Gaia Architects

Healthy buildings for healthy pursuits

Dynamic Insulation

Client: sportscotland, Sport England, DETR

Gaia Research undertook a review of dynamic insulation and conducted a monitoring programme to investigate the performance of dynamic insulation in dry-side and wet-side environments and appraise and optimise the performance of the building.

McLaren was the first major building in the UK to use dynamic insulation, and the first in the world to use the technique in a swimming pool. It formed part of a sportscotland initiative to develop "healthy buildings, for healthy pursuits". The 20m swimming pool, squash courts, bowls hall and sports hall each has air introduced from pressurised ceiling voids through a dynamic insulation layer.


Dynamic insulation is an approach to ventilating buildings that emerged from an interest in developing the fabric of buildings rather than mechanical systems. Air is drawn into a building through its insulation. Heat usually lost by conduction to outside is exchanged with air drawn through the insulation, which acts as a counter-flow heat exchanger. Initial work under the title pore-ventilation was undertaken for Sportscotland and produced as two reports.


A full report assesses the environmental performance of the dynamic installation and other system elements over the two-year period. It has been summarised as a guidance note that covers the theory of dynamic insulation, information on its practical application from its origins to current designs, the scope of the monitoring, principal conclusions and a bibliography of useful reading material.


Gaia have gone on use the technique in low allergy houses and to advise other practices on the use of the technique.


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