Mawson Lakes School is a primary school in South Australia with just over 700 students.

The school consists of an Early Years campus (birth to 8 years), a Primary campus (8 to 12 years) and the Mawson Centre, a community facility housing the school’s shared community library, a presentation theatre, and modern teaching facilities.

The school’s recent facility upgrade features a new permanent modular building, providing teaching space with associated ancillary areas, including teacher preparation, withdrawal spaces, and toilet facilities. The surroundings are fully landscaped, with several existing classrooms also refurbished by Phillips/Pilkington Architects SA into modern teaching spaces. 

The project was designed in modular form to replace the existing transportable classrooms located in the same area. Due to considerable advances in transportable technology since the original transportables were installed, the new modular buildings have a more ‘permanent’ feel than the ones they replace – more akin to a high-quality permanent classroom than a traditional portable. 

The Mawson Lakes School expansion forms the backbone of a crucial $6.32m upgrade, which also includes demolition of obsolete buildings and installation of state-of-the-art internet (via SWiFT technology). The buildings were opened at the beginning of Term 1, 2023.

Mawson Lakes School

The new facilities provide a perfect example of how Kingspan Insulation products routinely meets expectations across every application. 

The project utilises Kingspan Kooltherm K12 framing board (floor) and Kingspan AIR-CELL Permishield XV 70 (walls), both known for their light weight, speed of installation, durability, and water resistance. The complex process of creating an enjoyable, flexible, comfortable, and effective series of teaching and learning spaces was further aided by the thermal performance achieved. 

Wei Hsu at Phillips/Pilkington Architects explains how Kingspan Insulation was the perfect choice for this project. "We were briefed to provide seven additional classrooms featuring more flexible, versatile, and modern learning spaces. Throughout the collaboration, we aimed to understand and respond to the school’s specific needs in detail,” she notes.

With these considerations in mind, Phillips/Pilkington have succeeded in creating a genuinely unique learning environment. “One key strength of our design for Mawson Lakes School is that it offers more meaningful interactions between separate spaces,” Wei says. “For example, all classrooms have sliding doors opening out to the breakout room and adjacent general learning areas, designed to also maximise natural daylight.” 

Durability was a decisive factor in selecting each material, with Kingspan Insulation’s water-resistant AIR-CELL Permishield XV 70 wall insulation being an easy choice. AIR-CELL Permishield XV 70 is manufactured with a patented closed-cell structure, sandwiched between reflective foil surfaces and pierced with evenly spaced breather holes.

Mawson Lakes School

The building’s modular design makes the most of AIR-CELL Permishield XV 70’s space advantages over conventional batt-type insulation. 

"We used the product across the building’s entire exterior," Wei notes. "This provided a good vapour membrane and thermal break between the tophats and the light-gauge steel of the building’s frame, while enabling full compliance with the Building Code." With no large wall cavity required, the product is also faster to install than conventional batts.

"AIR-CELL Permishield XV 70 provides a vapour membrane and thermal break on all wall areas, while Kooltherm K12 framing board improves the thermal resistance," Wei notes.

"Achieving the required R-values depended on extremely accurate calculations," Wei confirms. "Sarah Constructions were assisted by the Kingspan Insulation technical support team to calculate these."

"The thermal performance of Kingspan AIR-CELL Permishield XV 70 is brilliant, with the water vapour barrier offering another excellent feature," says Adam Dasoqi, project manager with Sarah Constructions. "AIR-CELL Permishield XV 70 is a hard, fibre-free, foil-backed product, so our team loves using it. Installation was easy, fast, and clean, so they could walk off the site without itching. We also appreciated the readiness of stock availability and supply, along with Kingspan’s great customer service."

"Being a modular building, the floor had to be raised above ground. This called for an insulation product to meet the total R-values required for the climate zone. The R-value of Kooltherm K12 framing board already exceeded that required for the floor system and was a great solution for the project," Wei reveals. 

Mawson Lakes School

"The school’s rectangular floor design made Kooltherm K12 framing board extremely easy to install and fit under the building," Adam expands. 

As well as each product’s technical capacities, Adam was very impressed with Kingspan’s high level of professionalism. "We appreciated each product’s availability and short lead time," he reflects. "Everything we specified was always readily available, great to work with, and simple to install. The lack of supply chain issues made it far easier to achieve our performance requirements."

As demonstrated by this cleverly designed, and highly functional new educational facility, Kingspan Insulation has proven to be a trusted partner, providing valuable technical support, product innovation, and performance. 

Project details

Project: Mawson Lakes School

Location: Mawson Lakes, SA

Sector: Education

Architect: Phillips/Pilkington Architects

Products: Kooltherm K12 Framing Board and AIR-CELL Permishield XV 70