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82 INSULATION


thermal performance and energy efficiency, the constructed building may not deliver the level of durability, comfort, energy savings or service life calculated at design stage.


What’s the answer? For some, part of the answer is modular construction where envelope solutions can be created in factory conditions to deliver real, measurable thermal performance, without compromising the integrity of the building or the health of the occupier. There are lessons to be learned from the modular approach – which can be used to transition this standardised model into the less uniform world of onsite construction too. What’s required are new build systems for the building envelope, which consider the full ‘foundation-to-wall-to-roof’ build-up required for different types of construction, including clad and brick clad timber frame structures as well as CLT (cross-laminated timber), steel and concrete designs with both clad and rendered external finishes. In this way, insulation suppliers can provide a total solution for the interface design with an inclusive package of products to provide everything required for consistent installation.


Supply chain engagement The idea is to align improved design integrity and building performance with a real-world approach to answering buildability issues, time pressures and skills shortages. If suppliers offer a single-source, consistent specification and work with specifiers and contractors to advise them and develop the specification, they can ensure the specific interface detail used is the right fit for the individual project, contributing to quality assurance. Collaboration has become a buzzword in construction, but supplier engagement is often the missing link in this process because so many specification choices are made as a procurement function rather than as an integral part of the early design process and buildability analysis. Architects should expect suppliers to be more than a company that simply sells products. Instead the supply chain should be challenged to actively contribute to the performance of the finished building and the expertise needed to improve the design of the critical interfaces within the building envelope.


Andrew Mitchell is managing director of NBT (Natural Building Technologies)


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK ADF JULY 2019


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