per year, with a 5-year payback period
- Kingspan KoolDuct® pre-insulated ductwork, designed to reduce leakage by 80% compared to standard sheetmetal ductwork
- Waterless urinals, designed to save 5,000 litres of water per year
- Energy efficient LED lighting
- Glueless TacTile carpeting