The Building Envelope
Heritage colours and kerb-side appeal were among the factors that persuaded the planning authorities of Bath that Modus PVC-U windows from Eurocell were the appropriate alternative to timber on a prime, exposed location near the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The estate was being developed by Bloor Homes, along with another major housebuilder, on a former MoD site dating from WW2 that overlooks the Georgian city and is near to its race- and golf course.
With the changing climate, the past three years have seen an upsurge in subsidence affecting housing in the UK and this trend will continue. With 2.5 million properties, Housing Association's require a fast solution that mitigates the need for properties to remain vacant or tenants decanting. In 2018-19 the government reported 2,674 cases of solid wall repairs to their local authority stock of 1.5m homes, with 3,900 planned repairs for 2020. If only half of these cases are subsidence, at an average repair cost of £6000, that equates to a £10m+ annual subsidence repair bill. By applying the government figures to the 2.5m HA stock, annual subsidence repair costs could be anywhere between £20-30m. Furthermore, when those figures are considered over decades over £300million could be spent.
With more than 85 years’ experience, Sidey is in the top 10 of the UK’s biggest fenestration companies. With all round expertise in commercial, new build, trade and domestic windows, doors, glazing and offsite construction, Sidey works with Local Authorities & Housing Associations across the UK to provide best value solutions.
Orbit Housing’s Fordham House development in Stratford-upon-Avon is an 82 apartment block designed to shield its residents from noise, many of whom are local workers in restaurants and bars so have to work shifts outside the usual working day.
This is achieved with special acoustic ceilings added to deep hollow concrete floor slabs. Fitted blinds within the window reveals also provide an additional noise cushion.
The Kingspan TEK Building System of structural insulated panels (SIPs) has been used to create a spectacular, cantilevered self-build in Oxfordshire, achieving excellent airtightness and energy efficiency with a fast-track build programme.
Homeowner, Daniel Frazer, identified timber frame as his preferred construction method at the outset of the project due to its speed of build and ability to be constructed in most weather conditions. Following discussions with Greenspace Architects and Kingspan TEK Delivery Partners, Point 1 Building Systems, he finally settled on the Kingspan TEK Building System. “I was attracted to SIPs due to their air-tightness and even faster erection speed,” Daniel commented. “I particularly liked the ability to have a roof fabricated from the panels.”
Langley Structures Ltd has welcomed the updates to the Permitted Development (PD) rules that will allow increased utilisation of upward extensions to provide much needed social housing. However, Langley Structures, experts in rooftop capitalisation, warns that the quality and design of new developments and the impact on the local community must be prioritised.
The new rules allow the construction of up to two additional storeys on purpose-built, detached block of flats, subject to certain conditions. This includes that existing blocks must be three storeys or more and the extended building must not be more than 30 metres high.
Mention curtain walling to any specifier or contractor and it’s an odds on bet they won’t associate the term with residential projects. However, technical developments have gradually extended the design scope of such systems, first to multiple occupancy housing and subsequently to individual architect-designed homes.
So, what has prompted this? When you look at what curtain walling is this should come as no real surprise. Essentially, it is a façade with framing made of metal, PVCu or timber with vertical or horizontal elements. These are anchored to the supporting structure to provide the functions of an external wall without it being load-bearing. This has positive benefits in terms of installation speed and cost.