Category Archives: Walls

H+H and SIG Offsite collaboration helps meet housing demand

Celcon Elements

In a unique collaboration, H+H UK Ltd and SIG Offsite have worked together to create the SIG I-House – an innovative housebuilding system incorporating Celcon Elements from H+H. 

The SIG I-House provides all the speed of offsite construction with the familiarity of a traditional build, from foundations to roof in just five days.

The system can encompass the inner leaves of external cavity walls, floors, lintel, cavity closers, insulation and roof trusses. With the inclusion of soffit and fascia, the system delivers the internal skin of a property, fully wrapped and ready for follow-on trades.

Created at a time when there is a demand to increase the volume of house building and when skilled workers are in short supply, the system is a one stop shop for clients – with a single contractor required to deliver the whole house shell.

The system is intended for the construction of domestic houses of up to two storey height, replacing the structure of the inner leaf of external cavity walls, separating walls and internal partitions with storey height Celcon Elements.

Installed by the SIG Offsite team, Celcon Elements are craned into place and fixed using H+H element mortar.  Timber I-Joist cassette floors are used in conjunction with the system to maintain the speed of build and roofs are either standard truss construction or the ‘Roofspace I-Roof’ – panelised roof system.  All components are raised into position by crane.

Celcon Elements are manufactured from the same intrinsic material as aircrete blocks and have the same performance advantages including excellent thermal performance with reduced heat loss at thermal bridges.

https://www.hhcelcon.co.uk

Bespoke ceiling adds unique touch to university refurbishment

The University of Birmingham is one of the UK’s leading Russell Group universities, featuring in the top 15 of the University League Tables 2017.

The leafy Edgbaston campus is undergoing a series of major building projects and Hunter Douglas, the international leader in architectural building products, played its role in the refurbishment of a lecture theatre in the Avon Room.

Hunter Douglas

Designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects, the overhaul included Hunter Douglas wall and ceiling panels in real Cherry wood veneer, plus motorised blinds for the room.

What made this scheme stand out was that the panels, which were manufactured from engineered solid wood (ESW), differed from the usual ceiling system.

Typically, these panels would come in sizes 600x600mm, 1200x600mm or 1200x300mm. However, to meet the design brief of the architect, Hunter Douglas produced six “wings”, each of which were 4x2m, made up of four 1x2m panels.

These were produced with 9mm “dummy” circular perforations, which allowed the panels to be invisibly fixed to the suspension system, says David Harris, General Manager of Hunter Douglas Architectural. “The ‘wings’ within the central ceiling are a very unusual feature and they also incorporate some linear light fittings,” he said.

Hunter Douglas

“We worked closely with the ceiling contractor, Elmsmere Engineering, as the installation of both the ceiling and wall panelling was very challenging and needed a great deal of care to ensure a perfect finish.

“The project demonstrates clearly that Hunter Douglas has the technical expertise to create tailored solutions for architects and specifiers, ensuring that every finished look is fresh and new.”

Hunter Douglas also provided 158m2 of wall panels for the front and rear of the theatre, made of the same MDF core with a real Cherry veneer.

Approximately 105m2 of the wall panels were non perforated, while the remaining 53m2 were produced with 7mm x 97mm slot pattern that helps to maximise acoustic absorption.

The panels were produced in a variety of dimensions, from 650mm x 800mm to 2240mm x 740mm, and were installed using invisible fixing clips around the perimeter of the panels. They also have a small bevel where they meet, offering a neat design detail.

Hunter Douglas also supplied 15 240v motorised blinds to the two side elevations of the lecture room. Each pewter-coloured blind is made from Star fabric, which has a 3% openness factor, and measures approximately 2.5m wide with a 2.5m drop.

https://www.hunterdouglas.com

Curved Cavity Wall Changes the Roof Pitch?

Preformed curved Cavitrays

The pitch of an abutting roof may be constant where it strikes a flat cavity wall, but if the wall is curved the actual angle of intersection changes throughout the slope. For a brief moment at the commencement of the slope the intersection may be horizontal, but as the wall turns the angle changes and those changes continue until the top of the roof slope.

Preformed curved Cavitrays by Cavity Trays of Yeovil are individually computer calculated to take into account the arc of the wall, the masonry coursing and the tray position up the slope. Each tray is numbered so the builder can literally lay by numbers – with assured interfacing and compatibility.

Cavitrays also take into account how the wall (and its flashings) will behave during storm conditions. A concave or convex wall accentuates the water-wash being blown across the curved surface. Provision must be made for weathering functionality into the direction of each flashing lap as well as with the direction of the lap.

The Cavitray lapping flashing arrangement provides a second layer of water arrestment and the flashing anchoring within a bosem jaw guards against capillary ingress.

The use of recessed pointing on any curved masonry is best avoided as it can act as a conduit along the wall surface. Flush pointing around flashings is favoured as it offers an uninterrupted consistent surface finish and promotes a solidity of masonry and tray bond. In terms of cost effectiveness, flush pointing also eliminates the need for further attention from the mason. Only the tray flashings require dressing later in the build programme.

