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SAINT-GOBAIN Supplies Sustainable Solutions For BRE Victorian Terrace

Saint-Gobain, world leader in the design, production and distribution of materials for the construction industry, has teamed up with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to transform a dilapidated Victorian stable block into three energy efficient terraced homes, suitable for 21st century living.

The Victorian Terrace project is the result of a BRE, Government and industry partnership aimed at generating new knowledge of the most effective ways of upgrading existing solid wall private and public housing stock so that it is highly energy efficient, costs less to run, emits significantly less carbon and meets the requirements of the UK’s ageing population.

Saint-Gobain supplied products and systems to upgrade Demonstration Home B, a 93m² Assisted Living Technology Zone encompassing a two-storey, one-bedroom unit designed to demonstrate retrofit solutions that can be offered to an aging population in need of care. The innovative products used for the project are already commercially available, combining high performance with ease of use to deliver the very best in sustainable efficiency.

Saint-Gobain companies including Saint-Gobain Isover, Weber, British Gypsum, Ecophon, Solaglas and Saint-Gobain Glass supplied innovative materials and solutions to help upgrade the original building from an Energy Performance Certificate rating of F, to A and B rated terraced properties.

Peter Hindle MBE, General Delegate of Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland and South Africa and Chief Executive of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution UK and Ireland, commented: ““The UK has the oldest housing stock in the developed world, so homes like the Victorian Terrace, must be tackled and upgraded on a wider scale if the UK is to achieve its carbon emission reduction target of 80 per cent by 2050.

“As a company, we are constantly innovating and seeking new ways to address tomorrow’s challenges, but we also recognise that it is just as important to tackle the issues facing society at the present time in terms of energy, housing and sustainability. The breadth and depth of products and systems offered by Saint-Gobain’s UK companies, and their ability to make a real difference to sustainable living right now is one of the key reasons behind our decision to partner with the BRE on this project.”

The original building exhibited a number of features and problems associated with housing from this era, including solid brick walls, sash windows, dampness, disrepair and poor thermal performance. The terraced houses have been retrofitted with a range of highly innovative products and systems from Saint-Gobain which are already on the market. Over the coming months these will be trialled and tested to verify their performance. Some of the key solutions specified in Demonstration Home B include:

Weber Floor 4310 Fibre Flow, a pumpable floor levelling compound specially designed for renovation projects such as the Victorian Terrace. Fibre Flow is ideal for use on difficult substrates, where level and smooth finish is required or as an underlay for a range of decorative floor finishes. Up to 10 times faster to apply than traditional solutions, Fibre Flow dries four times faster than traditional screed, minimising delay on site.

Ecophon Focus Ds suspended ceiling is perfect for where a suspended ceiling with a concealed grid is required but individual tiles must be easily demountable. The ceiling has an even appearance, with the bevelled edges forming a discreet groove between the tiles. Tiles are suspended in a grid also manufactured by Saint-Gobain Ecophon to offer a complete ceiling system, providing sound absorption which can improve the room acoustics.

Eurocell Vertical Sliding Sash windows and Howarth All Bar Sliding Sash windows are both glazed with EcoClear+ from Solaglas and offer traditional period looks combined with high levels of energy efficiency. Containing EcoClear+ double glazed units with SGG PLANITHERM glass coating technology, heat is reflected back into the room while maximising the transmission of natural light.

AM Profiles Design-5 window with SGG CLIMATOP triple glazed units from Solaglas offer the highest performance levels for windows along with significant flexibility on style, timber type, hardware and colour. The windows incorporate the latest magnetron-coating and warm edge technology with argon gas to facilitate a cost-effective, high performance overall window solution.
The Victorian Terrace loft comprises high performing Saint-Gobain insulation products ideal for room-in-a-roof solutions. Isover Vario KM Duplex, a high performance air-tightness and moisture management membrane, is installed under the tiling battens with Isover Frame Batt 32 insulation pushed fit within the rafters. Vario is a high quality ‘intelligent’ product that automatically adapts to changes in climatic conditions. It achieves excellent air tightness levels and its active moisture management system protects structural elements from moisture damage and ensures insulation performs to optimum levels.

80mm Gyproc ThermaLine SUPER, a Gyproc WallBoard bonded to a CFC-free phenolic foam insulant with a very high thermal performance was also used. The product enables as much ceiling height as possible to be retained and its integral vapour control reduces the risk of condensation, whilst providing the remaining thermal insulation to complete the loft ceiling.

weber.therm XP is the new generation of external wall insulation (EWI) systems from Weber. Using specially designed mineral one-coat, through-colour renders, the innovative one-coat EWI system significantly reduces the ‘programme of works’ and all associated costs while improving energy efficiency. The system extends the life of existing buildings by keeping the old structure warm and stable whilst the through-colour low maintenance render facilitates the decoration and remodelling of tired facades.

Weber Santane EFL elasto-meric decorative coating system consists of a range of repair products for difficult wall substrates. Ideally, a painted brickwork façade should have the paint removed with a stipple coat applied to provide a good render key. This wasn’t feasible at the Victorian Terrace so a render with a reinforced metal lath was applied. The Santane system 4 was then introduced to accommodate the existing cracks in the brickwork and the stresses from loading the building during the refurbishment phase.


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