The Kingspan Optim-R balcony and terrace system has been installed as part of the award-winning Here East development, a repurposing of the press and broadcasting centres at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Situated in a picturesque canalside location, Here East provides over 110,000 m2 of flexible studio, work and retail spaces. The design adds warmth and creativity to the once windowless, monolithic façade of The Broadcast Centre. The building has been opened up with a new projecting unitised curtain-wall system and recessed balconies helping to add depth and interest to the building.
Lakesmere, now owned by Kaicer Building Envelope Solutions, were appointed to deliver the curtain-walling which wraps three sides of the building. The design called for three large recessed balconies running up to 13 metres in length. A pedestal floor construction was chosen for these areas and to ensure the space below was effectively insulated, whilst also maintaining a level transition from the adjoining space, the Kingspan Optim-R balcony and terrace system was chosen.
Unlike conventional insulation materials, Kingspan Optim-R panels feature a vacuum insulation core with an innovative microporous structure. This design allows them to achieve a declared thermal conductivity of 0.007 W/m∙K – up to five times lower than commonly used insulation materials. Rigid insulation infill panels of the same thickness are also included within the system. These are fitted around the perimeter of the balcony and can also be cut to allow for penetrations through the insulation layer or to fill spaces between the Kingspan Optim-R vacuum insulation panels (VIPs).
Chris Oatridge, managing director at Kaicer, discussed the specification:
“The recessed balconies are an important element in the exterior design, not only adding outdoor spaces but also helping to soften the overall appearance. By using the Kingspan Optim-R balcony and terrace system, we were able to insulate the balcony floor to an exceptional level with an insulation depth of just 85 mm.”
Operatives from Kingspan Insulation’s Optim-R design service developed detailed system layouts for the three recessed balcony areas – ensuring the optimal ratio of Optim-R VIPs to infill panels. Onsite, a vapour control and protective rubber crumb layer were first laid above the concrete deck. 25 and 30 mm Kingspan Optim-R panels were then laid above this in two layers followed by a 30 mm layer of Kingspan Styrozone. The floor pedestals were then fitted over the insulation layer – ready to receive the balcony floor layer.
Kingspan Optim-R panels produced at Kingspan Insulation’s Pembridge manufacturing facility is certified to BES 6001 (Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products) ‘Very Good’. This contributed to the award of credits within the responsible sourcing section of the BREEAM assessment.