Cavity Trays of Yeovil operates concept design and advisory services for which no charges are applied. The Company is the only cavity tray manufacturer awarded European Technical Approval.

http://www.cavitytrays.co.uk/

 

Mecanoo Architects use Trimo’s bespoke panel solution for HOME, Manchester City Centre

HOME, a £25m, multi-disciplinary art centre, was designed by Mecanoo Architects, based in the Netherlands. HOME is part of the development of the creative quarter in Manchester, and is the largest arts centre in the UK outside the capital city of London. It boasts a 500-seat theatre, five cinema screens, a gallery and studio space and a café, bar and restaurant.

sustainable wall system

Project Requirements

Project architect Ernst ter Horst designed the building’s exterior to be stunning from all aspects. Its curved, triangular shape – made possible using Trimo’s Qbiss One façade solution – captures the eye, delivering a strong focal point for the area.

From a design perspective, the façade requirement was challenging and called for innovative thinking by Trimo; a leader provider of building envelope solutions. The project required a close working relationship between Trimo and Mecanoo, to ensure the aesthetic elements and performance targets of the specification could be reached.

The façade specification called for elements such as self-spanning slab-to-slab panels, the articulation of the panel joints, with integral vertical fins, integrated glazing, and a unique stainless steel dual colour front skin.

Solution

Trimo addressed Mecanoo’s requirements with its Qbiss One façade solution. Compared to alternative products which use a ‘cut and fold’ approach, with panels needing to be sealed manually then touched up with paint, Qbiss One provides a completely prefabricated solution. Its unique rounded corner provides a superior aesthetic appearance while also preventing any potential threat of corrosion.

sustainable wall system

Unlike conventional built up wall systems, Qbiss One is self-supporting. It eliminates the need for any additional support or substructure, reducing total building time. There is no need for a brick or concrete wall or any on-site cutting or post-production modification. Developed with sustainability in mind, Qbiss One is made of environmentally friendly materials, is 98% recyclable and has a low CO2 footprint of just 44kg/m2 during the lifetime of the building; enabling HOME to meet Manchester City Council’s policy for low carbon development, sustainable procurement and operation.

Results

The completed façade solution provides a stunning and unique addition to Manchester’s city centre skyline and adds to Mecanoo architect’s growing list of award winning buildings. The configuration of the building blends public and social to create a harmonised, well balanced structure. The building’s triangular shape, combined with Qbiss One’s curved façade sets it apart from adjacent developments and provide a welcoming yet contemporary exterior.

home_1

“Thanks to the commitment and expertise of the Trimo team, we collaboratively developed an innovative evolution in the Qbiss range in marine grade stainless steel, with spectacular results.” – Ernst ter Horst

www.trimo-group.com

Early specification provides time savings with Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior

 Knauf Aquapanel

Early specification of Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior at the design stage of a 60-bed care home in Winnersh has provided both speed and cost savings for specialist care home developers Castleoak Group.

By utilising the lightweight performance of the Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior panels, compared to brick and block construction, designers were able to reduce the size and weight requirements of the foundations. 

Castleoak turned to Knauf to create an imaginative faceted façade in Winnersh near Wokingham for care operator Abbeyfield.

The Abbeyfield Winnersh care home is formed of four striking circular clusters that create a unique community to deliver innovative dementia care. Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior cement boards were used as a substitute façade system to brick and completed with a rendered finish.

Castleoak deployed lean construction techniques to optimise the build process. Work began on site in March 2015 and was completed in April 2016.

Facing cost pressure and difficulty securing brick and block supplies, Castleoak Operations Director Neil Robins and his colleagues were charged with designing a build strategy without the use of brick.

 “With inhouse timber frame design and manufacturing, Castleoak was able to offer our customer a really innovative build solution,” Neil said.

“The design was challenging, but we weren’t daunted. We knew we had to try something different.”

“Our solution was to prefabricate all panels, floors cassettes, and for the first time, apply external render panels at the Castleoak factory for this build. This strategy offered a great quality solution – and enabled us to better control the build programme with less dependency on subcontractors.”

The decision to use Knauf AQUAPANEL® was made easier due to its characteristics as a directly applied render carrier board.  The cement board combines the benefits of brick and block and, because it consists of aggregated Portland cement with coated glass fibre mesh embedded in the back and front surfaces, provides the ideal key for render.

Knauf AQUAPANEL® was introduced very early in the design stage allowing for further time saving.  Knauf’s Specification Team assisted at the design stage where the decision was made to assemble much of the external façade system offsite. Exterior panels were constructed at the Castleoak factory before being delivered to site to be installed by Sequoia Joinery.

Morgan Palmer, Operations Manager at Castleoak was satisfied with the performance of the Knauf products on the Abbeyfield Winnersh project.

“The installation of the Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior panels went to plan. The design and materials were well specified and performed. The programme remained on track.”

Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior is ideal for offsite installation. Factory fitting, transport and site installation has no adverse effect on its final performance.

