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BUILDING FABRIC & EXTERIORS


gained for self-build projects by choosing SIPs include: • extra floor space; • doors, windows etc., are always be pre-framed with the structure;


• environmental sustainability; • a robust and solid feel; • the use of less timber than conventional timber frame construction;


• excellent resale potential. CASE STUDY


A recent self-build project involving the use of SIPs panels proved to be a particularly unique challenge, as the client required a swift build process that had the correct specifications to be erected on top of their existing basement.


It was extremely important that this construction was quick to create a weather-tight shell over the existing level, as well as ensuring that the structure was designed in a way – with the correct materials specified – to guarantee the basement could effectively support the building. The client chose to use SIP panels that could meet the erection time requirements, and the lightweight construction limited the need for extra reinforcements on the pre-laid foundations – meaning significant cost


savings and achieving an improved U-value for the property of 0.18. The prefabricated system allowed the frame to be designed accurately and co-ordinated exactly with the basement design prior to arrival onsite. The precise engineering eliminated any


discrepancies that could have occurred onsite. Additional features included the integration of an MVHR system – due to the use of SIPs, great insulation properties and inherently good airtightness values were achieved. As the advantages of SIPs become


increasingly more persuasive to many, some companies are taking further measures to assist those interested; for example, SIPsInnovations is a specialist division of our firm, which was created to meet the increased demand for the energy efficient and environmentally friendly construction system.


At the last count, 75 per cent of self- builders were choosing timber frame as their primary method of construction, and the enthusiasm is reflected throughout the construction industry. SIPs are no longer the ‘new kid on the self-build block’. SIPs, for many, are the future!


Ian McCarthy is business development manager at Timber Innovations


48


www.sbhonline.co.uk


september/october 2017


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