Modern Building Systems
As a modern house builder, we recognise the benefits of combining traditional materials and techniques with new and advanced building systems to create homes that will out-perform those built purely from traditional methods.
In our modern age, all new homes should be warm, energy efficient, sustainable and comfortable to live in.
So where appropriate, we like to encourage the use of more modern forms of construction. Here are some of the products and systems we have experience of:
Insulating Concrete Formwork, or ICF
Standing on conventional foundations, insulated concrete formwork is a building system based on large polystyrene blocks with hollow centres into which concrete is poured once the blocks have been built together to form the shape of the house.
This wall system forms a solid, highly insulated wall structure which is very strong and very solid. It provides the home with many benefits including:
- Better air-tightness – there are no cold or draughty areas in an ICF home
- Double insulation – insulation on both sides of the wall works better and means your home stays cooler in summer and warmer in winter, and so costs far less to heat
- Peace and quiet – a solid 6 or 8 inch concrete wall with few joints keeps the sound out, meaning your home stays nice and quiet inside
- Safe – the concrete structure resists fire and flood far longer than normal construction methods can. It slows down flood water penetration because there’s so few joints in the wall
- Very good for the environment – low wall u-values (0.20 to 0.10 W/m2K), combined with a higher thermal mass than timber, and excellent air-tightness
Posi-Joists are the modern alternative to the standard timber floor joist. They can achieve greater floor spans (ideal for open plan house designs) and they flex far less than timber joists, emulating the solid feel of a concrete floor. If you ever need to add services under the floor boards, the ‘open web’ design of the Posi-Joist makes it easy to run cables or pipes through the floor.
MetalDeck / In-situ Concrete Floors
One of the benefits of having an ICF home is the option to also have a concrete floor system at first floor level. Concrete floors offer many benefits including more thermal mass which helps the home stay cooler / warmer depending on the time of day. They offer better sound insulation, and will give you that feeling of being stood on a solid surface even when upstairs. They don’t move or creak, and can be precast or cast in-situ. They also offer better fire protection too.
This new roof system consists of steel sections sandwiched inside a polystyrene panel, which interlocks to form a solid roof system without any traditional timber other than a ridge beam and occasionally purlins. This system speeds up roof construction significantly, whilst making it easier to form a warm roof space, great for increasing your habitable floor space without having to make your home physically bigger. The cladding on top can be anything you like, from traditional tiles on a pitched roof to modern GRP or a Standing Seam finish.
Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery, or MVHR
Don’t be put off by the thought of lots of intrusive ducting. With our preferred system, the ducting ‘disappears’ into the various elements of the home. MVHR has a simple, anti-bacterial form, and will extract from high humidity rooms like kitchens and bathrooms, whilst providing pre-warmed fresh air into living spaces such as sitting rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. Using MVHR allows the home to be sealed tight at the structural level. Leaky background vents in windows can then be done away with, giving you tighter control over the airflow within your home. We have often combined MVHR with underfloor heating for the perfect all-round indoor environment.