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The Eco-House

A practical design and build


project for construction UTCs
July 2014

This report is one of four that CITB


commissioned educational consultancy
Think Up to write on how to deliver highimpact construction education in University
Technical Colleges. The full set of reports
is available from the CITB website.
The four titles in this series are:
1. Delivering High-Impact Construction
Education at University Technical
Colleges a Practical Guide
2. Construction and the Built Environment
10 project themes for practical
implementation.
3. The Eco-house a practical design
and build project for construction UTCs.
4. The Big Rig a flexible environment for
hands-on activities at construction UTCs.

Innovators in engineering education.

Written by Think Up, for CITB


Design by thomas.matthews

Think Up is the educational arm of Useful Simple.


Morley House, 320 Regent Street
London, W1B 3BB

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

1.0 Executive
summary
This report illustrates how a hands-on design
and construction project can be integrated
into the curriculum at a construction UTC.
The construction of the eco-house is the
culmination of two 6-week-long projects in
which students will take on the role of a small
residential design & build contractor looking
to develop a new eco-house. (See the
previous report in this series titled 10 project
themes for practical implementation of the
construction curriculum at UTCs to
see how the eco-house project fits in
with the other eight project themes for
construction UTCs).
They will have to construct a show-home
demonstrating the technologies they can
use. Teams will compete to persuade
a committee of investors to fund the
development of their product.
The projects will be managed and facilitated
by the UTC, but will require significant
input from employers to make the projects
realistic, valuable and safe. Employers
will be asked to provide focussed expert
guidance during the design and construction
planning stages, acting as mentors and
clients for the project teams.
Significant support from employers
will additionally be needed during the
construction project, where they will need
to supply skilled personnel to support the
students in completing the construction.

The project does include construction


activities, which carry with them real risks
to health and safety. The UTC is responsible
for ensuring tasks are carried out safely
and appropriate risk assessments and risk
management are carried out. The UTC
is responsible for ensuring appropriately
qualified personnel are available when
required. Support from employers will be
invaluable in realising an exciting project
in a safe manner.
The idea behind this project is to give
students a structural steel framework for a
simple building within which they can design
the walls and ceilings. Structural stability is
provided by the steel frame, which must be
installed by competent contractors.

This report provides practical information


for running the eco-house project at a
UTC including:
suggested breakdowns
of lesson activities
curriculum mapping
managing safety
facilitation and delivery requirements
material requirements
the role for employers.
construction and procurement information
briefing materials.

Students then have the opportunity to design


and install the walls and ceiling
using a range of construction materials.
Class sizes will be approximately 25
students, and they will work in small teams
during the majority of the project. Each class
will finally design and build one or maybe two
eco-house show-homes.
The eco-house steel super-structure is made
up of a simple one-storey repeating two-bay
frame. The option of adding an additional
lightweight storey is made possible by
extension columns, which can be spliced
onto the lower columns. The extension
columns provide later stability to an upper
storey, the lightweight walls and roof of
which could be designed by students. The
ceiling/first floor will be made from pre-cast
reinforced concrete planks.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

2.0 Introduction
The activities the students will be under
taking to design and construct their ecohouse will teach students about the
characteristics of a range of different
materials and construction types used
to enclose the spaces we live and work
in. While learning this, the students will
gain an improved understanding of the
structural and environmental design of
buildings, will have to do detailed planning
of the construction project and will gain
hands-on experience of the construction
of each of these materials.
Additionally students will examine the
social and economic drivers for housing
construction, and will experience first-hand
the regulatory and planning constraints that
must be considered when designing and
building housing.
Students will be presented with a palette of
different construction materials with which
they can complete the eco-house, with a
brief to optimise the energy performance
of the building without compromising the
internal environment for its occupants. They
will have to achieve planning permission
for their eco-house before they can proceed
with construction, and will need to balance a
number of different, sometimes conflicting,
requirements in order to be ready to
construct their house.

3.0 Responsibilities
The eco-house they build will be a one- or
two-storey structure. The ground floor has
a fully completed structural system, requiring
only that appropriate wall systems are used.
The optional first floor however will have only
part of the structure completed, and students
will have to investigate the most appropriate
ways to build a stable light-weight structure,
at height, using the available materials.
Students will have to consider weight and
buildability in their planning, and will be
encouraged to understand braced and
framed structural solutions.
An eco-house has been chosen as it offers a
good opportunity to examine the economic,
environmental and social merits of different
materials in domestic construction, and
addresses what is increasingly a key theme
and consideration in the built environment.
It is an opportunity to really challenge
students to think and learn about
sustainability in construction and the
challenges and opportunities it presents.

This project has been designed to be


appropriate as a learning activity for
students. Think Up has considered how
the project may be run and this has included
assessment of the safety of the anticipated
activities. Particular risks have been
highlighted in the individual material
data-sheets included in the appendices.
Although safety has been considered in
the design, the running of the project and
the individual tasks are the responsibility
of the UTC or other organisations running
the project. The project does include
construction activities which carry with
them real risks to health and safety. The
UTC is responsible for ensuring tasks
are carried out safely and appropriate
risk assessments and risk management
are carried out. The UTC is responsible
for ensuring appropriately qualified
personnel are available when required.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

4.0 Supervision &


key personnel
In the weeks leading up to the construction
the supervision required is relatively light,
and is no more than the normal teaching
staffing. Additional people will be needed
for the proposed planning presentations
or occasional expert visits.
Students will need to be able to consult
experienced construction personnel to
guide them through their programming
and detailed planning.
The actual building of the eco-house
will include fairly significant construction
activities, and will require close supervision
to ensure safety. Students must be supported
by experienced construction personnel and
all mechanical equipment must be operated
by trained personnel. Although students will
take responsibility for safety as part of the
project, safety must be closely monitored
throughout and students should discuss
all their activities with the appropriate
supervisors before commencing each task.

5.0 Activities &


learning outcomes
For the students to have a positive learning
experience it is critical that sufficient qualified
personnel are available to support them and
ensure they remain occupied and challenged
throughout. Personnel must be available
to support the students in solving problems
as they arise. Those personnel must have
the necessary skills to support the activities
on site, and must also have access to the
necessary materials and tools so that work
and learning is not interrupted by lack of
appropriate equipment.
There must always be a member of staff
on site with responsibility for safety. Where
needed appropriately qualified personnel
must be available for any lifting operations
or other safety-critical activities.

