Stonehenge visitor center benefits from insulated panel system

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English Heritage The new Stonehenge visitor center was designed to look light and blend in with the landscape. Using insulated panels allowed the architects to achieve that and still meet thermal performance goals.

Wiltshire, ENGLAND —Kingspan Group plc’s TEK Building System is being used to insulate a new Stonehenge visitor center, including two self-contained pods and a ticket booth.

Comprised of structural insulated panels with a core of polyisocyanurate, the system is part of a structure designed to appear light and blend in with the landscape.

The government is spending 27 million pounds ($42.2 million) to upgrade the Neolithic stone circle, including the visitor center and re-routing a highway that used to pass close by the site.

Using the insulated TEK system allowed for minimum wall thickness, while still hitting thermal performance goals, said Angela Dapper, project associate for architect group Denton Corner Marshall.

The new center opened in late 2013, with addition improvements brought on line during the spring. The center is more than a mile from the site, with visitors shuttled to Stonehenge on a route which the stones will “emerge slowly” over the horizon.

The center contains 250 objects from the time when Stonehenge was built, along with a 360-degree image from inside the circle.

"Instead of just a stopover or a quick photo opportunity, we want our visitors to step back in time and into the shoes of those who created and used this extraordinary place, to marvel at original everyday objects they used, to walk the surrounding landscape as they did, and to sit in the dwellings that they would have built. It makes the real encounter with the stones themselves so much more exciting,” said Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, which oversees Stonehenge.