Structherm Fastbuild® - The (eco)Logical Choice for Energy Efficient Accommodation

Structherm Fastbuild® - part of the Hanson pre-cast product portfolio – has recently been selected to build a ground breaking eco development in Scotland.

Situated on a challenging but picturesque site, conveniently located on the outskirts of Edinburgh, the development at Colinton offers a unique opportunity for private buyers to purchase a state of the art, energy efficient home, incorporating the latest renewable energy technologies.

The development consists of two phases, comprising of 10 town houses in total and is built entirely out of Fastbuild, with precast concrete staircases and hollowcore concrete floors. The design incorporates geothermal heating which works alongside the precast concrete elements, as they retain heat, ensuring stable ambient temperatures and a reduced requirement for additional heating.

A timber roof structure completes each property, highlighting the flexible nature of the Fastbuild system. The exterior walls have been finished with a Structherm Insulated Render system. This comprises of mineral wool insulation boards fixed directly onto the Fastbuild panels and completed with a white, rough cast dash finish containing a silicone additive to reduce the need for cleaning and exterior maintenance.

With the show home due to open this month (April 2010), Phase 1 of the development is now nearing completion with Phase 2 planned to commence later in 2010.

Structherm Fastbuild® has been used to construct other energy efficient properties, including the development of a 48 apartment, 3 storey, crescent shaped building which makes up part of a new build, eco-development at Primrose Hill in Huddersfield. The development incorporated a number of energy saving technologies alongside Fastbuild, including photovoltaic and solar panels to generate heat and hot water for each of the homes within the block.

The client, Yorkshire Community Housing, was keen to use Modern Methods of Construction and, in particular, the use of off-site manufacturing for this project. Fastbuild was chosen as the system of choice due to the ability to arrive at cost certainty at a much earlier stage than with other systems.

One of the key objectives for the client was to gain an Eco Homes ‘Very Good’ rating, which was achieved. The use of Fastbuild contributed to this through its clever use of Thermal Mass, whereby the panels absorb the internal heat gains throughout the day, helping to prevent overheating and ensuring a more stable internal temperature. The excess daytime heat is then purged from the slabs overnight, reducing the need for additional heating in the evening.

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