Adelphi House, Preston

Type and size of project

In June 2012, 13 new family homes were completed at the £1.23m Adelphi House Development in Preston, Lancashire. Ten of the houses were built to Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) Level 3, while three of the homes are a UK first, and were built to CSH Level 4 as part of a government backed research programme to develop low carbon, low energy homes through advanced building materials.

Key Facts

Working in partnership with the Communities Gateway Association and Adactus Housing Association, Stewart Milne Homes built a terrace of three CSH Level Four family homes in the heart of Preston. While the ten CSH Level 3 units at Adelphi House were built using solar thermal heating for renewable energy generation, the three CSH Level 4 homes were built using a fabric first approach. Here the energy performance of the building is achieved primarily through the external envelope without reliance on additional renewable technologies – making the homes more affordable, practical and easy to maintain.

Minimising the demand for energy and ensuring that energy usage is as efficient as possible is essential as a first phase to reducing carbon emissions. Improving the energy efficiency of the building through the fabric can be achieved through improved insulation; reduction of thermal bridging and heat loss; improved air tightness; timber frame construction, and enhanced construction performance.

The three, three-bedroom units in Preston were built using Stewart Milne Timber Systems’ Sigma® OP4 Build System, an open panel build system solution which is specifically designed to meet a wide spectrum of budgets and technical specifications.

Alex Goodfellow, Group Managing Director, Timber Systems explains: “For this project, cost was top of the agenda and Sigma® OP4, as our most cost-effective system, fitted the bill perfectly.”

With four base open panel products available - Sigma® OP1 – Sigma® OP4 - Stewart Milne Timber Systems offers flexibility through a range of features which deliver significant cost benefits, making the system more commercially attractive. The Sigma® OP4 wall panels have an option of factory-fitted rigid insulation which offers increased speed of build, reduced site prelim costs and higher levels of performance. In a standard application, the Sigma® OP open panel range can achieve U-Values of between 0.44 and 0.12 W/m2/k with air tightness below 3 & thermal bridging as low as 0.03.

Originally due for completion in September 2012, the speed of build benefits of a timber frame solution allowed for a much faster build programme. The foundations were laid on site in February 2012, the timber kit went up early April and the houses were complete by mid-June, almost three months ahead of schedule.

Co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the AIMC4 consortium comprises three of the UK’s leading housebuilders, Stewart Milne Group, Crest Nicholson plc and Barratt Developments plc; plus building material manufacturer H+H UK Ltd, and the Building Research Establishment (BRE). In total, 17 pilot homes have been built at five sites across the UK, eight of which were delivered by the Stewart Milne Group.

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