This project, at the Building Research Establishment’s (BRE) Innovation Park in Watford, was designed to achieve Level 6 under the Code for Sustainable Homes. It aims to demonstrate that environmentally sustainable affordable housing, designed to meet all statutory requirements and Lifetime Homes standards, can be built for a realistic and affordable cost. The building was constructed using an Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF) block for the external walls, and ICF trays forming floors and roofs. The lean-mix concrete core makes use of cutting-edge research carried out by the Concrete Association.
The system enables rapid construction of the building shell without the costly tooling and transportation costs associated with timber and concrete prefabrication, and has inherently excellent thermal and sound insulation properties. Hot water is provided by air-source heat pump and underfloor heating will be provided throughout. Grey water will be recycled and rainwater will be collected and reused.
The building represents a slice of a small 4 1/2 storey apartment building, with a small commercial unit on the ground floor, and one 1 bed 2 person flat and one 3 bed 5 person duplex on the floors above. The duplex makes use of the roof space by providing a mezzanine floor over the living area. The design forms a part of our Sustainable Suburbia research into family housing density carried out for the Homes and Communities Agency.
As part of the demonstration project, the BRE will carry out BPS 2020 certification under the standard for Innovative Systems for Dwellings.
BRE’s Resource Efficiency team carried out a pre-demolition audit and difficult waste study. The key objective was to have zero waste to landfill with the heating and compressing of expanded polystyrene to rigid polystyrene for reuse in products such as carpet underlay or incineration with heat recovery to district heating schemes or for electricity regeneration.
- Building Research Establishment
- Download PDF 904.7 KB