Kooltherm K17 insulated plasterboard from Kingspan Insulation is part of the materials palette selected for a ground-breaking new social housing project by Kāinga Ora.

Located in Auckland, New Zealand, the housing project designed by Peddle Thorp Architects aims to develop a new standard of sustainable homes. According to Kāinga Ora, these new-build apartments are projected to only cost residents around $1 per day to heat – representing a cost saving of approximately 85%.

Using smart design, high-performance construction materials and a ventilation system with heat recovery, these homes are able to maintain a steady temperature and reduce moisture in the indoor environment, leading to drier and healthier homes.

Kingspan is working with Peddle Thorp, the lead architects on the project, who have specified Kingspan’s Kooltherm K17 insulated plasterboard as a key component of the building project. The K17 product was selected due to its energy efficiency, ability to minimise condensation risks by eliminating thermal bridging, and ease of use in construction.

Kooltherm K17 insulated plasterboard

Wall lined with Kingspan Kooltherm K17 insulated plasterboard lining system

With K17, the insulation layer is not ‘bridged’ by a higher thermal conductivity material; therefore:

  • K17 can be fixed directly to the wall surface in a 1-step insulation and dry-lining process
  • Only one installer is required
  • Thinner walls create larger living spaces
  • K17 also acts as a vapour control layer


Traditional wall lining system thermally bridged with framing and bulk insulation

Using a traditional wall lining system to achieve the same thermal performance level means that:

  • Installation time is increased
  • Multiple trade installers are required
  • Walls are up to 60% thicker, meaning usable living space is reduced
  • A 20mm air gap is required for vapour control

One of the key drivers of the specification is to achieve the Passive House standard, which is recognised internationally as best practice for low energy use and health performance, especially in social housing. Kooltherm K17 helps to achieve these standards through its 3-in-1 usability for insulation, dry-lining and vapour control.

“This is a really exciting project to be involved in – as it is Australasia’s first Passive House social housing project funded by central Government. This could set the standard for low energy-consuming, environmentally friendly, housing construction for years to come,” Scott Gibson, Kingspan Insulation managing director said.