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Feature Eco materials for 2015


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heat up and down, how much heat energy they can store and how much energy they can generate. The building fabric is critical – buildings can’t be draughty or simply react to the external environment.” Another ambitious goal is a shift


towards a “circular economy”, in which everything is reused or recycled. For construction, the transformation would take many decades, but there are already initiatives at a European, UK and


industry level to develop more resource- efficient materials and processes. There is also a growing “healthy buildings” movement. A World Green Building Council report was published last March, and the newly formed Building Biology Association UK brings a long-established German discipline here for the first time. The BBA was set up by Devon-based


architect Gale & Snowden. “We have strict criteria when selecting materials, based on building biology principles,” says director David Gale. “We’re looking for healthy materials that work dynamically with the building.” On the building biology scorecard, top marks go to timber and earth materials, while PVC comes bottom. >


“We need to know how buildings behave and how to control them. The building fabric is critical” Professor Chris Gorse


PRODUCTS WE’LL BE SEEING MORE OF THIS YEAR...


1. Carbon Buster blocks by Lignacite “Carbon positive” bricks partly made from recycled material


2. T-Barrier by ARC Building Solutions Insulation for cavity walls that can achieve a zero U-value


3. Recoh-vert heat exchanger by Hei-Tech Copper-based heat recovery system for shower units


4. Propelair toilet This uses air jets to flush a loo with only 1.5l of water


5. Eco Building Boards Unfired clay reinforced with coconut fibre to give a natural alternative to gypsum


6. Refurbify by VRM Technology BIM packaged as a tablet app for domestic refurbs


7. Porotherm bricks by Wienerberger Bricks honeycombed with air pockets to improve insulation


8. Passive ventilation with heat recovery by Ventive A heat exchanger that boosts passive ventilation


9. LEDs Falling costs are making these a standard lighting choice


10. Home grown UK timber in new forms for better strength and durability


CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | JANUARY 2015 | 19


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