Students will learn a wide range of things


common to all construction projects, in
addition to the more specific learning
about the environmental properties and
performance of construction materials. This
section describes the activities the students
will engage in under the headings of different
learning outcomes. A detailed exercise
has been undertaken to map the different
activities to the learning points outlined in
Construction and the Built Environment:
How University Technical Colleges can
deliver best practice.
This full mapping exercise is presented
in the Appendix; in this section the
numbers in brackets after each activity
refer to the learning outcomes in that
mapping. Numbers shown in bold are
the primary learning outcomes for the
set of activities described.
Drivers & influences
Students will be presented with and will
research a range of different drivers and
influences on design and construction of the
built environment, and housing in particular.
They will be given a set of planning
conditions and national regulations to comply
with, and will investigate the reasons for
these conditions. They will be encouraged
to examine the social, economic and
environmental context of housing, and how
it has changed over time. Research will be
carried out in the local context, and students
will be encouraged to visit local housing
developments, interview residents and policy
makers and develop an understanding of the
wider context of housing and how this affects
the building form and materials.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

They will also be required to develop an


understanding of building energy use in the
context of rising energy prices and global
warming. (3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 3.7, 3.19)
Building materials
Having looked at the general drivers and
influences on construction, the students
will learn about the details and possibilities
of construction using a wide range of
different materials, including some of the
less common low-carbon materials and
technologies. They will examine old, niche
technologies such as rammed earth, wattle &
daub and straw bale construction; traditional
established technologies such as masonry
and timber construction; and more advanced,
modern technologies such as composites
and SIPS. Employers will be asked to
provide opportunities to visit projects using
a range of technologies. Students will
particularly focus on the environmental
performance and impact of different
materials. (3.5, 3.7, 3.16, 3.18)
Having done considerable research as
part of the first project, the students will
get experience of actually building using
the materials they have chosen during the
second project. (3.14)

Design
Students will gain experience of the design
of buildings. Although the steel primary
structure is already designed in advance, the
student teams will have to design the infill
and possibly a light-weight first floor structure
and roof and any temporary works needed
for the construction. They will have a number
of constraints to both guide and limit their
design tasks, which will include the planning
and regulatory conditions theyve already
examined and a newly presented client brief.
The briefs primary requirement will be to
design and build a small energy efficient
show-home using a range of technologies,
and will include a number of cost and
material constraints. They will have the
opportunity to examine the brief and
discuss it with the client (a role fulfilled by
the employers). Students will be encouraged
to challenge the brief and enter into a
constructive dialogue with the client to
address conflicting drivers and difficulties
they may identify. Students will learn how
constraints in the real world can provide
opportunities and difficulties for the
design process.
They will have to follow an iterative
design process, which will include
making a planning submission in order to
obtain planning permission from a planning
committee and obtaining final design sign-off
from the client, before going on to produce
drawings and simple specification from which
their designs can be built. Students will have
to consider the buildability and safety of their
designs. The first project will conclude with
the issuing of construction information. (3.3,
3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.8, 3.17)

Construction planning
Students will have to plan the entire
construction task, and will have to actually
carry out their plans. This will provide a
direct link between the role of the designer
and the role of the contractor. Students will
need significant input and support from the
employers in guiding them through
the planning process.
The planning will include the construction
timetable, and students will have to know in
advance what materials they will need and
when. They will have to deal with any errors
or oversights in their planning, and with
subsequent delays or penalties, during the
actual construction. This will be an extremely
valuable experience and will drive home the
importance of understanding your project
fully in advance. (3.3, 3.5, 3.7, 3.10, 3.11,
3.12, 3.13)
Students will additionally have to meet
any planning conditions placed on the
construction activities, including limiting
environmental damage and waste. (3.9)
Construction
Students, working under the supervision of
experienced personnel from the employers,
will carry out the construction in accordance
with their planning. They will undertake
simple construction tasks themselves (e.g.
laying bricks, building rammed earth walls,
etc), and will direct experienced operatives
wherever plant is needed for lifting or moving
materials. (3.14, 3.10) Students must also
implement a QA system and assess the
quality of construction and snag the works
as the project proceeds. (3.12)

Safety
In planning and carrying out the construction
activities the students will have to ensure that
everything is safe. The risks they will have
to address, in addition to those common to
all sites, include working at height, working
with heavy materials, temporary stability
and more. Students will gain experience of
producing risk assessments and method
statements and will be judged on their
quality. There will be an impromptu visit from
a HSE/health and safety inspector during
construction to ensure that the students are
working in accordance with their method
statements. They will also learn about what
plant is needed and appropriate for certain
tasks. (3.5, 3.13)
Buildability
Students will gain experience of building
in a range of different materials. They will
experience the inherent pros and cons of
each material, as well as learning how to
best arrange things to limit any difficulties
that come with the different materials. They
will research each material and have the
opportunity to tailor their plans to them,
but are very likely to learn first-hand the
frustrations of poor planning or design
appropriate to the materials being used.
(3.3, 3.14)
Team work
Students will work in teams of up to 25
people split into smaller groups working
on specific parts of the project. These are
fairly large teams, so the students will have
to learn how to arrange themselves to
effectively complete the tasks before them,
and will have to use a range of tools to
manage their work. (3.11).

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

Design & build contractor 1: Design


Stage 1: Background research &
setting the context
The students will receive a briefing on
the activities and the final deliverables
and will make a research and design
plan. Students will also be given the
planning and regulatory conditions for
their design project. They will receive
an introduction to the history of housing,
housing policy and the drivers and
influences that affect housing. Their first
task will be to do research into a local
housing type or development and how
its occupants feel about it and what
shortcomings they think it has.
Stage 2: Understanding
building technologies
Students will continue their research and
start looking into available technologies
for enclosing buildings, specifically from
an environmental point of view. They will
have the opportunity to talk to experts
and/or local policy makers. Students
will be given the design brief and will
be introduced to their client. They will
produce a number of initial sketchdesigns for their eco-house.
Stage 3: Critique, & produce
reference materials
Students will have the opportunity to
discuss the brief with the client and
will confirm their understanding of its
requirements. The client will critique
their initial proposals. During this
week they should draw their research

Design & build contractor 2: Construction


to a close.
They will present their findings about the
local housing they have investigated to
the class. They will produce a reference
pack with the information they have
found about different materials.
Stage 4: Detailed design
Students will continue with their designs
and put together a submission for
planning, including general arrangement
drawings. They will have the opportunity
to meet a planning consultant. The
planning submission should be made
by the end of the week. They will
receive the response at the start
of the next week.
Stage 5: Tender information
Students will make any amendments
necessary to the design in order to meet
the planning conditions and will start
producing construction information. This
should include detailed drawings for
each material they will use and sufficient
information for the client or a quantity
surveyor to assess the cost.
Stage 6: Final design
Students must achieve final
sign-off of the design from the
client and submit their construction
information. This will include a glossy
design report in addition to the
drawings already produced.

