Airflow Distribution Company Case Study BALTIC Gateshead

Case Study: BALTIC, Gateshead

Location: Gateshead, UK

Building Use: Hotels & Leisure

Project Type: New Build

BALTIC is a major new contemporary arts centre situated on the South Bank of the River Tyne, at the heart of the regeneration area of Gateshead Quays. The £46m project has transformed a huge disused grain warehouse into one of the biggest contemporary arts spaces in Europe. Funded principally by way of a National Lottery grant from the Arts Council of England to Gateshead Council, BALTIC sits alongside other projects of international significance, which together will create a new cultural complex in Gateshead.

The Main Building of the arts complex is 46m high, has a total floor area of 8537 square metres and will accommodate up to 1600 visitors at any one time. The specifiers of the air conditioning and ventilation system were strongly influenced by environmental considerations and required high efficiency ducting to deliver a performance appropriate to a building of such significance.

Of particular importance to the success of the installation was the need to restrict the weight of the ducting and so avoid the need for any additional reinforcing steelwork. Working space was also extremely limited. Kingspan’s Koolduct pre-insulated ducting system met all of the criteria and was installed throughout the building.

The exceptional strength to weight ratio of the system also meant that the ducting required no additional strengthening to be added to the structure. At around 15% of the weight of sheet metal ducting, the system was easy to handle and install and, because no lagging is required, it was fitted in a single fast-track operation. This made the 4000 sq.m. Koolduct installation much easier to programme into the building schedule.

Laurence Ashton, of Balfour Kilpatrick, principal M&E services contractor found the system very appropriate and was impressed by the “light construction and ease of installation, with quality to match”.

The installers were Ductform Ventilation of Glenrothes who have previously partnered Kingspan on major Koolduct projects such as Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. Ductform’s Alistair Patterson was particularly impressed by the product’s ability to deliver strength without weight: “With Koolduct weighing in at just 1.4 kilos per square metre, as against 10 kilos per square metre for insulated galvanised metal, we couldn’t help being impressed by the strength of the product, as well as by the ease of handling and installation”.