Marketing and distribution across Ireland of the major Pernod Ricard premium wine and spirit brands such as Malibu, Jacob's Creek, Brancott Estate and Mumm, is big business for Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard. However, the company's real heritage is in its whiskey brands, particularly Jameson Irish Whiskey, which is produced at the main distillery in Midleton, County Cork. The site has a production capacity of 33 million litres of alcohol a year, but even this is still insufficient to meet increasing international demand. As a result, €100 million is being invested in new plant to double the capacity. When complete, Midleton will be one of the most modern distilleries in the world, boasting three 75,000 litre pot stills, and three column stills.
The 21.5m high pot still hall building envelope is designed to a very high level of thermal performance and one of the design factors that had to be taken into account was the prevention of thermal bridging. There is of course a regulatory need to reduce local heat loss and CO2 emissions. But in addition, condensation can be a potential problem too, frequently resulting in structural integrity problems, and even mould growth, which brings its own set of health risks to personnel. The pot still hall has an overhanging roof element and this is insulated to the top, leading edge and underside on the north elevation and part return on the east and west elevations over a glazed wall. To prevent any risk of thermal bridging at these roof overhang connectivity points, the structural elements to the primary steel are isolated from the interior environment using Isokorb structural thermal break units from Schöck.
The Isokorb is one of the most sophisticated solutions on the market, for the prevention of thermal bridging in connective situations; and has been supplied for the project by Contech Accessories, of Tullow, County Carlow, the Schöck sales partner and sole distributor for Ireland.
It offers outstanding thermal efficiency and unrivalled application options, allowing connections to be made between concrete-to-concrete, concrete-to-steel and steel-to-steel. At Midleton, it is the Schöck type KST module for steel-to-steel applications that has been installed. The KST modules are able to withstand extremely demanding loads and incorporate stainless steel components to ensure corrosion protection and minimise thermal conductivity. The Isokorb modules dramatically reduce energy loss in connective areas by guaranteeing that there is uniformity between cantilever structures and the internal structure at the thermal envelope. They also transfer load and maintain full structural integrity, while at the same time enabling inner surface area temperatures to remain well in excess of those likely to cause mould formation and condensation. The units are easy to fit with regular end-plate connections and all available steel profiles can be bolted on.
The entire Schöck Isokorb range provides BBA Certification and LABC Registration, and comfortably exceeds the requirements of BRE IP1/06 and Part L of the UK and Irish Building Regulations. These state that the temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk (fRSI), must be greater than, or equal to, 0.50 for commercial buildings, a requirement comfortably exceeded by incorporating the Isokorb into the design.