Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre (GRAC) is a world-class health and fitness facility providing facilities for competitive swimming and training, leisure, and community use and major events.
Kingspan Insulated Panels is fast becoming the façade system of choice for aquatic and leisure centres, with the Gippsland Aquatic Centre in regional Victoria the latest project to benefit from the thermal, acoustic and fire performance of Kingspan panels.
Opened in March 2021, the $57 million facility was a key project in the Victorian Government’s Latrobe Valley Sports and Community Initiative. Recreational and competitive swimmers, as well as the general community, can enjoy an eight-lane, 50-metre indoor pool with seating for 500 spectators, an indoor water play zone, a large aqua tower with two large water slides, a learn-to-swim pool, a cafe and retail precinct and a 25-metre heated outdoor pool.
Designed by Peddle Thorp Architects and built by ADCO Constructions, the centre also features a warm water therapy pool, spa, sauna and steam rooms, wellness centre and gym with group fitness rooms.
When it came to façade material considerations, the project required products that would meet the building’s R value requirements as well as the long-term material performance and thermal management requirements for aquatic centre environments.
Glen Blamey, senior design manager, ADCO Constructions, commented that the Kingspan system is a cladding solution they like using, particularly for aquatic centres. “Building with Kingspan is quick and removes the need for internal linings on the panels due to the airtight seal. Buildings now need to have an air permeability rating and using Kingspan on the walls and roof enabled this to be achieved.
“During the specification phase Peddle Thorp Architects compared a number of different cladding products to determine the best solution. The criteria they reviewed included thermal value, costs, panel thickness, warranty and combustibility. Through a fire engineered solution, Kingspan met the brief and was used for the entire building envelope, in combination with glass and skylights."
“Kingspan’s manufacturing process is quick, the products are simple and safe to install, and the service is good,” stated Blamey.
For the fire engineered solution, Kingspan 140mm Architectural Wall Panel was specified due to it achieving AS5113 EW certification. Additionally, a section of these panels were curved to match the architects intended design. "The versatility of Architectural Wall Panels both in product benefits and design is what attracts most architects to our panels," said Robert Johnson, Kingspan State Manager VIC/SA.
The roof installer on the project, Glen D’Olivera from Close Commercial Services, commented that Kingspan was the only manufacturer that could offer the necessary fire ratings for a PIR core. “Using PIR as opposed to mineral wool on the walls delivered major savings in panel costs."
Kingspan Insulated Panels was also able to deliver the panels in a custom colour that was included in the design at the gable ends of the pool.
The Kingspan products used throughout the project included KS1000RW in Shale grey with Aquasafe liner, KS1000MM AWP with Aquasafe liner KI Blue and KS1000MM AWP with Aquasafe liner Cosmic.
“The end result is a very attractive building,” commented D’Olivera.