Polystyrene can be used as part of a concrete slab foundation system. Usually the polystyrene comes in the form of expanded interlocking pods which fit into each other. The polystyrene adds to the thermal performance of the building and helps improve SAP performance which is vital to achieve in accordance with part L of the building regulations. The insulab system (BBA certified) only requires 450mm overall structural depth of combined beam and slab do there’s less concrete, less tonnage of steel, less site traffic and reduced carbon emissions. These polystyrene pods can be used with modular construction design as well as traditional methods of building. It can be used with piles & re -bar or engineered ground fill and unstable ground conditions. It can be used as a replacement to independent beam and block floor slabs found on deep trench fill foundations.
Continue reading Polystyrene foundation
Tarmac is short for tarmacadam and is a type of surfacing materials patented by Edgar Purnell in 1902. John McAdam developed the surfacing method based around layering compacting stones in decreasing size from base to surface. The base layer would be 7.5cm dia, and the upper layer no more than 2cm. The addition of tar to surfaces stopped the dust forming when vehicles drive on the road. Continue reading Tarmac
Siniat produces a gypsum based weather defence sheathing board which I see on numerous high rise concrete frame structures around London. It usually comes in 12.5mm thickness and 1200mm sizes. Its non combustible and can be left in exposed areas for up to 12 months, before final cladding finishes are put on. This eliminates the need for a breathable membrane and is BBA certified which is great for insurers. Continue reading Weather defence sheathing board
Balcony Balustrading height
On this site in South East London the balcony railings needed to be 900 – 1100mm and they were. The spacing’s between the bars should be so a 100mm sphere couldn’t fit through. Babies head size apparently.
900 – 1100mm for the following – stairs, landings, ramps, external balconies, juliettes, edges of roof
800mm in glazing openings
Continue reading Balcony balustrade height & SFS
This brand new development has been on going for the past few years and has finally reached its completion stages. The use of natural limestone, bronze spandel panels, granite, anodised curtain walling and solar controlled glazing offers a modern and high quality finish to an already quite exclusive building design.
Continue reading Royal Warwick Square Kensington
I love the way that architects are able to use lights, space and glass to create striking structures which slide seamlessly into the surrounding areas. The EDP building (Portugese energy company) has utilised a glass facade supported by a complex structure of steel columns coated in GRC (Glass reinforced concrete) panels. The fin-like elements offer shade to the interior but also gives it a signature look. Beautiful building, and if you’re in Lisbon, it would be worth checking out. Shout out to the Architect Aires Mateus.
This building is currently the tallest modular built building in Europe. Modular construction is where a building is constructed off site under factory conditions. Quality is controlled, its much quicker (in this case taking 5 weeks to install 89 units), less traffic, less pollution, less dust and mess etc.
Building break down
– Small footprint, 90 piles and ground floor slab. There is a secondary transfer slab on the first floor to assist with module loads, 2m thick.
– There is a UKPN sub- station and a river to contend with.
– The concrete core was first erected, and then the modules literally slot into place. The rainscreen cladding was made up of ceramic tiles which had a ventilation/drainage gap.
-Modules aka pods – prefabricated, come with around 10mm magnesium Mgo Coating to make it waterproof. Which means even on the journey to the site the units are water proof.
– Riser cupboards form part of modules, and they are connected to the concrete core using a T shaped bracket which allows for lateral movement but not vertical, or maybe the other way round. I forget it was a busy day.
– The tiles are give a striking finish to the building and the units inside feel clinical but modern. Straight lines and smooth finished, as there was no contending with the usual restraints of a building site.
– This is a much more sustainable way to build and is more cost effective.