Stage 1: Initial planning


The students will receive a briefing
on the activities, a detailed health and
safety briefing and lessons in health
and safety legislation. They will have
an opportunity to talk to experienced
contractors about construction projects
in order to understand the tasks ahead
of them. They will allocate roles to their
team and will identify any tasks for
which they need to research. They will
plan the erection of the steel frame with
support from experts.
Stage 2: Detailed planning
Students will visit a real construction
site, and will gain an appreciation of
the construction process and the risks
involved. Students will learn about risk
assessments and method statements,
and will produce these for the steel
erection. They will observe (or direct)
the erection of the steel frames. Detailed
construction planning will commence
and students will produce a Gantt chart
for their programme of works, detailing
what materials/equipment is required at
each stage of construction. Students will
produce a full bill of quantities for their
project and will place their orders for
materials by submitting this bill
of quantities.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

Stage 3: Construction.
Construction will commence if
the plans have been signed off.
Students will either do construction
themselves or direct trained
operatives where appropriate.
Stage 4: Construction & QA
Construction will continue Students
will review their programme of
works, method statements and risk
assessments, as necessary, based upon
their experience gained during earlier
construction. They can snag the quality
of their own workmanship.
Stage 5: Completion
Students will continue with construction,
taking into account any lessons learnt
from their review. With pressure
mounting to complete the project on
time, there can be a HSE inspection
to ensure students are working
in accordance with their method
statements. The project will culminate
with a tour and reception for the client,
and an announcement of which team
has produced the best product and most
impressed the investors.

7.0 Employers roles


Employers will play a significant role
throughout the two eco-house projects.
During the design project employers will:

During the construction project, the


employers involvement will be more critical,
and they will be asked to:

Provide technical information for each


of the available construction materials,
including data sheets, safety information
and environmental information, so that
students can make informed choices
about the materials using the type of data
and information that is generally available
to designers.

supervise and facilitate the construction


planning and actual construction works.
This will include providing sample
paperwork (e.g. method statements,
risk assessments) and assessing the
students versions of them; guiding
students in their programming. Effectively
the employers will play a key role in
ensuring the students are able to do
planning and construction works of
sufficient quality to actually succeed,
without giving them so much help that
they do not make mistakes or dont learn.

Act as clients for the project, providing


the design brief and guiding the student
teams so that they are able to respond to
the brief in the way that is intended. This
may include design reviews and making
changes to requirements part-way
through the project.
Provide representatives to sit on the
planning committee that will eventually
judge the students designs. This will
include choosing the one or two designs
that the class will actually build during the
next phase of the project.
Provide access/visits for the students
to other developments or projects with
ecological or environmental aspects
which could aid them in gaining a good
understanding of what is possible and
what is important in doing low-carbon
construction, as well as exposing them to
more traditional construction techniques.

Some plant and other equipment will


be needed for construction of the
eco-house(s). Exactly what plant is
appropriate depends on the detailed
tasks to be prepared with the UTC team
and the employers, but it is likely to
include an excavator or lifting equipment
(e.g. hoists), and movable scaffolds and
stairs. Employers should be able
to provide any equipment the UTC
does not have.

provide site visits to active construction


sites to help students understand what
they are taking on and what planning
and preparation they will need. This
should include demonstrating waste
management and health & safety
systems to them.
provide representatives to give health
and safety training appropriate to active
construction sites.
continue their role as client for this
project, and check that they meet all the
requirements of the brief and the chosen
design to an acceptable quality.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

8.0 Eco-house frame

The first part of the construction will be the


erection of the steel frame. This should be
done by competent trained personnel, but
may be planned and directed by the students
if that is deemed appropriate. Students
should observe the erection of
the steelwork.

2
3000

3000

3000

SLAB TO BE DESIGNED TO SUIT


LOCAL GROUND CONDITIONS

S100

S500

P3

CH1

3000

CH1

4A
S500

CH1

P2

3000

P3

C
1

C
1
CH1

CH1

20

C
1

FORCE AT BASE OF
COLUMN REFERENCE

3000

S500
43

43

43

C
1

CH1

3000

CH1

P2
CH1

P1

20

CH1

P2

C
1

C
1

LOCATION OF COLUMN

CH1

The first floor of the structure will be precast


concrete planks, which are quick to install
and have reliable load capacity. This will
allow the students to concentrate on the
enclosure of the spaces. Students may
be asked to design and build one of
the floor planks.

3000

3000

P3

P2

CH1

C
1

C
1

The top of the columns will have capping


plates with pre-drilled holes. This allows two
or more of the columns to have extensions
added to cantilever up for a second storey.
By bracing or framing their first floor structure
back to these columns a safe stable structure
can be built at the first floor. Alternatively,
depending on detailed planning of the
activity, these can simply be omitted.

20

FOUNDATIONS TO
CONTRACTORS DESIGN

C
1

The frames will require a permanent


concrete base with cast-in in holding down
bolts. The requirements for the base are
shown on the construction drawings for the
frames. The base will have Halfen channels
cast into it to allow simple connection of the
structural infill. The detailed design of the
base is the responsibility of the UTC.

Where appropriate, additional beams


can be added between frames to provide
additional support or restraint to the
wall sections as required.

3000

The basic structure for the Eco-house activity


consists of a set of steel frames constructed
of standard I-sections. The basic frames are
designed to ensure stability of the structure,
but leave sufficient flexibility for the
students to choose the final arrangement
of the house.

CH1

P3

FOUNDATION PLAN

LEVEL 0 PLAN

1 : 50

1 : 50

3000

3000

TOS +6.000 m

LEVEL-02
6.000

The frames are set out on a 3 metre grid.


Additional frames may be added in any
direction to allow more flexibility in the
exercise or to allow for larger groups to
take part. This flexibility could, for example,
allow a series of terraced houses to be built,
allowing party-wall issues to be included in
the activity.

C1

SPLICE LOCATION

S500

S500

S500

TOS +3.175 m

TOS +3.000 m

LEVEL-01

B2

B2

C1
SLAB TO BE
DESIGNED TO SUIT
LOCAL GROUND
CONDITIONS

B1

C1

B2

3.000

B1

C1

4
S500
SSL +0.000 m

LEVEL-00
0.000

Students will build walls between the frames,


based on the design they have done. The
orientation of the frames will influence the
materials used on different sides.

SECTION A
1 : 50

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

9.0 Material options


Students should be able to choose from a
palette of available materials. Which are
available will depend on the expertise and
budget available. Teachers briefing sheets
have been provided in the appendix with the
report for the following materials:

Additional options, for which teachers


briefing sheets are not included, but could be
produced, are:

Cavity wall construction with block


and brick, demonstrating conventional
domestic construction.

Prefabricated windows to be inserted


into openings.

Rammed earth construction,


demonstrating an ancient and
basic but very environmentally
friendly construction technique.
Precast concrete floor panels. Precast
panels that form the roof/first floor and
can be lifted into place.
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) on a
timber frame. This would be a suitable
option for the first floor construction.
Steel frame and cladding, suitable for
walls or the roof of the first floor structure.
Conventional timber frame, to
demonstrate conventional light-weight
construction. This would be suitable for
the first floor level, and may be insulated.
Can be clad with wooden sheathing
or planks.
Straw bale construction, a more niche
technology.

