Latest innovations and products in the offsite sections of the construction industry.

VRC Homes have experienced growth in supply of their BOPAS accredited modular construction system in both the residential and commercial sectors.

With development finance providers setting tougher repayment requirements, an increasing number of developers are finding the use of the VRC modular system gives them an added advantage in knowing they can meet those requirements.

As the system allows internal building work to commence within days of being on site, the developer has a head start over traditional methods of construction. Based on a simple system of galvanised steel cassettes and pillars, the system has proven that using a mix of off-site and on-site construction methods, a controlled build environment is maintained.

Assembly is local to site or on site, so reducing road miles. The modules are bolted together, with the roof trusses fitted as soon as the scaffolding is erected. External fabric build can start straight away, complementing the quick start of the internal build. First fix is very easy as there are 300mm voids to run services between each floor.

Adapting for market conditions, VRC have found solid growth in the apartment, house and self- build sectors. Commenting on the increasing interest in the system, managing director Michael Philpot said “We are attempting to make the construction simpler and more transparent for both the smaller developer as well as the self-builder. Evidence has shown that with high plot prices, more people are looking at alternatives to turnkey builds, either through self-manage or in the case of councils, developing apprenticeship schemes. Therefore, it has to be at a level of construction understanding they feel comfortable with.”

Adding to the range of alternative solutions to traditional methods of working, VRC Homes have launched ‘Pop Up’ modular accommodation units. Based on foldable modules, the great advantage is the increased utilisation of transport by a factor of 5. Two people can erect a module in 4 minutes. The modules have been designed in compliance with international transportation standards.

Telephone: 01223 459931, Email: sales@vrchomes.co.uk, Web: www.vrchomes.co.uk

The tragic events of the Grenfell disaster last year cast a long shadow and one that will remain with the industry for decades to come. Of course lessons will be learnt and perhaps at long last due attention will be paid to safety above other considerations when deciding upon risk critical building products such as fire doors and fire door assemblies. More immediately however we all await the inevitable changes to legislation and good practice, following Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review and how it will shape future product specification, installation and ongoing use throughout the life cycle of the building.

Understandably this has resulted in concern amongst specifiers and stake holders as they try to evaluate current practices and plan for potential future changes, especially in respect to high-rise and complex buildings. After all the specification of fire doors is not a game, and as we all know can have far reaching consequences. It is little wonder therefore, that for specifiers in the modular and off-site construction sector using Vicaima products, that feeling of anxiety and apprehension regarding past, current and future use of fire doors is not an issue; providing of course that they have been correctly installed.

Of course the fire door in itself does not provide the complete solution, this can only be achieved with compatible and rigorously tested components, including the correct frame and ironmongery. This is why alongside fire doors, Vicaima also manufacture an extensive range of door kit solutions to create a complete, fully tested assembly via our Easi-Fit and Portaro brands. These products include a full scope of performance characteristics for current and future industry specifications, namely:

  • Fire Tested to BS 476 Part 22 and BS EN 1634-1:2014
  • Secure by Design approved products
  • Acoustic performance, both inherent and additional as required
  • FD30 to FD90 rated, with fire and smoke solutions
  • Durability with DD171 and EN 1192 severe duty rating
  • Mobility provision via glazing and dimensional flexibility
  • Environmentally sound (all products are FSC Certified)
  • Long life with a 10 Year Guarantee

As specialist fire performance door manufacturers Vicaima have long understood the need to go above and beyond industry norms and simple compliance to provide ultimate peace of mind. Vicaima has always prided itself on the construction of its fire doors, never cutting corners or compromising, regardless of whether it’s a humble painted door or a cutting edge designer product. After all sometimes it is what you cannot see that makes the difference in a safe fire door. This is perhaps best illustrated with the Vicaima standard FD30 fire door. Manufactured using fully solid cores and a traditional stile and rail perimeter to enable reliable fixing of ironmongery i.e. hinges, door closures etc.

Among the many important recommendations outlined within the Independent Review, is the need for third party accreditation when it comes to fire doors. Here Vicaima adhere to not one but two nationally recognised and highly reputable bodies to verify the performance of our fire performance products, namely BWF-Certifire and BM TRADA Q-Mark. In each case traceability is assured with the use of tamper evident labels and plastic plugs to provide clear understanding of fire rating and of course origin of manufacture. You or indeed future custodians of fitted fire doors will be left in no doubt simply by looking at the top edge of any Vicaima fire door. Here crystal clear identification marking alongside a detailed inkjet stamp system to identify exact batch and date of manufacture, enables Vicaima to establish complete control of our products throughout their lifecycle.

