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COMMENT 17 SIMON STORER


SOLUTIONS TAKE PRIDE OF PLACE OFFSITE


Simon Storer is the chief executive of BRUFMA


The advantages of offsite construction in mitigating the housing crisis is once again flavour of the month, says Simon Storer, chief executive of BRUFMA (the British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers’ Association).


and faster methods of construction, which in turn will enable them to comply with more strin- gent energy efficiency demands. In recent years the UK has fallen behind its


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European neighbours by depending on skilled trades at the expense of any mechanised processes or components that reduce onsite working. Offsite manufacturing can provide better working conditions for workers, less time onsite and improved environmental performance in the construction process. There’s a number of ways in which offsite


IN RECENT YEARS THE UK HAS FALLEN BEHIND ITS EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURS BY DEPENDING ON SKILLED TRADES AT THE EXPENSE OF PROCESSES OR COMPONENTS THAT REDUCE ONSITE WORKING


construction can help to ensure the in-use energy performance of a building meets the as- designed performance. Whether it’s through structurally insulated panels (SIPs), modular building construction or pre-manufactured roofing components, the insulation industry is constantly looking at innovative ways to ensure buildings meet the ever more stringent energy performance requirements. Offsite solutions can also reduce the detri-


mental impact of bad weather on build times, while faster weatherproofing of structures will reduce delays for follow on trades.


Higher levels of insulation SIPs are perfect for offsite construction and can offer several clear benefits over more traditional methods. They reduce reliance on wet trades and provide a fast track construction programme, as well as maximising space and reducing site waste. The inherently high thermal performance of SIPs also reduces reliance on renewables, which can be expensive to install and maintain. At a time when we urgently need more


housing, SIPs can play an important role in achieving these targets.


Room-in-a-roof insulation system In a further bid to address the challenges faced by housebuilders, an innovative prefabricated roof system enables the installation of a fully


WWW.HBDONLINE.CO.UK


ur need to build more homes coupled with a skills shortage has meant house- builders will need to embrace newer


insulated pitched roof in just a matter of hours. The self-supporting system enables a safe and fast method of creating a watertight structure, as seen recently on a two storey property in Burley, Hampshire. This provided a prefabricated system with superb thermal performance that quickly waterproofed the partially built house and helped speed up the construction process. The application was so simple the construction of the pitched roof was completed in just seven hours.


Low U-values Offsite construction provides consistent performance levels with fewer construction defects or wasted materials. These solutions can reduce the build time with a marked increase in the thermal performance of the building. The renewed interest in offsite construction


may not be the panacea for the housing crisis, but as an alternative to traditional building techniques offsite solutions are expanding rapidly and will take an increasingly important role in the future of UK construction.


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