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PROJECT REPORT: ICF BUILD


33


He advises others in a similar situation to “get in touch with planners as early on as possible” to tackle such problems collaboratively: “It’s about having dialogue, working with them as much as possible. You’ve got to submit something that any rational person can look at and go ‘yes I can see that if we can make a few changes here, I’ll be happy with it.’”


Fire With plans finally approved and demolition about to start, yet another challenge reared its head. Hall received an agitated midnight phone call from the neighbours, informing them their soon-to- be demolished Victorian cottage had caught fire, and the flames had damaged the neighbours’ shed. At this point, Hall was starting to think that the project may be jinxed. Fortunately, the damage needing to be covered was minimal due to the planned demolition. Arson was initially suspected, or “a freak accident,” says Hall. The Fire Service speculated that with it being a particularly hot summer nearby compost could have self-ignited, although Rik is sceptical about this theory!


Another positive outcome was that the team managed to salvage all the bricks from the cottage and sell them to a local merchant. “Where we could, we reused and recycled any materials that were on site,” explains Hall.


Construction


After overcoming all the challenges, the build finally got underway in April 2018. The external envelope is somewhat unusual for this type of domestic project, being of insulated concrete forming (ICF) – hollow EPS blocks reinforced with steel beams and filled with concrete, offering high thermal performance.


Thermohouse UK supplied and installed the ICF frame, providing a “one-stop shop” solution. The shell was completed very quickly, taking eight weeks. “All we had to do was put in the windows and get the roof up,” says Hall. He says it’s a particularly useful option for such ‘self-builds,’ freeing up the programme from traditional construction methods. “You can get the structure up, and then tender out the various pieces of work. It’s a lot more manageable.”


ADF JUNE 2021 WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


The overall goal was two generously-sized, desirable family homes, “not just 12-metre boxes for five people”


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