Louvre systems to allow ventilation


and light penetration. Could be used in
combination with other systems.

Wattle and daub construction


Standing seam walling systems
It is important that a range of different
materials is provided so students have
the chance to experiment and can see
how some materials may not be the most
appropriate for one context, but may be
of use in another.
No large-scale glazing will be used, as this
is difficult, time-consuming and sometimes
dangerous to install. However, students
will be prompted to produce a design
that includes windows and doors, and
simply to leave openings for these. Simple
prefabricated framed windows (e.g. UPVC)
could be installed in these openings.
Students will not be expected to construct
an airtight building. They will need to include
lintels where appropriate.

If a lightweight upper floor structure is


to be built, it could be built of lightweight
steel or timber framing or some other
appropriate material. Due consideration of
the implications of working at height must
be taken, and the stability of any structure
should be assessed by a competent person.
A range of roofing options for its roof should
also be provided. Options include:
corrigated iron sheets
thatch
aluminium sheets
asphalt or timber shingles
tiles (subject to weight).
Each of these would require appropriate
battens/purlins and rafters. Note that
materials for a potential upper floor
structure are not included in the bill
of quantities in the appendices.

Modcell prefabricated panels, a strawfilled structural walling system that claims


to allow carbon-negative construction.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

10

10.0 Equipment &


facilities
Sufficient equipment and supervision
must be provided to allow the students
to safely construct their design within the
allotted time. This will require appropriate
mechanical lifting equipment operated by
trained personnel. Making this available
only at certain times could add an additional
constraint for the teams to consider in
their programming.
Each of the materials made available will
require appropriate tools and additional
materials to ensure it can be used and built.
For example, cavity wall construction will
require provision of all necessary ties to
tie the brick and block leaves together and
suitable connectors to tie the wall to the steel
frame. These items are listed in the teachers
briefing notes for each material. Rammed
earth and any concrete works will require
timber for formwork, as well as a ready
supply of water.
The procurement of the different materials
will have different requirements. While for
conventional materials such as brick the
materials can be procured directly, some of
the proprietary systems, such as SIPS, will
require a design to be undertaken by the
supplier. The procurement requirements are
detailed in the teachers briefing notes for
each material.

Full personal protective equipment must be


provided for every student and every person
who attends site during construction (see
section 3.0) This equipment includes:
hard hats
hi-visibility jackets
steel reinforced boots
gloves
protective glasses
ear plugs.
The site used will, in addition to the
previously cast concrete base, have to have
sufficient storage area for all the materials.
Hand-washing and toilet facilities must be
easily accessible.
Suitable scaffolding will be required, with
qualified personnel to erect and inspect it.
A scaffolding staircase will provide access
to the first floor, and scaffolding balustrades
will be needed at first floor level to provide
edge protection.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

11

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

12

Appendix A:
Curriculum Mapping
This appendix presents the detailed mapping
of the learning points for the two Eco-house
projects. The table shows xx for learning
points which are the primary focus of one or
more of the activities included in the project,
and x for any learning points which are
addressed by the associated tasks with
each of the activities. Learning points which
are not addressed by the activities of these
two projects are to be addressed by one of
the three other key stage 5 projects (Town
Planner, Civil Engineer, Developer).

Key Stage 5: Eco-House


Main learning point

No.

Detailed learning points


D&B contractor 1

3.1

Explore the historical, political,


infrastructure including transport,
economic, social and aesthetic factors
influencing the design process.
Provide learners with knowledge,
understanding and application of the
analytical skills involved in evaluating
the impact of a wide range of factors
influencing the development and design
of the built environment.

3.1.1

Investigate how the built


environment has developed and
changed over time and the factors
influencing changing styles and
approaches to design

3.1.2

Investigate the impact of different


political policies and priorities and
their impact on design

3.1.3

Identify and evaluate the impact


of different forms of private and
public funding on built environment
projects and evaluate the influence
of the cyclical nature of economic
growth and recession

3.1.4

Explore how the built environment


responds to community needs,
social integration and contributes to
social engineering

Identify how infrastructure


requirements influence design
including transport and explore
various architectural styles,
landmark projects and the
relationship between function,
form and visual appearance

3.1.5

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

D&B contractor 2

13

Key Stage 5: Eco-House


Main learning point

No.

Detailed learning points


D&B contractor 1

3.2

Identify and explore the principles and methods involved


in urban design and their influence on the urban
environment. This provides learners with the knowledge,
understanding and application of the principles and
methods involved in urban design and the factors
influencing the existing and future spatial structure of
urban form.

3.2.1

3.2.2

3.2.3
3.3

Identify and explore the various stages of the design


process. This provides learners with the knowledge,
understanding and application of the principles involved
in taking a design through the complete design cycle.

Explore the design and governance of urban spaces and


their contribution to social inclusion, economic growth,
environmental sustainability, transport strategies and the
quality of life.

Develop and experiment with a range of design


skills in order to manipulate space and produce
alternative strategic and detailed representations
of the urban environment.
Explore the interdisciplinary nature of urban design.

3.3.1

Identify ways to establish and verifying client


requirements/brief.

xx

3.3.2

Explore the visual impact of the proposed design in


relation to function.

xx

3.3.3

Explore ways of developing preliminary and refined


design solutions.

xx

3.3.4

Identify the different relationships in the process


including client/agent and design team.

xx

3.3.5

Identify regulatory and planning requirements in relation


to designs.

xx

Identify the technical and physical processes involved


in realising the design including structural engineers and
contractors.

xx

Explore the ways in which the design solution is


translated into working drawings and specifications to
permit its construction.

xx

3.3.6

3.3.7

D&B contractor 2

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

xx

xx

14

Main learning point

No.

Detailed learning points

Key Stage 5:
Eco-House
D&B contractor 1

3.4

Examine the various stages of the planning


process and evaluate the important factors
that affect planning procedures and
decisions. This provides learners with
the knowledge, understanding and
application of the processes involved
in the planning cycle.

3.3.7

3.4.1

3.4.2
3.4.3

3.4.4

3.4.5

3.5

Examine the health, safety and


environmental factors influencing the design
of the built environment. This provides
learners with the knowledge, understanding
and application of the principles involved
in ensuring that health, safety and
environmental protection (HSE) are fully
reflected in the design process.

3.5.1

3.5.2
3.5.3

3.5.4

3.5.5

Explore the ways in which the design solution is translated into


working drawings and specifications to permit its construction.

xx

Identify and evaluate the primary social, political and economic


factors that influence the planning process.

