Energy-saving tiles from Armstrong Ceilings are at the forefront of the BRE’s (Building Research Establishment) latest Innovation Park in Scotland. Armstrong’s CoolZone system features on the ceiling of the main seminar area of the visitors’ centre at the heart of the 1,125-acre Ravenscraig Regeneration Project.
The centre is the first completed building on the BRE’s two-acre Innovation Park. Designed by BRE Scotland and Kraft Architecture, the carbon-neutral, closed-panel timber-framed building represents the latest in off-site manufacture, technology integration and building management.
The CoolZone system incorporates BASF’s Micronal® PCM (Phase Change Material) into Armstrong’s plain metal ceiling tiles. This material – microscopic polymer capsules containing a wax storage medium - is embedded in gypsum and then encased in the metal tile.
On heating during the day and cooling at night, the wax melts and solidifies. In this way the internal temperature is regulated, ensuring a stable and comfortable environment in which to live and work.
In tests, the CoolZone tiles delayed the onset of air conditioning by approximately four to five hours in an average office. Not only can this save around 40% of the HVAC energy costs and reduce peaks in demand for air conditioning but it can also help to improve the thermal comfort for the occupants.
Some 40m² of the reversible system, which is also wholly recyclable, has been used at Ravenscraig which was officially opened in September by Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil.
Designed to achieve a BREEAM “Outstanding” rating, the cost-effective, super-insulated building also features zoned lighting and heating systems, an air source heat pump, solar water heating, an array of photovoltaic panels and an extensive building management system to monitor and manage the building’s performance.
The park showcases the future of Scottish construction, featuring 10 full-scale homes and buildings that demonstrate indigenous designs, materials, techniques and technologies that will address the major issues faced by the local and global built environment such as reducing carbon emissions.
BRE Scotland director Rufus Logan said: “The Park is all about innovation and applying this to the challenges we face as a society, not only around reducing carbon emissions but creating a better quality of life for our people.”
As well as at Ravenscraig, where CoolZone was installed by Soundtex Ceilings, 20m² of Armstrong Ceilings’ CoolZone system has been installed as a pilot test by the BRE throughout the Victorian Terrace at its flagship Innovation Park at Watford.
This stable block has been transformed into three energy-efficient homes to create a living refurbishment laboratory for testing current and energy products, materials, design solutions and installation techniques that make solid-wall homes more energy efficient and affordable to heat.