Heating, cooling and plumbing specialist Uponor has designed and installed its TABS (Thermally Active Building System) at Kingston University London’s showpiece Town House development.
Constructed on the Penrhyn Road campus in Kingston-upon-Thames by Willmott Dixon, the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ project has been designed by Grafton architects. Offering a variety of facilities, including an LRC (learning resources centre), dance studios and flexible teaching spaces alongside a covered courtyard, cafes and attractive new landscaping, the development will contribute to the university’s aim of reducing carbon emissions by 35% by 2020.
Uponor’s TABS will help to deliver this carbon reduction strategy by providing a highly efficient, fit-and-forget cooling solution. Using air source heat pumps and solar panels as its main energy source, the Uponor TABS will heat and cool the building using water that will flow through pipework embedded in the structure, utilising the thermal mass of the semi precast concrete building to store and exchange thermal energy.
The innovative building has been designed with a very open aspect and a minimalist aesthetic characterised by fair-faced concrete, glass and wood. As the TABS pipework is embedded in the structure to provide heating and cooling the clean lines and open spaces of the design are not compromised by wall mounted units or voids.
The building is due to be opened in time for the 2019/20 academic year but early engagement was critical to the success of the TABS element of the scheme and Uponor first became involved with the 15000m2, five storey project around two years before construction began.
Uponor’s head of special projects, James Griffiths, explains, “Kingston University’s estates team prioritised early engagement to ensure innovative approaches to reducing energy consumption could be used, while complementing Grafton Architects’ fair-faced concrete, open plan design. Consequently we were able to advise on a highly efficient, fit-and-forget cooling solution that has been embedded within the concrete structure as part of the build process.”