Interpreting planning requirements and developing a strategy to


achieve an acceptable design solution

Identify appropriate treatments of the design solution at each stage


of the planning process

Identify ways of responding to circumstances to ensure continuing


compliance with planning permission

Identify the monitoring and approval requirements to ensure


compliance with planning permission

D&B contractor 2
xx

xx

Identify ways of incorporating HSE factors which ensure the safety


and well-being of people using the built environment

xx

Identify ways of responding to regulatory requirements for HSE

xx

Investigate ways of conducting risk assessment and incorporating


risk management in the design process

xx

Investigate ways of ensuring the security of people using the


built environment
Investigate the design implications of maximising energy efficiency
and environmental protection

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

xx

xx

15

Key Stage 5: Eco-House


Main learning point

No.

Detailed learning points


D&B contractor 1

3.6

3.7

Investigate the provision of primary services utilities to


the design of buildings in terms of the main features,
basic operating principles and the materials used. This
provides learners with the knowledge, understanding and
application of processes to ensure the external supply
of utilities and the functioning of building services are
accommodated within the design process.
Identify the impact of projected climate change on
the design of the built environment and on ways of
minimising energy demand and reducing emissions
to air, land and water. This provides learners with
the knowledge, understanding and application of
principles which ensure that the design process takes
full account of environmental and climatic changes
and future predictions.

3.6.1

Identify how the provision, location, accessibility and


maintenance of utilities influence the design process

3.6.2

Understand how utilities are scaled down to provide effective


supply

3.6.3

Investigate the implications for design of how utilities


are distributed

3.6.4

Investigate ways to ensure that environmental and energy


efficiency are taken into account during design

3.6.5

Investigate ways of building in factors which will enhance


the management of the built environment

3.7.1

Understand and evaluate the influence of global warming


on the built environment

3.7.2

Identify ways of designing in protection of the built


environment against changes in the water table
and drought

3.7.3

Investigate how design processes can minimise emissions


to the air and contribute to energy efficiency

xx

3.7.4

Understand how waste disposal can affect land pollution


and how the design process can minimise this

3.7.5

Investigate ways of designing in the most effective form


of heat exhaust

3.7.6

Gain an understanding of the role of energy use, sourcing,


management and renewal and their contribution to the built
environment.

3.7.7

Gain an understanding of the principles of renewable energy


and their impact on technical, economic and social factors in
the design process

3.7.8

Different sources of energy will also be explored as well as


ways in which energy performance can be enhanced as a
contribution to the responsible design of the built environment

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

D&B contractor 2

xx

xx

16

Key Stage 5: Eco-House


Main learning point

No.

Detailed learning points


D&B contractor 1

3.8

3.9

Examine main job roles and their relationship to each


other within the built environment and explore career
pathways, qualifications and progression. This provides
learners with the knowledge, understanding to explore
relationships between varying occupational job roles their
career progression and relevant qualifications.

Investigate the occupational structure of the construction


and the built environment industry in relation to craft,
technical, supervisory and management job roles and
Identify and linking pathways for career progression and
the appropriate qualification routes relating to each and
including the range and role of Professional Institutions.

Identify ways of protecting and maintaining the


environment during construction of the built
environment. This provides learners with the knowledge,
understanding and application of the principles involved
in safe guarding structures and their surrounding areas
during construction

Investigate the occupational structure of the construction


and the built environment industry in relation to craft,
technical, supervisory and management job roles and
Identify and linking pathways for career progression and
the appropriate qualification routes relating to each and
including the range and role of Professional Institutions.

D&B contractor 2

xx

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

17

Key Stage 5: Eco-House


Main learning point

No.

Detailed learning points


D&B contractor 1

3.10

3.11

3.12

Identify and evaluate the construction processes


required to construct the sub and superstructures of a
range of buildings, including finishes and services. This
provides learners with the knowledge, understanding and
application of processes needed to develop a working
knowledge of the building technology required to bring
a typical construction project to a successful conclusion.

3.10.1

Identify and evaluate a range of quality assurance and


project monitoring processes. This provides learners
with the knowledge, understanding and application of the
procedures needed to ensure the quality of work meets
the given specification and how the project is monitored
throughout the build process.

Identify and evaluate the construction processes


required to construct the sub and superstructures of
a range of buildings, including finishes and services.
xx

3.11.1

Identify and evaluate a range of project management


tools and techniques. This provides learners with the
knowledge, understanding and application of processes
involved in the management of projects.

D&B contractor 2

3.12.1

3.12.2

Identify and Evaluate personal skills required for dealing


with individuals and groups of employees and the
recognition of the skills required to manage strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with
construction and built environment projects.

Identify and evaluate ways to snag the work during and


on completion of the work programme

Monitor and evaluate material and labour costs, work in


process, plant hire costs and production costs as part of
the project process

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

xx

xx

xx

18

Key Stage 5: Eco-House


Main learning point

No.

Detailed learning points


D&B contractor 1

3.13

3.14

3.15

Identify and evaluate the health, safety and environmental


factors influencing the creation of the built environment.
This provides learners with the knowledge and
understanding to monitor the magnitude of health
and safety and environmental issues created by
the build process.

Compare existing and developing processes used in


the creation of the built environment and evaluate their
impact. This provides learners with the knowledge and
understanding of some key methods used in the creation
of the built environment.

Identify and evaluate the principles of renewable


energy and its technical and social implications.
This provides learners with the knowledge,
understanding and applicatioasn of energy
production, energy conservation and energy
audit with regard to renewable energy sources.

3.13.1

3.13.2

3.14.1

3.15.1

Identify current legislation and information on non-fatal


injuries and fatalities

Evaluate their influence on the build process in terms


of the cost of safety and evaluate cost implications
associated with the supply chain, sustainability of
resources and implementation of modern methods
of construction.

This involves evaluation of traditional techniques in


comparison with modern methods, considering their
impact on cost, duration of project time, health, safety
and environmental risks, and how they impact on the
needs of society.

D&B contractor 2

xx

xx

xx

Identify and evaluate the principles of renewable


energy and its technical and social implications.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

19

Key Stage 5: Eco-House


Main learning point

No.

Detailed learning points


D&B contractor 1

3.16

3.17

Identify and evaluate ways of conserving natural


resources and recycling waste in the creation of the
built environment. This provides learners with a good
knowledge, understanding and application of the
principles involved in making best use of materials to
sustain resources for the built environment.

Describe and evaluate ways of engaging stakeholders


and communities in the development and use of the
built environment and the local infrastructure including
transport. This provides learners with the opportunity to
analyse, evaluate and explore principles and practices
in relation to engagement of the whole community in the
creation and use of the built environment.

3.16.1

Understand how sustainable raw materials are


processed to form resources for sustainable use

xx

3.16.2

Explore which materials are eco-friendly and can be


re-cycled

xx

3.16.3

Investigate the uses of sustainable materials and how


they influence the construction of the built environment.

xx

3.17.1

Evaluate the role and contribution of the primary


stakeholders in the built environment and their different
perspectives and interests

3.17.2

Investigate ways of balancing the needs of different


stakeholders and communities

3.17.3

Evaluate alternative ways in which individuals and


communities can contribute to and influence decisions
about the development of the built environment.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

D&B contractor 2

20

Key Stage 5: Eco-House


Main learning point

No.

