Archive for November, 2012

Kingspan Generation Competition

November 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Kingspan ‘PROFILE Mixed-Use’

When viewed from the air, Downtown Phoenix is patchwork of old and new, solid and void. Land bankers patiently await an upturned real estate economy to densify the city core and turn a profit. However, the urban ring of residential homes appear scattered amongst the empty lots which riddle this desert city. Kingspan selected Phoenix as the location of its most ambitious facility to date. Challenged with a high heat index, competing with the urban heat island, and the scarcity of water; Kingspan intends to showcase the resilience of its product lines by creating a mixed-use live-work complex incorporating mid-density residential, office, retail and manufacturing in the heart of the city.

Kingspan PROFILE pursues LEED Platinum designation and the company intends to become a leader and environmental steward in the deserts of the southwest. Several site related strategies listed in LEED NC are integrated in the plan and design of ‘PROFILE’ including Community Connectivity, Development Density, Diversity of Use, Pervious Surface Materials, Native Plants, High SRI paneling and roof systems, Location near Mass Transit and the Minimization of Water Usage.

The PROFILE mixed-use community and manufacturing facility represents a holistic and integrative design intent on lowering environmental impacts, maintaining a sustainable and regenerative built environment, and reducing the urban heat island which continues to plague Phoenix. On the level of site, the project integrates itself with the community through a long solar canopy which culminates in a covered parking area over its neighbor to the north, a grade school for inner city children. Moving south, a mixed income residential complex boasting Kingspan Designwall 2000 panels rests above retail spaces along the light rail corridor. The second story of the parking garage becomes the community space for the apartment residents shielded from the western sun as they arrive from work.  Crossing the street one reaches the main Kingspan office tower and Center for Research and Innovation. Deeply recessed and pop-out windows remain shaded to the east, west, and south to lower cooling loads. In winter months, these occupant operated windows permit flexibility of indoor air quality and ambient air.  Kingspan insulated panels on fly-ash CMU block create a sound office and manufacturing environment. The thin profile of the office tower reduces lighting loads as natural daylight washes the interior’s open plan.

The grounds of PROFILE integrate LEED Sustainable Sites credits through the incorporation of native vegetation to arid climates, the use of decomposed granite in lieu of hardscape, storm water runoff collection in on-site cisterns, and vegetated walls on an east-west axis between buildings to exploit the effects of evaporative cooling. Water Efficiency is achieved through the low-flow sanitary fixtures, waterless urinals, xeriscaping, drip irrigation, reclamation of grey water from wet zones, and the collection of condensate from air handling units. LEED Energy and Atmosphere is addressed through appropriate space sizes, high R-value insulated panels manufactured on-site, the implementation of passive design through a self shading envelope, high performance mechanical systems, and LED lighting. Onsite energy production includes the ‘DNA Canopy’ suspended and undulating over each sector of the project. In addition to the collection of solar energy, the system provides slowly changing shaded spaces creating shadows which dance upon the surfaces below.

PROFILE aims to exceed current LEED benchmarks and is instead designed to meet the more rigorous 2030 Challenge standards. Through the strict specification of recycled content, rapidly renewable and regional materials, salvaged materials, on-site composting and integration of a large recycling facility for the wider community, the Materials and Resources category is realized.  Achievements in Indoor Environmental Quality is evident through ample availability of indoor daylighting, operable windows, occupant temperature control, ventilation control, and lighting control.

PROFILE optimizes the flow of people and products. As employees arrive from the Light Rail, by bike, by foot, or by SmartCar they land at a destination with community amenity in mind. Onsite food and beverage lessens the need to leave campus grounds, bike valets ensure the safety of property, and charging stations powered by the solar canopy await plug-in vehicles. Product movement is equally efficient. From north to south, from concept to product, innovations originate in the Office Tower and R+D Space, manufactured and packaged in the Plant Complex, and quickly shipped throughout the US by rail just a block away.

Kingspan remains a leader in the production of insulated panel systems and hopes to expand its operations and product lines. The solar ‘DNA canopy’ galvanizes this desire for innovation in technological building construction. The design of a mixed-income community donated by the corporation speaks to its humanitarian mission and altruism. Its donation of a solar canopy over its neighbor Augstus Shaw Elementary  reflects a commitment to community. PROFILE embodies the Kingspan legacy and the generation of designers it continues to inspire.

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