Driving cost savings 'from the ground up' for Barratt Homes
Barratt Homes has benefited from both time and cost savings at 'The Elms', a new build development in Stockton on Tees, after replacing a traditional raft foundation structure with Insulslab– the fully integrated and super insulated foundation system.
Delivering the foundation up to ground floor level, Insulslab has been used to construct a mixture of 18 detached and 2 semi-detached homes on the site to date, with a further 11 due for completion by the end of the year.
Overall project cost savings have been realised through the significant reduction in labour time and simplicity of installation procedure, which also offers benefits from a health and safety perspective. As compared with traditional foundation techniques, Insulslab can achieve typical U-values of around 0.10-0.13W/m2K (depending on P/A ratio conditions).
Craig Gilhespie, Site Manager, Barratt Homes, explains: "Although cost is inevitably a driver in any development these days, Insulslab has gone beyond this by offering improvements on thermal insulation. The installation process is extremely quick and it is one of the safest systems to manoeuvre on-site – we have been very impressed."
While Barratt Homes has adopted Insulslab on a number of previous developments nationwide, 'The Elms' is the first time the system has been used by the current site team and groundworker, Lee Construction.
Commenting on his experience of Insulslab, Lee Green, Managing Director, Lee Construction, said: "Using Insulslab enabled us to save approximately three days per plot, which makes a major difference in terms of project progression. The system also helped us keep to the site programme because the absence of trenches meant there was no risk of collapse – allowing us to carry on working even in adverse weather conditions."
BBA approved, Insulslab is constructed of interlocking lightweight expanded polystyrene (EPS) pods; these are simply put in place, formwork erected around the perimeter and then steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) cast on top.
Michael Gilliead, National Sales Manager, Insulslab, concludes: "Insulslab is now widely accepted as a cost effective and higher performing alternative to traditional foundation techniques. The system is increasingly being adopted by housebuilders who are faced with challenging ground conditions where standard methods would be cost prohibitive, yet Insulslab can provide a competitive and efficient solution."