Of course fire safety does not need to equate to mundane or style less performance solutions. Occupier and environment user satisfaction should never be compromised and with Vicaima innovative design options the scope is almost limitless; encompassing as it does finish foil, veneer, laminates and paint lacquered surfaces; with cost effective products for this developing sector.

For more information regarding Vicaima Fire and other performance solutions visit www.vicaima.com.

From the UK’s first PassivHaus for rent – which won a Green Apple Award – to examples that exceed the PassivHaus standard, Scotframe Timber Engineering has been leading the way in energy-efficient building for many years.

A UK market leader in full timber frame packages for new housing and commercial projects, Scotframe exclusively offers the Val-U-Therm PLUS® closed panel building system, which can be used for walls, roofs and floors. The U-values achieved by Val-U-Therm PLUS® wall panels (0.08 W/m2K) are probably the best in the world.

A key factor in achieving this extraordinary performance is that the insulation is injected in off-site, quality-controlled factory conditions. The foam expands into every nook and cranny, providing a best-in-class BR443 U-value correction factor of zero.

PassivHaus requires the whole building envelope to work in unison – and this is where an integrated building system like Val-U-Therm PLUS® comes into its own, as it offers wall, floor and roof panels that have been thermally engineered to perform as an optimum combination. As well as excellent thermal insulation performance, details are available to minimise thermal bridging and give excellent airtight fabric levels.

The Maryville PassivHaus in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park delivered a total primary energy demand of 69 kWh/m2a (significantly exceeding the PassivHaus requirement of 120 kWh/m2a) using the ‘Fabric First’ thermal detailing offered by Scotframe. This is transported to site in flat-pack configuration and provides a “fit and forget” low maintenance thermal solution.

The ‘Fabric First’ approach, which is also suitable for commercial buildings, achieved an air tightness of 0.475 ACH at the Rocking Horse Nursery at the University of Aberdeen, which caters for 78 pre-school children.

Scotframe’s expertise really shines when it comes to offering buildings which are beautifully designed as well as technically excellent. The sky really is the limit when it comes to design – so not just boring rectangular boxes, but buildings that tick all the boxes in your clients’ wish lists.

Scotframe homes and buildings are warm and draught-proof in winter, cool and well ventilated in summer, healthy for all the family and enjoy remarkably low energy bills. Scotframe Val-U-Therm PLUS® allows the construction of typical family homes that can cost less than £95 a year to heat.

As well as design and quality, clients are also becoming increasingly interested in the environmental and sustainability credentials of building materials. Scotframe’s timber is sourced from sustainably managed forests governed by PEFC and FSC, and the insulation in Val-U-Therm PLUS® panels is fully recyclable and has zero ozone depletion potential. It is CFC, HFC and HCFC-free and has a Global Warming Potential of less than 5. This means it has a BRE Green Guide A/A+ Rating – the same as straw bales or sheep’s wool. All this makes a Scotframe kit an excellent choice for the environmentally conscious client or builder.

The great news is that if an integrated building system like Scotframe Val-U-Therm PLUS® is used, building to PassivHaus standards is not necessarily more expensive or time consuming. One study by Edinburgh Napier University compared the cost per square metre of superstructure using 10 different building systems. Scotframe Val-U-Therm cost £1092 when built to PassivHaus standards, whilst the other nine systems ranged from £711 to £ 1138 when built only to existing Building Regulations. It took 65 days to build a Scotframe home to PassivHaus standards; the other 26 homes ranged from 49 to 126 days to build – but only to existing Building Regulations.

The Scotframe Val-U-Therm® building system was originally launched in 2011 and has been used in over 8,000 homes with an excellent track record. It has been independently accredited by the British Board of Agrément, including verification of structural, fire and thermal performance, condensation risk, sound insulation and durability. It also has its own BBA Certificate 17/5421.
It is accepted by financial institutions, NHBC and Premier Guarantee, and the panels have a 60-year minimum service life – twice the mortgage cycle.

