Tag Archives: offsite construction

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.


The Biggest Ever Modular Build Construction Project in the UK

EDF Energy’s Final Investment Decision on Hinkley Point C  Confirms Premier Modular’s appointment to Build the Prestigious Accommodation Project for the new Nuclear Power Station 

Modular building

Premier Modular Limited, a leading East Yorkshire based manufacturer and constructor of modular buildings, celebrating their 60th year in business, is pleased to announce that its appointment as the contractor providing a series of modular building complexes at Hinkley Point C in Somerset has been confirmed following EDF Energy’s Final Investment Decision.  The complex will deliver offices and site welfare facilities required for the construction phase of the new nuclear power station.

The 38,000 sqm of office space – the largest modular project awarded in the UK – will house all the management and technical personnel required during the construction stage of this much needed new nuclear power plant. Part of the buildings will be converted after the construction cycle to remain as high quality offices for the permanent site.

Almost 1000 steel framed modules are being constructed ‘off site’ at Premier’s state-of- the-art manufacturing facility in East Yorkshire, before being transported to the Hinkley Point C site for final assembly and fitting out – a process that will take only 16 months from manufacture to hand over.

Since Premier’s appointment as a preferred bidder for this contract back in July 2015, Premier has continued to work closely with EDF Energy to ensure that delivery of the complex can proceed as soon as the Final Investment Decision has been made.

Hinkley Point C will provide reliable, low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK demand.  During its 60 years of operation, it will avoid 9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

EDF Energy envisages an estimated 25,000 job opportunities will be created over the construction of the new power station, including up to 1,000 apprenticeships.  It is also Premier’s intention to contract work, where practical, to companies local to the Hinkley Point C site, where it is anticipated that approximately 35% of the work will be completed. 

David Harris, Divisional Director at Premier reports

This project is one of the most significant modular projects in history and will really put modular construction on the map. We foresee that this project is not only important for Premier but will also be of significant benefit to the local economies in Yorkshire and Somerset in terms of both sub-contractor and supplier opportunities required to support this major construction project.  

Premier will resource this project with the full scope of skills required to deliver the scheme to the excellent standard and quality of product that we and EDF Energy expect and we anticipate taking on a number of apprentices throughout the delivery of the scheme.


image Description: N:\IMAGE LIBRARY\ARTWORK\Social Media Icons\twitter.png @premier_modular

Description: N:\IMAGE LIBRARY\ARTWORK\Social Media Icons\linkedinicon.png Linkedin.com/company/premier-modular

Collaboration and Integration the Key to Success

By-line Article by Steve Thompson, Managing Director of EOS Facades

Steve Thompson

Celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, EOS Facades is a leading innovator in light gauge steel construction, specialising in the design, manufacture and supply of a wide range of light gauge steel frame solutions for the SFS facades and offsite construction sectors. Managing Director Steve Thompson shares his thoughts on why a partnership approach is essential in delivering successful projects.

“We are very much into partnering – we like to get involved right from the beginning, providing advice and guidance throughout the process. Partnerships are a core part of our business and our team strive to build excellent working relationships. Our philosophy is plain and simple – ‘do what you say you are going to do’ – which ensures we meet expectations. We offer a comprehensive expert partnering service, for conceiving, designing and manufacturing light gauge steel frame solutions for the exacting requirements of construction industry.

Working in such a project-based industry can be challenging due to the interactions taking place between many unfamiliar teams for a relatively short period of time. This can complicate an already demanding environment when it comes to communication, in which technical language and mixed skillsets are so prominent. Failure to establish clear and efficient procedures and collaborative practices across the teams can be problematic. However, when executed well, it is a great incentive for main contractors to retain project teams across numerous builds. By forming strategic alliances and good working practices – seamless collaboration can be achieved across the wider construction teams.

This approach is paying off not only in delivering highly prestigious projects, such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which is part of a £27 million state-of-the-art genome-sequencing hub for Genomics England and the David Attenborough Building at Cambridge University but also other projects that are smaller in scale where time restrictions are a factor and a critical path can be identified.

