The Kingspan TEK Building System of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) has been installed as part of the modular construction of Virido, a new, energy efficient housing development in Cambridge.
Developed and constructed by Hill, Virido is situated in the leafy suburbs of the university city and features 208 apartments and townhouses in a grid of quads around a central courtyard. Pollard Thomas Edwards designed each property with a high performance fabric specification, featuring the Kingspan system.
The Kingspan TEK Building System comprises a high-performance insulation core sandwiched between two layers of OSB/3. The lightweight panels were designed and factory cut to the project’s unique requirements by Kingspan Timber Solutions. This ensured a fast-track erection programme with minimal onsite adjustments and waste.
To maximise the energy performance of the dwellings, the envelopes of all properties on the development have been designed to be extremely airtight. This was a key consideration in the specification of the Kingspan TEK Building System as its jointing system and OSB/3 facing supports highly airtight constructions. On completion, each property was individually assessed and achieved recorded air leakage rates of below 1.5 air change per hour @ 50 pa.
The Kingspan TEK Building System also contributed towards the excellent fabric performance of the properties as Heike Messler from Pollard Thomas Edwards explained: “The walls of the Virido properties allow approximately 20% less heat loss than a typical building, without having to compromise on room sizes. This high level of thermal performance means that the homes don’t really need radiators, but we have included them for personal comfort.”
The highly airtight design necessitated the use of mechanical ventilation heat recovery systems (MVHR). These systems use the heat from the outgoing stale air to heat incoming fresh air, further reducing heating demand and maintaining comfortable internal living conditions.