TP sustainable new build drawings a 'game changer'

Published:  02 July, 2012

NORTHAMPTON: Sustainable Business Solutions (SBS), the specialist division of Travis Perkins Group, has launched a set of thermally-modelled standard construction drawings designed to provide a cost-effective solution for anyone building new homes.

The new drawings, which were unveiled at a launch event at Roca's Zaha Hadid-designed London Gallery on Tuesday 26th June 2012, are aimed at maximising the contribution of the new home fabric under SAP and minimising thermal conductivity.

By using these junctions House-builders could find passing the SAP process much easier: each junction has been thermally modelled and the resultant psi-values (sigh) are on average 69% better than the Accredited values within SAP 2009 that are used for non-modelled junctions.

The practical benefits of using these drawings was demonstrated in an 80m2 mid-terrace new build: using the SAP Accredited values for the junctions the house failed SAP testing by 5.7%; however, when using the same materials through the Travis Perkins Group junctions the house passed SAP testing by 1.4%. To achieve a positive SAP Test result using the Accredited values required the addition of a 1m2 solar thermal panel using a 180 litre combined solar hot water cylinder, at a cost of approximately £1,800 and a loss of 1m2 of internal space.

Another key benefit of the drawings is that they are all based on standard building materials and only require very small simple changes to standard building methods. Furthermore, the details avoid generic text descriptions of materials and instead list product codes so the builder knows exactly what to use to meet the required performance in a cost efficient way.

Lee Jackson, Head of Technical at SBS said, “Improving thermal efficiency cost-effectively is vital in new house building today, but thermal modelling isn’t commercially viable for most regional house-builders. The scale of the Travis Perkins Group allowed us to bear those costs and through these drawings pass on the substantial benefits to our customers.”

Paul Joyner, director of SBS, said: “This is a game changer in terms of merchants' relationships with builders in looking to partner to tackle the sustainability challenge. Our standard construction drawings have been created to provide a simple base line for all domestic construction. These drawings reduce the need to use default or accredited SAP figures and encourage contractors and specifiers to make some very simple, but significant changes to standard build methods which mean the fabric can be used to its maximum capability. This is vital if the industry is to improve build standards and meet efficiency targets whilst remaining competitive.”

“We are confident that these drawings offer architects, specifiers, builders and contractors a complete solution for their construction details which can help them navigate the maze of building regulations and maximise the use of building fabric.”

Laurence Steele, technical manager at Banner Homes Group said: “Upon attending the launch I was very impressed with Travis Perkins, as a non regulating body, taking the initiative within the industry in providing such information. As a business we already know the value of using thermal modelling, and utilising the details that TP have created will assist us in complying with ever-more stringent regulations both now and in the future.”

The new drawings have been independently verified by the BRE and the NHBC and accredited by the LABC. Each is available as a CAD drawing. All products included in the plans are specified and available from Travis Perkins with a unique 6 digit product code. The drawings will be regularly updated and future-proofed to take into account the 2013 Building Regulations and the potential impact of the anticipated 2016 Build Regulations. SBS provides a range of associated building services which are linked to the diagrams.

The launch of the scheme was supported by HBF and the New Homes Marketing Board.

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