So for a high quality, energy efficient, green and beautifully designed PassivHaus home – think Scotframe Val-U-Therm PLUS®.

Scotframe Timber Engineering and Val-U-Therm are proud to be part of the Saint Gobain Group of Companies.

For more information please visit www.scotframe.co.uk

With the well documented housing shortage said to be a ticking time-bomb and the government’s ambitious undertaking to build 200,000 homes by 2020 to address the shortfall, it’s clear that the traditional construction sector, in its current state, is unlikely to be able to meet the demand for new housing on its own.

The advance of off-site construction technologies in recent times would suggest that off-site manufacturing has the potential to play a major role in resolving this issue and increasing house construction capacity enough to meet demand.

Off-site construction aims to replicate the controlled environment that would usually be associated with manufacturing and apply it to the construction process by moving construction into a factory environment.

Constructing buildings in a controlled factory environment has shown numerous benefits:

  • Studies have shown that less labour is required for off-site construction and the assembly processes involved means workers require less training
  • Improved planning and standardisation can significantly reduce waste while improving the standard of workmanship. The increased predictability in the process also increases safety
  • The increased standardisation reduces construction time and protection from poor weather conditions also reduces delays

Freefoam Building Products manufacture pvc product ranges that are the perfect fit for off-site construction, whether fitted in the factory or prepared for final fitting later.

The External wall and roof are the two main elements of a buildings superstructure and the junction is critical for the long-term function of the building fabric. Freefoam roof trim system makes protecting the junction and the roof structure easy.

Freefoam roofline product range is lightweight and easy to handle as well as having the required durability, both for transportation and when fitted, which is why Freefoam can confidently offer market leading guarantees of up to 50 years on roofline products.

The Freefoam roofline system is designed to slot together with ease and includes a range of matching finishing trims for virtually any design scenario. This systemised nature means they can be fitted by a relatively low skilled workforce with minimal tooling and minimal waste, which aligns them perfectly with the benefits of off-site manufacturing.

Freefoam’s Fortex and X-Wood cladding ranges are specially designed for rainscreen systems, which are a modern approach to external wall construction, perfect for achieving the breathability and high insulation levels required in modern, sustainable timber wall constructions. When fitted with insulation materials the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Green Guide to Specification has given PVC cladding an A+ rating.

When fitted correctly, Freefoam cladding systems can be expected to protect the external fabric of the building for at least 20 years.

The cladding systems are extremely lightweight compared to similar alternatives which makes them ideal for transportation and, like the roof trim systems, are designed to be installed quickly, by general tradespeople.

Colin St John, Commercial Director explained “The controlled environment of off-site construction successfully replicates the benefits that we as construction product manufacturers have been accustomed to in our own factories for decades. High tolerance standards, product consistency, low waste and ease of assembly are already a minimum standard for all Freefoam products.

The evolution of construction into a manufacturing process dovetails perfectly with the systemised roofline, rainwater and cladding systems that we produce.

All Freefoam products are manufactured in a controlled manufacturing environment and have been designed to provide the precise standard of finish that is required in an off-site construction environment.”

Advances in window systems and exciting new composite materials are turning perceptions on their heads and extending the limits of commercial windows and doors.

First generation PVC-U windows and doors were bulky and unattractive and came in a very limited range of colours. And if you wanted very big windows and tall, or very tall doors standard PVC-U isn’t the answer. So, specifiers have traditionally favoured aluminium for commercial projects for aluminium’s strong, slim profiles and wide colour selection. But the rate and scale of development in commercial windows has been phenomenal, and it’s now possible to have the best of aluminium with the best of PVC-U in one window. Specifiers can now have the warmth and energy efficiency of PVC-U and the sustainability, strength, looks, and the colour choice of aluminium in high performance composite commercial windows.

Linktrusion™ – the latest exciting commercial innovation by Deceuninck

This new solution is based on Deceuninck’s Linktrusion™ technology, and it comes with many exciting new benefits.

Linktrusion™ composite technology is a true innovation that breaks new ground in the commercial sector. This patented technology is used in our composite 5000 window system which incorporates immensely-strong pultruded glass-fibre in the profiles, plus optional patented thermal reinforcement with embedded steel wires in a low density insulating foam core encased in recycled PVC-U for excellent U values.

