Tag Archives: Prefabrication

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

Fast construction with prefabricated wood elements

Kerto® LVL roof panels

Using wood elements allows faster building turnaround. This leads to more profitable construction projects and shorter investment payback times. The pace of construction is kept at the desired level, because prefabrication reduces some of the most common risks at construction sites.

Faster construction with wood elements

Utilizing prefabricated wood elements is a surprisingly fast option for on-site construction. For example, up to 1500 m2 of Kerto® LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) roof panels can be assembled within a single working day.

Kerto® LVL roof panels

“An example of rapid building is in the construction of the headquarters of the Diesel-Benelux Company in Amsterdam. An extremely tight building schedule of only nine months resulted in choosing Kerto LVL roof panels – under which the rest of the construction work could be finished in time,” project subcontractor in charge of the wood construction, Lambert van den Bosch from Heko Spanten, mentions.

Mr. Lambert van den Bosch (MD) from Heko Spanten
Mr. Lambert van den Bosch

Clever on-site weather protection with no additional costs

One of the most important construction phases is to get the on-site protection done quickly to eliminate weather-related risks. Today, the alternatives for on-site weather protection include applying fast construction methods, such as prefabrication or building under a tent.

Prefabricated wood elements shield the building site beneath, providing protection that’s superior to temporary options – especially when it comes to snow loads and heavy winds.

Quick protection for construction site with Kerto® LVL

“For example, erecting Kerto LVL roof elements used at the logistic centre of DB Schenker, Finland provided a roof over the entire building in just 15 days. This is the same amount of time that erecting a temporary tent would have required. Using prefabricated roof panels ensured that the rest of the work could be completed in a protected environment and without additional costs for temporary protection,” says Matti Kuittinen, architect and researcher from Aalto University.

Architect Matti Kuittinen
Architect Matti Kuittinen

Minimizing the risk of accidents

When the construction work takes place in controlled indoor conditions at the prefabrication plant, there is less risk of accidents and consequent delays at the building site. This is because some of the dangerous on-site phases are no longer needed.

Kerto-Ripa roof elements for the Karisma shopping centre
Kerto-Ripa roof elements for the Karisma shopping centre

“Assembling ready-made wood elements can replace the potentially more dangerous process of having to build a roof from beams, panels and bitumen at the heights of an unfinished building. On-site accidents are of course not frequent, but every single one of them should be avoided,” van den Bosch concludes.

Prefabrication “pays off” at the construction site

Wooden multi-storey building in Viikki
Wooden multi-storey building in Viikki

According to construction professionals interviewed by McGraw-Hill Construction, nearly 70% of projects that used prefabricated elements had shorter schedules and 65% had decreased budgets1. In addition to faster building projects leading to faster revenue, there is also other benefits that become apparent at the construction site.

Prefabrication pays off at the construction site

“Utilizing prefabricated wood elements can help in significantly reducing other inconveniences such as unloading building materials in the neighbourhood, as well as the amount of on-site waste and the need to transport it,” Kuittinen adds.

Quick facts

·     Prefabrication pays off: 70% of projects had shorter schedules and 65% decreased budgets.

·     Up to 1500 m2 of Kerto® LVL roof panels can be assembled in 1 working day.

·     At the logistic centre of DB Schenker, Finland, Kerto LVL roof elements provided a roof over the building in just 15 days.

·     Kerto LVL roof panels helped the Diesel-Benelux Company to keep to their tight building schedule of 9 months.

Kerto® LVL roof panels
The Diesel-Benelux Company headquarters, Amsterdam

1 McGraw Hill Construction, “Prefabrication and Modularization – Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry,” McGraw Hill Construction, Bedford, 2011 

Learn more about how using prefabricated elements can improve the speed at the construction site: 

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