Detailed learning points


D&B contractor 1

3.18

3.19

Identify ways of protecting and maintaining the


environment during use of the built environment.
This provides learners with the opportunity to analyse,
evaluate and explore principles and practices in relation
to ensuring the use of buildings and structures protects
the environment.

Evaluate the social, economic and commercial


contribution of the built environment to the wider
community. This provides learners with the opportunity
to analyse, evaluate and explore principles and practices
in relation to the contribution of the built environment to
economic activity, prosperity and social cohesion.

3.18.1

Identify ways of minimising energy demand and


reducing emissions to air, land and water

xx

3.18.2

Identify sustainable processes which optimise social,


economic and environmental benefits

xx

3.18.3

Identify the contribution of the local infrastructure


including transport services to the maintenance of the
built environment

3.18.4

Evaluate technologies and materials which can


contribute directly to sustainability

3.18.5

Explore ways of engaging stakeholders and


communities in protecting the built environment

3.18.6

Evaluate methods to ensure that buildings and


structures are protected from damage and kept secure.

3.19.1

Identify the economic and business drivers within


the built environment and how this influences its
development; evaluate the financial contribution of built
environment activities to the broader economy

3.19.2

Investigate the contribution of the built environment in


achieving social objectives and community development

3.19.3

Gain an understanding of the contribution made


by planning to the wellbeing of individuals and
communities, social cohesion and community
development.

Understand the primary social, political and economic


factors that influence the planning process and how they
relate to other components of the design process.

3.19.4

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

D&B contractor 2

21

Key Stage 5: Eco-House


Main learning point

No.

Detailed learning points


D&B contractor 1

3.20

3.20.1
Evaluate the role of asset management in the economic
and social development of the built environment. This
provides learners with the opportunity to analyse, evaluate
and explore principles and practices in relation to the
management of built assets to achieve economic and
3.20.2
social benefits.

3.20.3

3.20.4

3.21

Identify and evaluate ways of protecting the physical


structure of the built environment. This provides learners
with the opportunity to analyse, evaluate and explore
principles and practices in relation to how the physical
fabric of the built environment is kept secure.

3.21.1

3.21.2

D&B contractor 2

Identify the full range of asset management activities


for both private and public provision

Evaluate the financial value of asset management


services and their contribution to the national and
local economy
Evaluate the impact of asset management services
on the lifespan, financial viability and social utility of
built assets
Identify and evaluate the impact of well managed assets
on the safety, comfort and wellbeing of individuals and
communities
Identify and evaluate techniques for maintaining the
integrity of the structure from damage from the elements
and people
Identify ways of protecting the built environment in order
to extend its period of usefulness

3.21.3
Identify and evaluate the contribution of protecting the
built environment to social and community objectives

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

22

12.0 Appendix B:
Quantity Estimates
This appendix presents an initial estimate
of the quantities of materials required for a
selection of the different possible materials
to be used in the exercise. This is based on
the material being used to provide infill for a
single 3m wide bay of the steel frame.

The steel frame, foundations and ground slab


are in addition to the materials listed below,
and not all material options are included.

The estimation should be refined and


extended as the project progresses, with
expert input from employers. Any equipment/
materials that can be re-used will require
storage throughout the year, while equipment/
materials that cannot be re-used will only
require storage between purchase and use.

This estimation is intended to give an


understanding of the range and volume
of materials required.

Unit size
Task

Material

Width

Height

Area (m)

Width

Height

Quantity

Cavity Wall Construction

Brick

2.4

7.2

0.215

0.103

0.075

14

32

448

Assume college have


appropriate scaffolding
system.

Block

2.4

7.2

0.45

0.1

0.225

11

77

Assume college has


concrete mixer (for mortar).

Insulation

2.4

7.2

1.2

0.05

2.4

1200mm x 2400mm sheets.

Wall Ties

2.4

7.2

0.9

0.45

35

Excluding openings.

L Ties (Debonded)

2.4

7.2

0.45

14

Self driving screws/Pre-drilled


holes in the steelwork?

Head Restraint

2.4

7.2

0.9

DPC

3m

300mm thick
rammed earth wall

2.4

7.2

0.3

2.5m

DPC

3m

Threaded rod (1m)

2.4

7.2

0.45

12

Nuts

12

10mm Rebar
(1.44m)

1.5

2.4

3.6

0.2

12

26

Rammed Earth

Pre-cast Concrete panels

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

Comments

Soil should have reasonably


high sand and gravel content,
with some silt and sufficient
clay to act as a binder and
assist soil compaction.

Assumptions

Assumed college have


manual/pneumatic rammer.

Assume college have


appropriate shuttering
system
RE either cast into the web or
use threaded rod.

Assume college has


concrete mixer (if making
own 'earth')

Assume college has shutters,


holding down bolts, etc.

Assume there is a method


for lifting pre-cast panels,
i.e. JCB 3CX

23

12.0 Appendix B:
Quantity Estimates
Unit size
Task

Material

Width

Height

Area
(m)

Width

Height

Quantity

Comments

Conventional Timber Frame

90mm timber studwork


(2.4m)

2.4

7.2

0.6

600mm centres, pre-drilled


holes in the steelwork

90mm timber studwork


(3m)

2.4

7.2

Insulation

2.4

7.2

0.6

0.05

1.2

10

DPC

3m

Sheathing Plywood
Sheet (12mm)

2.4

7.2

2.4

0.012

1.2

7.2m

Breathable membrane

2.4

7.2

7.2m

100mm horizontal laps,


150mm vertical laps

25x50mm timber
studwork (2.4m)

2.4

7.2

0.6

600mm centres

External timber
cladding

2.4

7.2

0.018

0.144

17

18

Nails

Pack of 500

Straw Bale

2.4

7.2

0.35

0.45

18

Method of construction
to be advised by
specilaist contractor

Render

2.4

7.2

0.05

0.5m

DPC

3m

>= 350mm wide

Modular Louvered Panel

Proprietary panel

2.4

7.2

1.5

0.15

1.2

Proprietary system
to be selected, and
hence construction
methodology dependent
upon this decision

Structural Insulated Panel

Mullions/post

2.4

7.2

2.4

Steel Frame and Cladding

Head flashing

2.4

7.2

1.6

Cill flashing

2.4

7.2

1.6

Nuts and Bolts

Straw Bale Construction

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

Assumptions

Assume college has


a means of lifting
panel system, i.e.
genie lift/JCB

Pre drilled holes in


column flanges

24

Appendix C
Eco-house teacher
support information
Overview
This appendix is intended to provide support
material that will help teachers develop
resources to deliver the stages of the ecohouse project. In addition to the information
in this appendix, teachers should refer also
to the construction drawings and design
specification provided by Expedition for the
eco-house structure.
Introduction
All floor systems presented are based on
a typical 3m bay of the steel frame; all wall
systems proposed are based on a 3x3m bay
of the steel frame, supported at ground level
and designed to withstand a wind pressure
assumed as 1.15 kN/m2.
Students will be able to choose from
a palette of available materials:
Floors
Precast concrete panels;
Walls
Cavity wall;
Timber frame wall;
Light steel frame wall;
Rammed earth wall;
Structural Insulated Panels;
ModCell wall panels;
Straw bale wall.

