Effects of climate change are visible in almost every aspect of modern-day life. With almost 40% of global emissions coming from construction1, businesses in this sector have an obligation to minimise the impact that climate change is creating through the built environment.
Planet Passionate is Kingspan's 10-year sustainability programme that aims to impact on three big global issues: climate change, circularity and protection of our natural world. As part of the programme, Kingspan continues to invest in research to design innovative products that give real solutions to developers, building owners and building occupiers to reduce emissions and cut energy costs through both operational and embodied carbon reduction.
Net-zero carbon manufacturing by 2030
As part of this, Kingspan looks at its own sustainability practices and energy efficiency. The company has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon manufacturing by 2030 through a combination of process improvements, energy efficiency and renewable energy use. Achieving this will require the decarbonisation of Kingspan’s energy sources and processes across its existing 198 manufacturing sites.
One of those sites is Kingspan’s own manufacturing facility in Kingscourt, Co Cavan, where the team has installed the new PowerPanel system.
PowerPanel is the next generation solution for pitched roof applications, combining industry leading QuadCore® insulated panels with high-efficiency monocrystalline photovoltaic (PV) technology in a single, factory-manufactured component.
Through installing the ‘Insulate + Generate’ PowerPanel solution on the roof of the Kingscourt manufacturing facility, the site can now generate 29.6% of their total energy usage through a renewable energy source.
Speed and time saved in installation process
The complete installation and switch to more than 10,000 m2 of PowerPanel came in two phases, in conjunction with a factory shutdown and took less than three weeks in total.
The speed and time saved in the installation process is a result of the single unit nature, which means a fully PV ready roof has the potential to be constructed in less time, leading to schedule improvements. In addition, the PowerPanel solution is up to 74% lighter than traditional PV systems, so no structural upgrades were required during the refurbishment.
Other benefits include the reduced consumption of gas for heating, with Kingspan finding that an estimated 39,600kWh of gas is no longer needed to heat the building as PowerPanel provides additional insulation, lowering carbon emissions further. LUX levels inside of the building have doubled as a result of natural light through Kingspan’s new DLTR roof lights, impacting electricity use.
In total, the solar PV system is capable of generating 528MWh annually, giving an annual offset from using renewable energy vs fossil fuel of 123,024 kg/Co22 per annum and assisting Kingspan to meet their Planet passionate 2030 targets.
Kingspan is continuing to develop materials that give architects, specifiers and building owners the product options that allow them to construct buildings that consume less resources and create sustainable buildings.
The PowerPanel system is the optimal solution as it will absorb energy any time the sun is present. This presents a unique advantage for commercial and industrial properties as daylight hours are also when most of the operational activity takes place – generating solar generation to power those activities.
Kingspan also offer a financial solution through ‘Rooftricity’ which can help customers with the initial capital outlay to either upgrade a standard new build roof or for refurbishments.
To learn more at https://www.kingspan.com/ie/en/products/insulated-panels/roof-panels/powerpanel-pitched/.
1) According to 2019 report by World Green Building Council; https://www.worldgbc.org/embodied-carbon
2) This is based on 0.233 kg of CO2e per kWh of electricity generated