Lincoln Gateway_Metclad Ltd

Our ambition to become the leading player in light gauge steel frame technology has recently been accelerated following the announcement that our company has been acquired by the prominent dry construction solutions company – Siniat. Siniat manufactures drywall products and systems for partitions, ceilings, wall linings and external sheathing purposes – so there is a natural synergy between our product portfolios.

Our collaboration provides an outstanding opportunity to combine EOS Facades’ technical expertise and specialist knowledge with those of Siniat to create innovative new ‘through wall’ solutions for specifiers, designers, engineers and installers.

EOS team

It is clear that there is an imperative to improve industry performance, with increasing requirements to design and construct in a more detailed manner and at a rapid pace – these processes are reliant upon effective communication. Construction professionals must work together to steer the industry towards a more collaborative culture and through adopting a partnership approach, it can be mutually beneficial to all those involved.”

EOS Facades have worked on projects across all construction sectors, including education, healthcare, leisure, commercial and residential. Their portfolio of successfully completed projects and track record stretches back 10 years, so clients will benefit from a wealth of experience and expertise.

The EOS Facades product range includes:

  • Facade (Panels) – an innovative panel system which is fully engineered and assembled offsite in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The fully engineered framed solution is designed to accommodate the fixing of any type of facade panelling or curtain walling system.
  • Facade (Stud & Track) – bespoke system, custom-manufactured to exacting requirements to meet our client’s needs. Suitable for all types of infill panels into primary framed hot rolled Steel and In-situ concrete framed buildings.
  • Flooring System – flooring systems range from lattice beam solutions to fully panellised flooring systems. Suitable for all types of load bearing floors from intermediate separating floors to bespoke mezzanine flooring solutions.
  • Roofing System – extensive roofing range from truss and flat-to-pitch roofing systems to providing ground-breaking ‘room-in-the-roof’ solutions.
  • High Bay Walling – Can be used internally to provide single span stud walls up to 10m in a variety of sizes up to 250mm deep stud and track capability in gauges from 1.2 to 2mm thick allowing us to tailor sections to meet exact project requirements. 

  • Continuous Walling – used predominantly to maximise the internal floor area or in instances where cladding cannot incorporate horizontal deflection joints at each floor level.


Celebrate the best in precision building design and delivery at the Offsite Awards

The Reward for Well Done Work is the Opportunity To Do More!
Celebrate the best in precision building design and delivery at the Offsite Awards
There are so many ‘glittering’ reasons for entering awards but having a good night out is not top of the list when it comes to business imperatives! With the deadline looming for the Offsite Awards on the 31 July 2016 – here are just five reasons why entering these awards is a sound business decision:
  • Taking centre stage at such a high profile event showcases your outstanding projects, innovative products or dynamic people at a national level – maximising industry exposure and creating new business opportunities.
  • Winning awards is great PR – it is the highest form of endorsement from an independent, knowledgeable and well respected peer group. Ultimately awards help shape perceptions and publically position your business as an industry innovator.
  • Reaching the finals increases credibility and through strategic selection of categories, awards can draw attention to areas of the business in which you excel.

  • Awards can open the doors to new clients, finding new supply chains and entering new markets. They are an ideal networking opportunity and by being involved, can act as a springboard to forming new business relationships.
  • Winning such an award can have a hugely positive impact on staff morale and productivity – award success is testament to good work and innovation. A big ‘pat on the back’ for all those involved and the potential to attract new talent to your business!
The Offsite Awards are now considered one of the highlights of the offsite construction calendar, where national business leaders and distinguished figures from the construction sector assemble to honour the industry’s finest.
If you have an outstanding project, innovative product and/ or dynamic people promoting excellence in offsite construction across the UK, then enter the Offsite Awards by 31 July 2016 to receive the recognition you deserve!
Or if you are interested in sponsoring this prestigious event please contact Julie Richards on: 01743 290001 or julie.richards@radar-communications.co.uk

Explore Offsite Housing Huge Success


Explore Offsite in the Housing Sector was declared a huge success by over 400 construction clients, architects, engineers and contractors who attended the event. The professionals gathered to share their views on how offsite construction technology could play a vital role in the delivery of new houses and in combatting the current housing crisis.