Windows manufactured with Linktrusion™ are as strong as steel reinforced windows, but 30% more thermally efficient, with up to 40% savings on materials and weight. Linktrusion™ technology is the first to remove the need for traditional steel reinforcement, and its inherent great strength allows specifiers to consider using very tall windows and very large doors (1100 x 2500 or 1150 x 2400 for a single door). The windows have slim sightlines, are available in countless Decoroc and foiled colours and are 100% recyclable. Feedback from specifiers has been extremely positive. London and Quadrant (L & Q) for example specified this ground-breaking technology for their recent flagship complex in Abbey Road, Barking. L&Q is one of the UK’s leading housing associations and one of the largest residential developers in London. The organisation wanted windows with top performance and aesthetics. Using Deceuninck’s unique LinktrusionTM technology the project was completed in Decoroc Anthracite grey RAL 7016 – a very popular choice of colour in the commercial sector.

Forging strong ties with commercial fabricators and contractors

Deceuninck has an exciting portfolio of commercial projects including Imperial College London (1,100 apartments), Hinkley Point staff accommodation (1,400 apartments), Ocean Village in Southampton (700 frames), and Trafford House in Basildon (4,500 apartments). We develop strong, close relationships with commercial partners to help them meet project specifications, and our technical support team is available to help with complex issues such as weather performance, energy efficiency and increasingly, acoustics.

Acoustics is fast becoming a critical factor in commercial specification, with developers keen to reduce the impact of noise pollution. That’s why Deceuninck is currently investing in systematic acoustic testing of its full range. As far as we’re aware, we’re the first PVC-U window systems company to make this commitment. Working in partnership with one of the country’s leading acoustic testing centres at the University of Salford, we’ve completed testing of our 2500 and 5000, and Fully Reversible Window, with further testing in progress.

Deceuninck’s acoustic expertise was crucial in the Hinkley Point C staff accommodation development. Developers and planners needed to reduce the impact of noise on workers so tasked Dempsey Dyer and Deceuninck to cut the decibel rating down by RW35db to produce windows of RW40db and RW43db.

Call 01249 816 969 or visit www.deceuninck.co.uk for more about our commercial range and commercial work. You can also download Deceuninck’s full product portfolio from the NBS National BIM Library at www.nationalbimlibrary.com/deceuninck-ltd.

The new TDBL nonut® self-threading screw from SFS, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high performance fasteners, enables a secure connection of pre-drilled supporting steel structures without any nuts or washers.

Compared with the standard method of using nuts, bolts and washers, the precision-engineered TDBL nonut® fastener is a quicker, more efficient and more secure way of fixing together supporting steel structures of various thickness and hardness subject to static load. The installer only needs one component instead of three, and one hand tool. Installation is one-handed and requires access from just one side.

The innovative design of the TDBL nonut®, with its thread-free zone and additional serration under the head, prevents the risk of over-driving in thin steel and ensures a lasting robust connection. European-manufactured to a high quality, the plated carbon steel, case hardened TDBL nonut® is available in eight variants according to length, diameter and clamping length with a hexagon head.

The quality and effectiveness of the TDBL nonut® has been well-established in Germany, as it is the only solution of its kind with the German national technical approval (“Allgemeine bauaufsichtliche Zulassung”). However, it has been widely used across mainland Europe and the rest of the world – and now gaining popularity in the UK – in diverse applications such as steel beams, stairways, railings, pylons, water tanks, grain silos, fall protection systems, rack constructions and solar parks.

TDBL nonut® fasteners were used recently in the construction of a three-storey structural mezzanine system of a 516,750 sq. ft. distribution centre near Ferrybridge for TK Maxx. The fasteners were mainly used in the columns and beam-to-column connections, with the product’s unique design enabling other design changes to be made to the structure of the mezzanine – these have complemented both structural performance and installation benefits.

Andy Stolworthy, Director of Product and Market Development, at SFS UK says “The traditional method of fixing steel structures together by using bolts with nuts and washers represents an unnecessarily awkward and time-consuming way of doing things. We’ve worked to overcome this by developing the TDBL nonut®, a technically superior fastener in one piece rather than three. It’s a risk-free alternative that is guaranteed to make steel structure assembly faster, and the customers get the peace of mind of knowing that it’s a product from a global-market leader renowned for quality.”