For each option, the data sheets are


organized to provide information about:
Introduction: description of the floor/
wall system geometry, materials, energy
efficiency, available technologies,
economic and environmental context,
typical usage and advantages.
Design activities: key learning outcomes
and description of the design activities
that the students can engage in.
This section guides the teachers in
planning the activities for the students,
understanding the level of complexity and
involvement required for each option.

Safety is the responsibility of the school


and must be assessed by the school for each
activity. Sufficient equipment and supervision
must be provided to allow the students to
safely construct their design.
Construction should not differ from that
described unless it has be explicitly
provided for in the material sheet. No
changes or assumptions should been made
to the proposed design without consulting
a structural engineer.

Construction activities: students


involvement in the actual construction
phase in accordance with their design
and planning.
Options: description of the basic
requirements for each solution together
with minimum design elements to
guarantee a stable system. List of
optional extras (e.g insulation, vapour
control, external cladding) to complete
and enrich the design process.
Materials list & procurement notes:
information on materials, layers,
quantities, manufacturers and
procurement.
Construction notes: risks, responsibilities
and minimum requirements to consider
during the construction phase.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

25

Precast concrete
floor panel
Data sheet
1. Introduction
Largely because of fast on-site construction,
precast floor units are one of the most
economic flooring solutions for the widest
variety of situations including masonry, steel
and concrete structures for retail, commercial
and industrial buildings. Available as
prefabricated panels, the units are
manufactured under strict quality-controlled
conditions and can be quickly lifted and
assembled on site. Fitting of precast is a
fast process and not subject to the same
weather dependency as traditional
construction methods.
Pre-fabrication enhances quality control due
to offsite manufacture, thereby reducing the
risk of on-site workmanship problems. The
floor panels thermal mass can reduce the
need for air conditioning whilst providing
good acoustic performances and fire
resistance. Solid precast planks are typically
used for shorter spans (as in our case);
voided floor units are suitable for longer
spans to reduce the quantity of materials in
line with sustainability aims and to permit
easy distribution of services within floor and
ceiling zones.

2. Design activities
Precast floor panels can either come as
off-the shelf elements or be specifically
manufactured following the designers
instruction. In this case, the panels must
be procured from a precast concrete
manufacturer following the design specified
in this report to suit the frame geometry
and the end connection requirements.
The students can investigate the available
products, considering the frame geometry,
typical span to depth ratios and maximum
allowable loads. They can design one
floor unit of solid reinforced concrete that
they can afterwards build on site. Carrying
out this design exercise, the students can
understand the load distribution on the floor,
the interaction between steel and concrete,
the material properties, the typical loads
for various usage of the building. They can
design the floor panel to resist bending and
shear actions and typical span to depth ratios
to limit deflections.

Applied loads:
Self-weight: SW=25kN/m3x0.2m=5kN/m2
Superimposed Deal Load= 0.75 kN/m2
Imposed Load=4.2kN/m2 (3kN/m2 imposed
load + 1.2kN/m2 allowance for partitions)
Factored line load at ultimate limit state:
q=(1.35x(SW+DL)+1.5xIL)
x(Width)=(1.35x(5+0.75)+1.5x4.2)
x1m=14kN/m

The proposed floor panel is 1x3m. The


thickness of the panels is chosen following
typical span-to-depth ratio values to limit
the floor deflections under serviceability
conditions.

It is chosen to use a 200mm thick solid slab.


The floor panel is designed to resist bending
actions due to the application of typical loads
on the floor.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

26

The panel is designed as a simply


supported beam as follows:
The required reinforcement in the two main
perpendicular directions is:

It is proposed to use a mesh of reinforcement


top and bottom of B10
at 200mm spacing.
The students can calculate the weight of
the floor panel and choose the lifting inserts
to be cast in the panel in order to lift the
unit in place. The proposed inserts are
the Halfen DEHA spherical head anchor
lifting systems (6000- 5,0-0095), refer to
manufacturer specifications for working loads
and arrangement details (http://www.halfen.
co.uk/s/25_13388/halfen/modules/brochures/
index.php).
The students can calculate the number
of units needed to proceed with the
construction phase, the overall cost
(considering materials, transportation
and construction equipment) and plan
the construction sequence.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

27

3. Construction activities
The students can build their own panel on
site, preparing the formwork, placing the
reinforcement and pouring the concrete
depending on the schools risk assessment.
They will cast in the concrete the lifting
inserts to allow the panel to be lifted once
it reaches the required strength. If all the
panels are pre-made, the students will be
involved with the lifting sequence, under
the supervision of trained personnel and
full personal protective equipment.
4. Options
4.1. Minimum requirements
The panels must be designed as described in
the previous section and have to be procured
from a precast concrete manufacturer. The
panel thickness must be not less than the
proposed 200mm.
4.1.1. Connection details: Notched ends
The panels need to be notched at the ends
to allow for a safe and easy connection to
the steel beam (see sketch for more details).
This allows for a quick installation with no
need of the structural concrete topping
poured on site to connect the panels that
is normally required for the typical panel
connection.
4.2. Optional additions:
The school can choose if the students can
build one floor unit on site or if all the panels
will be pre-made and delivered on site ready
to be installed, depending on the schools
risk assessment.

5. Materials list & procurement notes


The proposed floor panel is 1x3m and
200mm thick, with a mesh of reinforcement
in both perpendicular directions of 10mm
rebar at 200mm spacing. Concrete grade is
C30/37, steel grade is B500B.
The panel must be designed as described in
the previous sections and be procured from a
precast concrete manufacturer.
6. Construction notes
If the students build their floor unit on site,
particular attention should be focused on
guarantying a correct positioning of the
steel reinforcement, lifting inserts and
when pouring the concrete. School to
provide full personal protective equipment
to every student and every person who
attends site during construction.
For all the cast-in situ panels it is required
to wait minimum 7 days of curing before
lifting the units into position in order to
reach the required concrete strength.
The construction procedure requires
access and working at height. For
both pre-made and cast-in situ
panels, make sure that the panels are
correctly positioned providing safe end
connections to the steel frame during
the lifting procedure. Someone has to
be up high to guide planks into position.
Someone should be banksman. This may
all be done by technicians depending on
the schools risk assessment.
School to provide concrete mixer,
formwork, appropriate scaffolding
system and put in place all the
required safety measurement.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

28

Cavity wall
Data sheet
1. Introduction
Cavity walls consist of two 'skins' separated
by a hollow space (cavity). The skins are
commonly masonry such as brick or concrete
block. Masonry is an absorbent material, and
therefore will slowly draw rainwater or even
humidity into the wall. The cavity serves as
a way to drain this water back out through
weep holes at the base of the wall system
or above windows. The cavity also improves
the thermal performance of the wall and
allows insulation to be installed (although
that insulation shouldnt completely fill the
cavity). The two leaves of the wall are tied
together with wall ties, which allow the wall
to act as one, giving it much more stability
than it would otherwise have.

