KoolDuct Stands the Test of Time at Fashion Academy


Truly timeless fashion design requires a blend of artistic vision and the highest quality materials. This same approach was fundamental when the Fashion Retail Academy was constructed 11 years ago. The campus combines carefully crafted spaces, tailored to the student’s needs, with a top quality specification, including the external use of The Kingspan KoolDuct System with a waterproof, VentureClad facing.

Since its first group of 50 alumni joined in 2005, the vocational Fashion Retail Academy has gone from strength to strength, enrolling 770 students in 2015 alone. The Academy has gained a reputation for producing highly driven and talented graduates, with one third of its employed leavers currently working within the top 25 UK fashion retailers. The building has even played host to an episode of The Apprentice.

To ensure resources could be focused on students, reducing long-term running costs was an important consideration for the architects. The Kingspan KoolDuct System was specified with the VentureClad facing as part of this approach.

Unlike the traditional approach to ductwork construction, which requires sections to be lagged with insulation once installed, The Kingspan KoolDuct System panels are pre-insulated with a premium performance insulation core. This single-fix, lightweight design helped to reduce installation time when the campus was originally constructed.

Ductwork fabricated from The Kingspan KoolDuct System can reduce air–leakage rates to a fraction of those typical of rectangular sheet metal ductwork. Recent research from Sweett (UK) Limited has revealed that this can lead to “whole life” HVAC savings of over 25% compared with traditional galvanised sheet metal ductwork.

During the Academy’s ten year celebration, Kingspan and VentureClad staff were able to revisit the campus. They found that, aside from a natural build-up of dirt on the horizontal sections, the ductwork was still in perfect condition with all joints and seams sealed and preventing water ingress.

The Fashion Retail Academy commented:

“We place a strong emphasis on providing state of the art facilities for our students, as can be seen with our recent multi-million pound internal refit. We are therefore very pleased to see that the Kingspan KoolDuct and VentureClad products are still performing to the high standard expected”.

The Kingspan KoolDuct System is UL Listed as a Class 1 Air Duct, to Standard for Safety UL 181 (Underwriters Laboratories: Factory Made Air Ducts & Air Connectors), when fabricated to a specification clearly defined by UL