Rigorously tested and certified by the BBA for use as a ventilated exterior wall panel system on timber frame and steel frame buildings, Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior provides a solid, dry base that can withstand the extreme weathering effects of wind, rain and snow.  It is also ideal for creating exterior soffits and the illusion of an internal ceiling continuing through the façade to the outside of the building.

www.knauf.co.uk

ROCKWOOL helps deliver energy efficient homes at Silken Park

STONE WOOL INSULATION

Residents of a new housing development in Dublin are enjoying increased levels of thermal comfort, and reduced heat loss after ROCKWOOL® insulation was installed on the external envelope. Showcasing the latest design features and a high standard of specification, the development will provide attractive low-energy housing for its residents.

Silken Park, a Durkan Residential housing development, features a combination of two, three and four bed houses. Every part of the development was carefully considered to reduce energy use and to make the houses comfortable and healthy to live in. The construction and the design teams were tasked with creating a cost effective building envelope that delivered efficient fabric performance and excellent overall thermal performance.

As the main contractor on this project, Ecofix Ltd adopted the ‘fabric-first’ approach to the construction to build a well-insulated and airtight building.  Key to this approach is the use of an external wall insulation system that completely wraps the houses and therefore minimises thermal bridging.

Specifically designed to meet high thermal standards, ROCKWOOL® External Wall DD Slab, ROCKWOOL’s BrickShield® and ROCKWOOL REDArt® Silicone render systems were the perfect solution for this project.

Developed in a partnership between ROCKWOOL and Ibstock, the BrickShield® system was used to provide a real brick finish on the external wall insulation. ROCKWOOL insulation boards were fixed using an adhesive around the perimeter of each piece of insulation as well as mechanically fixed with thermally-broken Insulating wall anchors.

Offering triple value, the ROCKWOOL REDArt® Silicone EWI System is renowned for its thermal performance, fire protection and provides an attractive exterior for projects. The REDArt® rendering solution has been developed to be installed on a wide range of substrates and wall construction types. This has provided Silken Park with an efficient thermal solution to minimise the resident’s heating requirements and provide high standards of thermal comfort.

“ROCKWOOL is our first choice of insulation because it is breathable and fire proof” says Jay Stuart, Technical Director, Ecofix UK and Ireland. “The particular product that ROCKWOOL provided us with to build these houses is dual density. This means it is impact resistant on the outside, and slightly softer on the inside where it is fitted against the masonry wall. This means that the slab compresses and fills all the unevenness on the masonry wall achieving a perfect fit of insulation. In addition, the technical support ROCKWOOL provided was second to none which helped in the delivery of the project on time.”

ROCKWOOL’s thermally engineered and environmentally-friendly solution has helped to provide energy efficiency and reduced heating consumption.  The building fabric has exceptionally low heat loss which is in line with design predictions and will provide the residents with increased levels of thermal comfort in a cost-effective manner.

“Durkan Residential is seeing savings of approximately 10% in the external walls themselves” said Andrew Kinnear, Commercial Director at Durkan Residential. “We are seeing a faster build, which is reducing our time on site.”

For more information and to view the Silken Park video, visit www.rockwool.co.uk or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxdZirkiBJ0 for YouTube.

Cembrit Launches Windstopper Extreme in a Blaze of Glory

Windstopper

Cembrit, the leading roofing and cladding specialist, is pleased to announce the UK launch of Windstopper Extreme – a new sheathing board that is ideal for a range of uses on UK construction projects. To coincide with the launch, Cembrit tested the board to BS EN 1634-1:2015 / BS 476:22 at the Building Research Establishment (BRE). Cembrit is delighted to report Windstopper Extreme passed the test achieving a one hour fire rating.

Cembrit Windstopper

A sheathing board such as Windstopper Extreme is typically installed behind decorative rainscreen cladding to effectively ‘seal’ the internal environment of a building. It is an excellent alternative to cement particle board and has, following the successful fire test, proven fire resistance. Simon Mayes, National Sales Manager, Cladding and Building Boards, for Cembrit is sure that the architects, specifiers and contractors will appreciate the wide range of benefits that Windstopper Extreme offers: ‘The performance and versatility of Windstopper Extreme make it a noteworthy entrant onto the UK cladding and building board scene. We were already aware of its excellent qualities as a first class sheathing board and to add the one hour fire test on top of that extends the board’s appeal and application potential.’

Building Regulations and other documentation require building structural elements to provide minimum periods of fire resistance, usually expressed in minutes, which are generally based on the occupancy and size of the building. BS EN 1634-1:2015 / BS 476:22 determines the fire resistance of non-loadbearing elements, such as sheathing boards, of a building construction when subjected to certain heating and pressure conditions. When subjected to a 60 minute fire test, Windstopper Extreme passed with flying colours.

Cembrit Windstopper Extreme acts as a windproof membrane for exterior walls that can absorb and release moisture without affecting the durability, strength or performance of the board. This very low vapour transmission resistance, enables moisture generated inside a building to pass through to the outside. Insulation can be placed directly against the inner side of the board which is also resistant toward both rot and fungal growth. The Scandinavian heritage of Windstopper Extreme also ensures it can withstand considerable fluctuations in weather and climatic conditions.

For further information visit www.cembrit.co.uk, email info@cembrit.co.uk or tel: +44 (0)20 8301 8900.