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Holistic approach required for energy efficient, healthy and moisture free modular buildings

For modular buildings to be energy efficient, healthy and moisture-free what is required is a holistic approach that manages the balance of Heat, Air, Moisture Movement (HAMM), considering an integrated approach to airtightness, insulation and condensation control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airtightness is crucial to energy efficient modular building design

An integral part of modern building design is influenced by energy efficiency. As thermal insulation requirements have increased, the proportion of energy lost through air leakage has become more evident. The ever-increasing thermal insulation required will be rendered largely ineffective unless the airtightness of the structure itself is addressed. Air leakage greatly reduces the effect of thermal insulation; therefore, if energy efficiency is to be improved within modular buildings, this is the most critical area to focus on.

 

A simple self-adhesive external air barrier system

Architects and contractors are increasingly turning to air barrier membranes as the most effective means of controlling and reducing air leaks. The two main ways to achieve airtightness in the building envelope are internally or externally or, in other terms, inside of the services zone or outside of the services zone.

 

Traditional use of internal air barriers can be more complex and costly to install, needing to accommodate building services such as electrical, lighting, heating and drainage systems. An internal air barrier is only as good as its installation. If all the service penetrations are not adequately sealed, performance will be compromised.

 

By moving the air barrier to the external side of the structural frame, external air barrier systems, such as Wraptite® from A Proctor Group, allow for an almost penetration-free airtight layer, which can be installed faster and more robustly.

 

Wraptite is a patented external air barrier membrane system that offers manufacturers and designers of modular and offsite buildings the ability to reliably and comfortably exceed current airtightness requirements. Wraptite is the only self-adhering vapour permeable air barrier certified by the BBA and combines the important properties of vapour permeability and airtightness in one self-adhering membrane. This approach saves on both the labour and material costs associated with achieving the demands of energy efficiency in buildings.

 

Complies with use on buildings of high-rise and over 18m under Part B amendments made in November 2018, Membranes need to be Class B,s3,d0 or better, with Wraptite at Class B,s1,d0*.

 

Please see website www.proctorgroup.com for further information.

 

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Lord Bourne: We need to urgently build quality homes that people are proud to live in

We have an urgent responsibility to ensure the next generation has the opportunity to meet their aspirations. That means continuing to build more, to build better, and to build faster, says Lord Bourne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing is more fundamental to the aspirations of us all than having a decent, affordable, secure home, says Lord Bourne. Credit: PA Images

 

This Government’s ambition is to build a Britain fit for the future. A Britain in which everyone working hard, no matter where they are across the country, is able to realise their aspirations.

 

Today in Parliament I will introduce a debate on home building, where I will say that nothing is more fundamental to the aspirations of us all than having a decent, affordable, secure home.

 

This Government’s ambition is to build a Britain fit for the future. A Britain in which everyone working hard, no matter where they are across the country, is able to realise their aspirations.

 

Today in Parliament I will introduce a debate on home building, where I will say that nothing is more fundamental to the aspirations of us all than having a decent, affordable, secure home.

 

For decades, Governments of all stripes have built too few homes. This means the typical home in England is now around eight times average earnings, leaving some families and young people feeling that their chance to build a better life is slipping out of reach.

 

We are determined to turn this around, setting ourselves a challenge as a Government to deliver more, better and faster home construction.

 

Firstly, we need more homes if the next generation is to realise the dream of home ownership.

 

We’re making meaningful progress, with the latest figures showing us delivering 222,000 new homes in 2017-18 – more than in all but one of the last 31 years. This is making a real difference, contributing to the number of first-time buyers last year rising to more than 370,000 – this is a twelve-year annual high.

 

But we are determined to go further, and have set ourselves the big, bold ambition of delivering 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.

 

This is a major ambition backed by serious support, including committing £44 billion of funding and guarantees over five years to support more homes, reforming the planning system to free up more land and opportunities to build, and paving the way for a new generation of council housing by removing the cap on how much councils can borrow to build.

 

Secondly, we need not only more homes, but better homes.

 

We are bringing forward legislation to require developers to belong to a New Homes Ombudsman, which will protect homebuyers and champion quality of build, and we will also look to accelerate its development by exploring the option to introduce it in shadow form before its formal launch. We have also strengthened the importance of design quality in our national planning policy framework, ensuring new homes are rooted in what their communities want and need.

 

Finally, we will meet the urgent need for housing by building faster and reducing planning delays.

 

We’ll be publishing an Accelerated Planning green paper later this year, looking at how best to speed up the planning process from beginning to end.

