Woodfibre and CLT

Woodfibre insulation specialist, NBT, has provided the company’s Pavatex insulation and airtightness membrane for a groundbreaking Taylor Wimpey residential scheme trialling cross laminated timber (CLT) and sustainable design.

Taylor Wimpey’s is one of the housebuilders involved in developing Great Western Park in Didcot, Oxfordshire – an ambitious project to create a new community, including 3,300 new homes, along with schools, infrastructure improvements and public realm spaces. Taylor Wimpey, is utilising the development to construct concept homes using various alternatives to block and brick. The homes are part of Taylor Wimpey’s ‘Project 2020’ initiative, which aims to trial innovative prototypes that could be constructed on a grander scale at future developments, as part of the company’s strategy for sustainable housebuilding.

NBT’s Pavatex woodfibre insulation and DSB weatherproof membrane have been used on semi-detached and detached prototype CLT (cross-laminated timber) homes at Great Western Park as part of
Taylor Wimpey’s Infinity development, which will be available for purchase alongside the conventionally-built houses.

NBT advised on specification of the right combination of woodfibre insulation and membrane for the project, and, alongside technical specification, the company has also provided training at its own facility and
on site, installation guidance and fixings calculations to support the Taylor Wimpey team as the housebuilder pioneers CLT homes as part of a major scheme for the first time.
“Timber construction and CLT are growing in popularity amongst many smaller developers,” says NBT’s Andrew Mitchell.
“Because CLT is an extremely robust and lightweight material that offers excellent design flexibility. All timber products provide carbon lock up, actively offsetting carbon emissions from both the construction and
occupation phase of the development, making them extremely environmentally friendly while ensuring an extended design life and comfortable indoor environment.

“Our products have been proven on a number of CLT builds but this is the first time we have worked with a major player in the housebuilding sector. We are excited to see that Taylor Wimpey is taking such a progressive approach to considering how they can build the homes of the future with reduced impact for the environment and enhanced comfort for residents.”

A capillary-active, hygroscopic woodfibre insulation with excellent thermal performance, Pavatex was specified because, unlike closed cell and synthetic materials, it is a breathable insulation that allows any moisture absorbed by the structure during construction to dry to the outside, sharing the moisture load of the CLT and ensuring the longevity and integrity of the building fabric. The insulation was used to form a wrap around the external face of the building envelope and the structure was then wrapped with the Pavatex DSB membrane, which was pulled tight and the system was then fixed in place through batons prior to installation of the external wall finishes, which include brick slips, Cedral cladding and render.

Danielle Heard, Sales and Marketing Director at Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire said: “As a responsible and forward-focused housebuilder we have implemented our Project 2020 initiative to consider the materials we will use in the future to drive down carbon emissions, enhance the comfort and service life of the homes we build and ensure continuity of supply for the materials we use.
“CLT and woodfibre are both renewable materials which offers significant benefits for the housebuilding sector in terms of both availability and sustainability. Woodfibre insulation not only provides excellent thermal performance during the winter but, thanks to its increased thermal mass, also protects against heat in summer, offering an ideal solution for homes that are comfortable all year round. Our Project
2020 trials are in their infancy at the moment but it’s inspiring to see what can be achieved with non-standard design and specification.”

Taylor Wimpey’s Project 2020 aims to explore and evaluate trends, changes and new innovations in design, architecture, technology, materials and build methodology. The competition to find a new design for Taylor Wimpey houses was won by London-based Openstudio Architects with its Infinite House – a set of terrace housing prototypes. The Infinite House can be constructed from both traditional and offsite methods. CLT is likely to become more feasible over time as offsite construction becomes economically viable, the architects says, but SIPS, timber framed or brick and block construction are also possible. Roof pitches have been

optimised for PV panels and eaves spaces can be used for plant and M&E technology requirements.

Original Link: Structural Timber Magazine 

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