Blog 4 -Building on sustainability success with a showcase of excellence
Work is now back on track to complete our new Knauf Insulation Experience Centre in Slovenia after heavy snow, bitter blizzards and minus 10-degree temperatures temporarily froze construction earlier this month.
When complete the centre will showcase not only the best of Knauf Insulation’s solutions — such as Urbanscape and Heraklith ventilated facades — but also represent the pinnacle of sustainable building best practice.
Unsurprisingly, weather has not been the only challenge facing those working on the project.
“The process of building this centre involves a level of sustainability detail that is incredibly complex and hugely inspiring,” says Primož Bernard, who is in charge of technical support. “The standards that have been prescribed are the highest I have ever worked with and achieving them is an amazing education for everyone involved.”
“No other building in the country comes close to the standards of this centre. I think it has been a great experience because the scope has been so wide and the attention to detail has been so demanding.”
For instance, highly detailed sustainability documentation is required for every product and system at every stage; health and safety procedures have to be meticulously followed throughout the construction process; installers are required to follow levels of best practice that are far removed from their comfort zone and every tiny detail is checked, rechecked and photographed to build up a visual audit amounting to thousands of images.
It’s a high requesting process, but necessary. The aim is to certify the centre DNGB Gold, the first of its kind in the country, and the green rating standard requires continuous process audits as the building takes shape.
The centre has also been selected to contribute research to the European Commission’s new sustainable building initiative Level(s), so it is vital that every minute detail of its construction is stress-tested to stand up to any scrutiny.
The building sets such high standards that it has inevitably captured the attention of architects and specifiers throughout the region as well as the Slovenian Government which is keen to explore new sustainable building guidelines.
“It is wonderful that Knauf Insulation and this pilot building has brought together such supportive stakeholders,” says Primož. “For the first time we can showcase all our key solutions and installation best practice in one place and customers, as well as politicians and end-users can see what we can really achieve. Now the snow has cleared and spring is finally here, we can get on with the work.”
• The new two-storey 640m2 Knauf Insulation Experience next to our Škofja Loka plant in Slovenia will be the first building in the country to be certified by the DGNB green rating system. It has also been selected to contribute case history research to a ground-breaking European Commission building sustainability pilot project known as Level(s).