HPC pioneers piled foundations with Insulslab

Foundations on a constructions site

Insulslab has been adopted by Lincolnshire based HPC Homes for a prestigious housing development in Ramsey St Mary’s, Cambridgeshire. Used as a cap on piles at the former agricultural site, Insulslab facilitated efficient site progression by removing the need for a ‘dig off’, which would have been required with a traditional ring beam detail.

The high peat content and poor ground bearing capacity at the rural site dictated that piled foundations were necessary to achieve stability for construction.

Evaluating traditional foundation techniques against modern methods of construction, HPC Homes concluded that Insulslab provided an ideal solution for improving efficiency, in spite of the need to install piled foundations.

Simon Atkinson, Contracts Manager, HPC Homes, comments: "By combining Insulslab with a traditional piled foundation technique, we were able to realise tangible time savings on-site, which is critical with any development."

In contrast with standard ring beam details, Insulslab requires only minimal ground preparation without the need to excavate trenches, install cage reinforcement and sub-structure brickwork.

By reducing the labour time in this way, Insulslab contributes to an overall project cost saving and on-site efficiency gains.

Once the ground is prepared, Insulslab pods, which are constructed of lightweight expanded polystyrene (EPS), are installed in accordance with the engineered layout leaving structural beam strips to form the cap on piles. Steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) from ArcelorMittal is then poured directly on to the EPS pods to complete the foundation structure.

In addition to pile caps, Insulslab offers a cost effective and high performing alternative to other traditional foundation systems, including raft and beam and block. Moreover, with insulation integrated into system design, Insulslab can achieve very low U-Values while keeping floor depth to a minimum.