The TDBL nonut®, like all products from SFS, is backed with expert technical support that has been at the core of the company’s success in serving the construction and manufacturing industries. Operating from its UK HQ in Leeds, the company is part of the Swiss-based SFS Group which has annual sales in excess of £1.1bn and a history dating back to the 1920s serving customers in the construction, automotive, electronics, industrial and medical products markets.

Find out more about the TDBL nonut® and SFS at www.sfsintec.co.uk.

Offsite construction could revolutionise the construction industry and provide a solution to the UK housing shortage, but only if the sector develops the right skills.

Faster, Smarter, More Efficient: Building Skills for Offsite Construction shows that 42% of construction industry employers with over 100 staff expect to use offsite methods in five years’ time.

When asked about the use of offsite-specific construction materials and products, 100% said they expected the use of precast concrete panels to increase; 91% anticipated the use of precast concrete frame to rise.

At present however, offsite construction accounts for just 10% of industry output.

The report – which follows the recommendations set out in industry expert Mark Farmer’s government-backed review of UK construction – also reveals that nearly 50% of construction industry clients expect the use of offsite construction to increase over the next five years.

Offsite processes save time and money and can improve quality through pre-fabrication of components – from panels to fully fitted rooms.

Mark Farmer said “The urgency for modernisation has never been greater, set against an insidious backdrop of an ageing workforce and increasing concerns about the impact of Brexit.

“Any strategic shift towards pre-manufacturing and offsite construction creates an immediate requirement to define our future skills needs through collaboration between industry, educators, training providers and government.

“This is crucial to ensuring we can transition to a higher productivity, digitally enabled industry which inherently attracts more of the young talent we so desperately need. It should also set out clear opportunities for the existing construction workforce and indeed workers from other industries to reskill through a new family of career pathways.”

Steve Radley, Director of Policy at CITB, said “There is massive potential for offsite construction. The Government recently announced an additional £1.4bn of funding for affordable homes, with an increase in offsite construction set as an objective, representing a clear opportunity for growth in this area.

“The greatest potential currently lies within the housing and commercial sectors, where mass customisation can create the buildings we need more quickly and to higher standards. There are also opportunities to bring the benefits of offsite to large-scale infrastructure projects – some high profile examples include HS2 and Hinkley Point, which are already using offsite techniques.”

The report outlines six key skills areas related to offsite construction:

  1. digital design
  2. estimating/commercial
  3. offsite manufacturing
  4. logistics
  5. site management and integration
  6. onsite placement and assembly

Increasingly, workers will need the skills to move between offsite and onsite environments and so the training for these six areas must evolve to meet the changing demand.

Currently, significant barriers exist which prevent the delivery of training and skills to meet the needs of these crucial areas. These include:

  • Existing training does not include the required offsite content
  • Lack of awareness and suitability of available training and qualifications – companies are delivering their own ‘in-house’ training, which leads to non-standard approaches
  • A shortage of qualified training providers and assessors

Steve Radley concluded “Successful offsite management hinges on the effective integration of both onsite and offsite functions – and this requires a comprehensive understanding of both aspects.”

The UK is in the grips of a chronic housing crisis. Rising rent prices, falling wages and a severe labour skills shortage have left housing construction stagnant and properties financially out of reach. Productivity in the construction sector has stalled post-Brexit, and developer focus in recent years has shifted from creating accommodation that is affordable and simple to construct, to complex, luxury projects which often remain unoccupied. With the housing sector contributing to economic inequality in this country, an innovative solution to this crisis is desperately needed.

Modular housing is one solution that has the potential to ease the UK’s housing crisis. Such homes are cost-effective, scalable, sustainable, and efficient to build. However, legislative red tape, local authority dependence on short-term housing solutions, and reluctance by landowners to free up their land have hidebound modular housing’s potential, meaning that the contribution it could make to the easing the housing crisis has not yet been tested.

Currently, housing construction of any type in the UK is being strangled by a severe labour skills shortage. An ageing workforce and a Brexit-induced worker exodus is limiting construction activity, whilst increasing labour costs are making affordable housing financially unattractive for construction companies. Consequently, housing demand is not being met. This is particularly problematic given that the number of new households has exceeded the number of homes built every year since 2008, and estimates suggest there is a need for between 230,000-300,000 additional units per year – a level not reached since the 1970s.