Calum Murray from CCG-Scotland Ltd said: “Innovation and change are our focus.” And emphasised that the sector needs to modernise its methods, stating: “Offsite can make the difference and is part of the package of solutions when approaching the housing crisis and the skills shortage.”

Tony Woods Offsite Construction Specialist, LHC and Stephen Wightman Managing Director, Caledonian Modular discussed the methods behind offsite and how best to approach the skills shortage. Woods considered the 2004 Barker Report, which analysed the number of houses required to manage the increasing population. “If the government wants to achieve its targets it needs to look at other methods because the skills shortages are just going to carry on,” said Woods.

The issues discussed varied from the advantages of building with modular construction to the benefits of building without wet trades. Pickard advocated for offsite as a more efficient method, arguing that prefabricated building can produce good design and reduces the amount of wet trade and scaffolding involved in the process.

Tom Ground CEO, Legal and General said Explore Offsite in Housing was: “An enjoyable event with interesting discussions.” Whilst James Pickard Director, Cartwright Pickard commented: “It’s a great turnout with some really interesting questions from the audience.”

The conference left delegates interested to find out more, with many saying that they will be sure to attend the other Explore Offsite events later in the year. Two documentary film makers from the BBC also attended the event and said: “Thanks to all on the Explore Offsite team for letting us attend. It was brilliant for us and we also managed to have a very constructive meeting alongside the conference on the Thursday afternoon. Highest praise to all for organising such an excellent event.”

This was the first in a two part series of Explore Offsite events which are scheduled to be held across the UK this year – tickets are just £125 to include refreshments and lunch.

For more information visit: www.exploreoffsite.co.uk

Book early to avoid disappointment: www.exploreoffsite.co.uk/book

Explore Offsite 2016 are a two-part series of two-day conferences and exhibitions, presented by Radar Communications, providing platforms for construction clients and their professional advisers to explore the latest offsite construction solutions, providing a dynamic interactive learning experience and networking opportunities.

Other Explore Offsite events this year are:

Explore Offsite General – Birmingham, 24 November 2016

Full list at Explore Offsite in the Housing Sector:

Tom Bloxham MBE – Chairman, Urban Splash

Rory Bergin – Partner: Sustainable Futures, HTA Design LLP

Oliver Novakovic – Technical and Innovation Director, Barratt Developments

Alex Goodfellow – Managing Director, Stewart Milne Timber Systems

Andy von Bradsky – Chair, Housing Forum & PRP Architects

Stephen Wightman – Managing Director, Caledonian Modular

Calum Murray – Director, CCG (Scotland)

Jerry Harkness – Regional Development Director, Circle Housing

Jeremy Kape – Director of Property Investment, Affinity Sutton

Jeff Maxted – Director of Technical Consultancy, BLP Insurance

Peter Andrew – Deputy Chairman, HBF

Tom Ground – CEO, Legal & General Homes

James Pickard – Director, Cartwright Pickard

Ian Heptonstall – Director, Offsite Management School

Stuart Carr -Director, Chapman Taylor Architects

Andrew Orgorzalek – Partner, PCKO Architects

Richard Jones – Partner, Arcadis LLP & Deputy Chair, Housing Forum

Simon Tanner – Y:Cube Development Consultant – YMCA

Greg Cooper – Pre Construction Manager, B & K Structures

Jay Shaw MBE – Head of Business Development, Snoozebox

Steve Reid – Chief Technical Officer, Enviga Geothermal

Day 1 at Explore Offsite- Who Will You Meet?


