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South Shields starts a new chapter with Kingspan TEK

South Shields is benefitting from a £16 million cultural centre featuring an iconic circular façade created with the Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel.

Contractors Bowmer & Kirkland have overseen the project, named ‘The Word, National Centre for the Written Word’. The three-storey structure designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects, includes library and exhibition space, IT suite, 3D printers, and café. The development, completed in October 2016, is part of a £100 million regeneration masterplan which partners South Tyneside Council with Muse Developments.

Creating a curved structure can pose a challenge, but the Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel was successfully engineered to provide a smooth, highly insulated exterior envelope. To achieve this, the structural insulated panels (SIPs) were designed and factory cut into narrow widths. This allowed them to be quickly and easily fixed to the concrete frame.

Steve McIntyre, Partner at FaulknerBrowns, explained their vision for the project: “The form and design approach of this iconic building seeks to establish a new benchmark in terms of quality of design, use of materials, and integration of public realm within the wider urban fabric of South Shields. This circular form encourages pedestrian movement between the Town Centre and the Riverside as well as having a striking and contemporary presence. The circular construction achieved with the Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel helped us to accomplish the concept of the spreading pages of a book.”

The 142 mm Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel installed on ‘The Word’ can help to achieve U-values of 0.20 W/m2.K or better whilst its OSB/3 facing and unique jointing system helps to minimise unnecessary air loss. The manufacturing facility where the panels are produced carries both FSC® (FSC®-C109304) and PEFC Chain of Custody certification. Also, there are constructions available that correspond to BRE Global Green Guide generic elements which achieve a Summary Rating of A+.

Councillor John Anglin, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy at South Tyneside Council, said:
“The new building needed to reflect our Sustainable Development goals, which is why we opted for low environmental impact and sustainable materials with a Green Guide rating of A or A+ whenever we could. This is to help us with our target of receiving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. We were also keen to ensure all timber used on the library was FSC® certified or equivalent.”

Both the Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel and Kingspan TEK Building System panels are now available in a 172 mm thickness, achieving even lower U-values of 0.17 W/m2.K or better.