Here, modular could have a significant impact by reinvigorating supply in an affordable and efficient model. Factory, rather than field-based, modular housing can take as little as three days to construct and requires only a semi-skilled workforce who take months, not years, to train. Modular houses also require fewer builders due to being semi mass-produced and standardised, making them appealing to construction companies with diminished workforces and restricted budgets.

The critical shortage of affordable housing in the UK is being exacerbated by legislative red-tape and landowner opposition. Across the country, luxury apartments are plentiful compared to low-cost developments, in part due to landowners who want to achieve the best possible land value, and traditional housebuilders who are perceived as offering the best price. At present off site construction development proposals are less competitive than traditional methods: construction costs are higher than traditional construction meaning a lower land offer for the land, [meaning housebuilders are] less likely to win a competitive bid for land unless the awarding body specifically states the desire to use off-site manufacturing as part of development. Clearly this position may change over time, particularly when site labour becomes more scarce or the demand for offsite manufacturing increases.

However, attitudes could be changing – Wolverhampton City Council is delivering 23,000 modular homes as part of a pilot scheme and a recent decision by the Greater London Authority’s assistant director of housing, to commission a common framework for ‘delivering precision manufactured homes at scale’, suggests that modular, standardised builds are now seen as an acceptable, even attractive, way to work around constrained local authority budgets.

There is, however, a long way to go, and even rising homelessness is currently failing to fuel demand for affordable accommodation. With demand far outstripping supply, local and national government now spend £2 million a day on temporary accommodation, often using the most expensive and least desirable forms of emergency housing, such as B&Bs and hotels, for the over-77,000 homeless households under local authority care. Contrastingly, modular houses can cost as little as £25,000 to build, and offer a permanent or semi-permanent alternative to emergency accommodation which is economically sustainable in the long-run. Some councils are already picking up on modular’s potential to provide stability for those in crisis – in Lewisham, plans for a 25-home modular social rent development are underway; and a collaboration between 16 London boroughs to provide modular housing for use by the homeless has been promised £11m by Sadiq Khan, after a £20,000 seed funding contribution from London Councils’ City Ambition programme kick-started the project.

Creativity, modernisation and efficiency are critical if the UK is ever to solve its housing crisis. The country’s population is unlikely to stop increasing, there is no real answer yet to the severe skills shortage in the country’s construction industry, and the threat of homelessness continues to grow. These are chronic problems for which a solution is needed, and fast. Modular housing could provide just that. Accessible, efficient and sustainable, today’s modular homes are not the prefabs of the past. Instead, they are slick and distinctive; environmentally friendly and architecturally evolved. With the government announcing plans, in March this year to build 100,000 modular homes by 2020, we may finally be waking up to the fact that, in a time of crisis, modular could prove to be just what the country needs.

Written by Ben O’Connor, Development Manager, Kajima

The first North West regional event in the Explore Offsite series will take place on 12 September 2018 in Manchester at the University of Salford. The combined conference and exhibition will bring together a range of offsite technology supply chain specialists and industry leaders to discuss the uptake of offsite construction within the region.

Explore Offsite North West will focus on the key themes of offsite technology, supply chain resources and opportunities within the sector. Through informative case studies and presentations from industry pioneers, the event aims to attract construction clients, architects, engineers, specifiers, building product manufacturers and suppliers.

Offsite manufacture is a progressive step that helps to challenge outdated assumptions about the construction sector and encourage more young professionals into the industry. The sector will generate savings in the long term, but the overwhelming message has been, that companies at every level of the supply chain should invest in offsite manufacture and construction processes sooner rather than later, or risk being left behind.

A well-known figure in the North West – Tom Bloxham MBE, Chairman for Urban Splash, once sold fire extinguishers door to door. Following a meteoric rise to fame, Urban Splash has developed over a billion pounds of regeneration projects across the country. Tom was awarded an MBE for services to architecture and urban regeneration in 1999 at the age of 35.

In his presentation ‘Urban Splash Modular and why we bought the Factory’ – Tom explains the rationale behind acquiring SIG’s modular factory and assets. “Urban Splash is committed to expanding its offsite construction capacity and this purchase is a way to vertically integrate our business and give us control of the production of our houses,” said Tom. “It is a testament to our commitment to, and investment in, modular housing.”