 

But underpinning all three is a focus on harnessing innovations that hold the promise of transforming the construction sector.

 

This includes backing more diverse builders and cutting-edge construction methods through our £4.5 billion Home Building Fund, investing £170 million from the Construction Sector Deal to spread innovations such new digital technologies and production systems across the sector, and launching the Accelerated Construction Programme to identify surplus public sector land to deliver innovative housing projects at pace.

 

And, earlier this year, we announced an agreed definition and categorisation for all Modern Methods of Construction. A unified quality assurance scheme, assessing these technologies, will soon be launched – an important step in ensuring that quality remains at the forefront.

 

Taken together, this builds the foundation for the homes we need – quality homes that people are proud to live in, delivered quickly.

 

We have an urgent responsibility to ensure the next generation has the opportunity to meet their aspirations. That means continuing to build more, to build better, and to build faster.

 

 Lord Bourne is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Faith and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales

 

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Inside the Grand Designs' flat-pack home built from plywood boxes

Take a look inside the incredible plywood ‘flatpack’ home built by youngest couple to ever take part in the show. The custom-made plywood home was the first of its kind to be built on such a grand scale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The latest episode of Grand Designs: The Street brought up more questions than answers for some viewers as eagle-eyed fans were left wondering if the stress of the build had taken its toll on one young couple.

The six-part series follows 10 households as they attempt to build a new street from scratch and is thought to be the UK's largest self-build project.

Five years in the making, the experiment is set on a stretch of land close to Bicester and just 14 miles from Oxford.

The fourth episode focused on couple Chris and Roxie who were just 24 when they first began their epic build and one of the youngest ever Grand Designs couples to take part in the show.

 

THE 'BOX HOUSE' BUILD

Priced out of the housing market where they previously lived, the couple had a budget of £220,000 to spend on a ‘flatpack’ home made from plywood and designed to be built on-site, with Chris project managing the construction.

During the episode, Chris and Roxie, who’d been together for nine years, were seen to be struggling with the intense project, which they'd spent more than they intended on. The experimental project ended up a hefty £80,000 over budget.

But after last the most recent episode, which followed the tumultuous project's progress, viewers weren't sure if Chris and Roxie were still together.

At the point of reveal, Chris appeared on the programme by himself, while announcing that Roxie was at work. However, some viewers were quick to point out their doubts, taking to Twitter to question if the couple had made it through the stressful build.

During filming for the show, Chris said, "Working full-time and trying to do a house build is a nightmare. It's made me feel like I've been a bit of failure at times."

"I found it hard. I don't know if it's because we're quite young doing it. Things haven't been going to plan," adds Roxie.

Despite widespread concern across social media, it has been confirmed that Chris and Roxie are still together following the stressful build.

 

A CUSTOM-MADE CHALLENGE: HOW THE BOX HOUSE WAS BUILT

Chris and Roxie worked with architectural practice Studio Bark, who created a cost-effective system called U-Build, the first time the system had been used on such an ambitious scale.

Cut into co-ordinating shapes, U-Build is made from plywood boxes which were custom made for the project and designed for minimal wastage.

The flatpack system is designed to slot into place and is then fixed with screws. Designed for home builders with little experience, it is simple to put together using basic tools.

The U-Build shell also includes insulation, membrane and cladding in natural materials.

 

The couple also chose to make eco-friendly choices where possible, though this was not always possible on their tight budget.

A green roof harvests rainwater and is fitted with solar panels, while the timber cladding was made with wood from local woodlands and insulated with sheep wool.

They also saved money along the way by hiring architectural students who camped out nearby in order to help on the ambitious project and everything was assembled and bolted by hand.

 

THE BIG REVEAL

The interior makes the most of the exposed plywood to create a Scandi-style living space which is minimal too.

The two-bedroom, two-bathroom property also features a large double-height gallery space which can be transformed into extra rooms if needed.

"The whole point of the house is to not constrain you to a certain use in certain areas. It delivers in that," Chris explains to Kevin McCloud as he shows him around the newly finished home.

The experimental scheme will eventually be home to social housing, custom-builds and self-builds to create a whole community from what was once a field.

Over the next ten years, 1900 houses will be built on the site, with housing options for all budgets and skill levels.

 

Eager homeowners who want to put their own stamp on a property at Graven Hill can self-build their own home from scratch like Chris and Roxie, while those wanting a new home without having to get involved in the construction process can customise one of the new-build houses available in the scheme.

The ambitious project also includes open-plan apartments in the village centre, within walking distance of Bicester train station, plus 32 shared-ownership homes as part of the first wave of affordable housing in the area.

 

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