Explore Offsite in the Housing sector 2016 is fast approaching. Limited spaces are still available for Day 1! With the housing crisis a hot topic in construction and in the wake of the Chancellor’s spring budget announcements, is this an event you can afford to miss? Offsite is an innovative and emerging construction method and many industry specialists are convinced it is a key solution to the current housing and skills shortages.

Explore Offsite is taking place on 23 & 24 March 2016 at the NEC in Birmingham, and is not an event you want to miss

Who will you meet? Here is a sample of 100 companies that will be in attendance:

3Dreid, Affinity Sutton, Alumasc AVS, Arcadis LLP, Architekton, Ashantidutch Property Letting, Astudio, B & K Structures, Barratt Developments, Bicester Delivery Team, Birmingham City Council, Black Country Housing Group, BLP Insurance, British Gypsum, Bromford Group, BSA, Caledonian Modular, Calfordseaden, Carey Group, CCG (Scotland), Cestrian Properties, Circle Housing, Cogent Consulting, Conisbee, Crendon Timber Engineering, David Lock Associates, Donaldson Timber Engineering, Dudley College, Efficiency East Midlands, Egger UK, Elliott Group, Engine of the North, Enviga Geothermal, EOS Facades, Eurocell, Evolusion Innovation International, Graham Frecknall Architecture and Design, Hexpodular, HLM, Homes for Haringey, Homes for Scotland, HTA Design LLP, ITW Construction Products, J&P Building Systems , James Jones & Sons , Jemm International, Jewson, JLL, Keepmoat, LABC, Larkfleet Group, LHC, Lowfield Timber, Metsa Wood UK, Modcell, Monk Estates, N eat UK, Newton Steel Framing, Norbord Europe , Offsite Solutions, Ove Arup & Partners, Palady Homes, Parkhead Housing Association, PCKO Architects, Per Aarsleff UK, Phase Energy, PHIUS, Polarwall, PRP Architects, RCM, Recticel Insulation, Robointeriors, Scotts of Thrapston, Senior Architectural Systems, Sidey, SIG360, Simco External Framing Solutions, Siniat, SIPCO, Stewart Milne Timber Systems, Structural Timber Association, Sustainable Britain, Swan Housing Association, Swithland Estates, Tarmac Trading, Tenmat, Thakeham Client, The McAvoy Group, The Opus Partnership LLP, Tremco-illbruck, Ultraframe UK, Urban Splash, Visu Verum Wimbledon, Voestalpine Metsec, W Howard, WestonWilliamson+Partners, Westworks, White Horse Surveyors, Willerby Special Projects, WM Housing Group, Woodsford Tradebridge


Book your place at the biggest offsite housing event of the year and ensure you’re up to speed on the latest offsite technologies and advantages. This is a prime opportunity to network and procure new business, as well as investigate an emerging and economically exciting construction method. Offsite could be the future of your business- Don’t Miss Out!


ONE WEEK LEFT Until the Biggest Offsite Housing Conference of 2016!

There’s only one week left to secure your place on the biggest offsite housing conference of 2016.

Explore Offsite is taking place on 23 & 24 March 2016 at the NEC in Birmingham, and is not an event you want to miss.

Speakers include:

Tom Bloxham MBE– Chairman of Urban Splash
Tom Ground– CEO of Legal & General Homes
James Pickard – Director of Cartwright Pickard
Oliver Novakovic– Technical and Innovation Director of Barratt Developments
…& more!

These highly respected industry leaders will present their reasons for thinking offsite construction could be the key to tackling the housing crisis and also why it might be vital in addressing the skills shortage.

Explore Offsite offers all attendees an invaluable opportunity to network with and hear from the most innovative and engaging figureheads of this very exciting emerging method of construction. Offsite building is an increasingly popular and economically viable approach to large scale construction- providing safe, speedy, secure and money saving options for those seeking to build houses without the risk and hold up on onsite construction.

Be sure to book your place at: http://www.exploreoffsite.co.uk/book