Kingspan OPTIM-R specified for Walsall college

  • 30 Jul 2018

Walsall’s Joseph Leckie Academy has replaced outdated and poor performing accommodation at its three-storey construction, providing an energy efficient build, courtesy of the Kingspan OPTIM-R Rainscreen System.

The original school building, dating from the 1930s, has been replaced with a purpose-built structure, designed by Seymour Harris Architecture, measuring 725 square metres.

The new building has been constructed by contractors, Speller Metcalfe, and offers space for modern classrooms, special education, reprographics, and administration facilities.


139 square metres of the Kingspan OPTIM-R Rainscreen Cladding System ensure the new building achieves a lofty level of thermal performance; this features within the perforated aluminium feature window pod locations.

675 square metres of the Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board, in a 120 mm thickness, was fitted to the main wall elevations by sub-contractors, Sky Green Ltd, which creates a warmer, more comfortable learning environment.

Joseph Leckie 1

Joe Harris, Associate Director from Seymour Harris Architecture, commented on the specification.

“The design aimed to provide an attractive and robust building that helps to define the aspirations of the school through some striking sculptural features and a meaningful approach to building efficiency,” he said.

“In order to create the architectural vision for the building, we chose the Kingspan System as it allowed creative flexibility as we designed and detailed the envelope, whilst maintaining the high levels of insulation required for the project.”

Kingspan OPTIM-R vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) have a microporous core which is evacuated, encased and sealed in a thin, gas-tight envelope. This design provides optimum thermal performance.

Adrian Speller, Sustainability Director from Speller Metcalfe, added: “We were aware that constructing a new building on the site was going to be a challenge, with numerous constraints including restricted access and the need to maintain the operational integrity of the school.

“The Kingspan OPTIM-R panels were delivered to site ready to use and were easy to handle, making it easy to plan in the installation.”

Kingspan’s specialist technical team helped to streamline the installation by providing detailed system layouts and instructions for the project.

The Kingspan OPTIM-R vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) require no cutting, which meant it was quick to install behind the cladding.

The Kingspan OPTIM-R Flex strips were also included with the system, which were delivered in the same thickness as the VIPs, to fill in any gaps around the fixings and brackets.

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