Osco Homes is all about making a positive social impact, in her presentation Gwen Beeken, Managing Director – discusses how their successful affordable housing projects are employing a different workforce. A wholly owned subsidiary of Procure Plus, Osco Homes’ objective is to deliver affordable houses constructed offsite at a factory based in HM Prison Hindley, Greater Manchester. Within three years Osco Homes hope to reach an output of 1,000 homes a year. The model is for the prisoners to be trained and then supported into full time employment upon release. Of the 14 prisoners who are taking part in the scheme and have been recently released, nine gained full time employment and only one re-offended (7%) – the national average for re-offending within six months is a staggering 60%. This pioneering project uses fully offsite manufactured housing solutions – the aim of filling the skills gap in this way, makes it a truly innovative project. It is not just about building affordable homes but providing training and opportunities for people who may have taken a wrong turn in life but are keen to change.

EOS Offsite Solutions design, manufacture and bring fully tested solutions to market which drives specification in UK construction. Peter Burchill from EOS Offsite Solutions will be presenting ‘Lightening the Load for the Residential Sector’. As experts in load bearing light steel frame (LSF) panelised and preassembled systems – EOS Offsite Solutions design and manufacture innovative load bearing pre-assembled solutions for pod and modular specialists, together with systems for multi-rise developments. With continued investment and expansion of production facilities, underpinned by 14 years’ experience in the offsite sector – EOS are geared up and ready to increase market share in the offsite load bearing market.

EOS Offsite Solutions is part of Etex Building Performance which brings together the products and solutions of four dry construction materials companies – Siniat, Promat and EOS Facades.

These speakers will be joined by experts and academics in the field of offsite technology and applications. Tickets cost just £125 plus vat and include; entry into the conference and exhibition, lunch and refreshments. For more information about the event, speakers and to book your place go to: www.exploreoffsite.co.uk/2018-events/explore-offsite-north-west.

Titon has extended its range of MVHR units with the introduction of the new, ultra-compact HRV 1.6 Q Plus. Designed specifically for the modular construction market, the new high-performance unit measures just 600mm wide, enabling it to fit into tight spaces for easy installation and access.

The new HRV 1.6 Q Plus combines low power consumption with a heat exchanger offering efficiencies up to 89%, which enhances SAP performance via Appendix Q. Furthermore, despite its compact size, the lightweight HRV 1.6 Q Plus can achieve excellent flow rates of up to 100 l/s or 359 m3/h, while the unit has also been independently tested by the BRE.

Other benefits of the new unit include an extremely low specific fan power (SFP) of 0.49 W/l/s, as well as intelligent frost protection, with a stepped reduction of supply rates preventing freezing. The HRV1.6 Q Plus also has a fully adjustable boost overrun timer and ‘Summer Mode’ facility built-in as standard.

The HRV 1.6 Q Plus Eco version is available in ‘Eco HMB’ and ‘Eco B’ models – each offering a 100% airflow diverting Summer Bypass, as recognised and listed in the UK Product Characteristics Database. There are additional intelligent humidity options available and units can be fitted with Titon’s auralite® status indicator, while Eco B models also have the option of the company’s auramode®, aurastat® and the new aura-tTM controllers.

Commenting on the product, Lee Caulfield, Sales Director, said: “We have developed the new HRV 1.6 Q Plus to provide a powerful yet compact unit that can be used when space becomes an issue. Suitable for larger apartments or small to medium-sized dwellings, the HRV 1.6 Q Plus offers high levels of efficiency and is ideal for modular construction.”

Available in the UK and Europe, the HRV 1.6 Q Plus range accepts 125mm ducting without the need for adapters, while also benefiting from independent fan adjustment and volt-free switching control. As with all Titon MVHR systems, the HRV 1.6 Q Plus is effective in reducing pollutants inside a property and improving indoor air quality (IAQ), in turn reducing the risk of Toxic Home Syndrome.

The HRV 1.6 Q Plus is supplied with ISO Course 55% filters as standard (G3), with ISO Course 60% (G4) available as an option upon request. Units in the UK also come complete with a 3-year guarantee period.

For more information about Titon and its range of ventilation systems, please visit: www.titon.co.uk