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2. Design activities
The students can familiarize with a traditional
construction technique, understanding
the external actions applied to the wall
(selfweight of the system and lateral
wind load of 1.15kN/m2), the material
properties and the resistance required.
They will choose the brick and block from
a selection of existing products and will
come to understand the role of the cavity
in controlling the humidity in the internal
spaces. The wall system consists of 140mm
thick internal blocks, an insulation layer, a
50mm cavity and 100mm thick outer bricks.

3. Construction activities
The students should build the masonry
wall following the traditional construction
sequence, positioning the first layers of block
works and brickworks and securing them
with mortar. After building up the first stage
of one leaf of masonry (either external or
internal) to include the first row of ties above
the commencement of the insulation, the
students will position the insulation layer
against the masonry so that the wall tie drips
are halfway across the top edge of the slabs.
The following leaf is then built to the top level
of the insulation.

The masonry wall is to be built without


openings. The students can design the wall
to include openings and compare the two
proposed solutions only if the wind design
pressure can be reduced to 1kN/m2 thanks
to the location of the school. In this case, the
students will be asked to design the window
lintel to support the outer brick skin above
openings, by calculating the weight of the
wall above and choosing an appropriate
product from a catalogue. The students
will have to provide adequate fixings of the
wall to the primary structure, selecting the
ties needed to restrain the outer skin and
to connect the top and sides of the internal
block work layer to the primary steelwork.
At the end of the design stage, the
students can plan the construction sequence
and calculate the quantities of materials
needed to proceed with the construction
phase. As a final task, the students can
consider the weight of the wall system
and the overall cost (considering
materials, transportation and construction
equipment) comparing this solution
with the other proposed wall systems.

As with normal masonry cavity construction,


no mortar should remain in the cavity. Bed
joint reinforcement may be included at the
teachers discretion it is not needed for
the wall, but could be a valuable additional
learning point.

4.1.1. Wall connections details


4.1.1.1. Wall ties
The students must install no fewer than 2.5/
m2 (900mm horizontal x 450mm vertical
centres). Ties should be evenly distributed
over the wall area, except around openings,
and should preferably be staggered. At
vertical edges of an opening, additional ties
should be used at a rate of one per 300mm
height, located not more than 225mm from
the edge. Students should end up selecting
the ties to install from the available products
on the market. The suggested ties are Ancon
ties HRT4/RT2/ST1/Teplo. Refer to Ancon
for product technical data and installation
instructions (see http://www.ancon.co.uk/
products/wall-ties-and-restraint-fixings).

4. Options
4.1. Minimum requirements
For the wall to be a stable system, the
students must build the two inner and outer
skins, properly connected with ties. The
double skins and the ties act as a frame in
their plane and provide an increased lateral
stability to the wall system with respect to a
single skin wall solution. The students must
connect the wall to the steel frame via top
and lateral restraints as described in the
following sections. The masonry wall can be
designed as a simple full-height wall without
openings as basic solution.

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Image: www.ancon.co.uk

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31

4.1.1.2. Head restraint


The wall must be properly connected to
the steel beam at its top end. Students can
investigate the head restraints available on
the market and compare the products. The
head restraint to be installed is Ancon IHR-H.
Refer to Ancon for product technical data
and installation instructions (see http://www.
ancon.co.uk/products/wall-ties-and-restraintfixings). This connection doesnt require any
pre-drilled holes in the steel frame. The use
of non-drill fixings eliminates the dangers
associated with shot firing and drilling, it is
quick, simple and economical to install. It
doesnt require power tools, special skills
or equipment. The head restraint (IHR-H)
should be positioned central to the masonry
leaf when located in one of the five fixing
slots. Hammer-On Head Restraints should
be fixed at 450mm centres staggered each
side of the lower beam flange (effective

centres 900mm on each side). The vertical


joint should be filled with mortar each side
of the stem. The Hammer-On Section
resists load in one direction only and should
be installed on alternate sides of the flange.

4.1.1.3. Lateral restraint


The wall must be properly connected
to the steel beam at its lateral ends.
Students can investigate the lateral restraints
available on the market and compare the
products. The lateral restraint to be installed
is Ancon IHR-H. Refer to Ancon for product
technical data and installation instructions
(see http://www.ancon.co.uk/products/wallties-and-restraint-fixings). This connection
doesnt require any pre-drilled holes in the
steel frame.

Image: www.ancon.co.uk

Image: www.ancon.co.uk

Image: www.ancon.co.uk

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32

The wall lateral tie (HOS-TIE) should be


positioned central to the masonry leaf when
located in one of the five fixing slots. The
Hammer-On Ties should be installed at
225mm vertical centres. The Hammer-On
Section resists load in one direction only
and should be installed on alternate sides
of the flange.

4.1. Optional additions


4.1.1. Insulation
The insulation in a cavity is used to reduce
heat loss through the wall by filling the air
space with material that inhibits heat transfer.
The insulation prevents convection by
immobilizing the air within the cavity (air is
still the actual insulator). During construction
of new buildings, cavities are often filled with
glass fibre wool or rock wool panels placed
between the two leaves (sides) of the wall.
Although required in real projects
to substantially reduce space heating costs,
this is an optional activity for the student.
4.1.2. Openings
Openings are allowed only in case the wind
load can be proved to be maximum 1 kN/m2
(this is variable according to the location of the
school). If openings are included, the allowable
opening is restricted to a maximum of
630x1050mm, positioned centrally into the wall,
at a minimum height of 900mm and maximum
height of 1050mm from ground level.

The outer skin of brickworks above the


opening must be supported by a lintel.
Students should end up selecting the
appropriate lintel from the available products
on the market able to support the load due
to the brick layers above the opening. The
suggested product is Ancon SH70E. Refer
to Ancon for product technical data and
installation instructions (see http://www.
ancon.co.uk/products/lintels/).
The lintel should be firmly bedded in mortar
with at least 150mm end bearing onto a full
brick/block. The front and back of the lintel
must be at the same level before proceeding
and a separate DPC incorporated if required.
When installing cavity wall lintels the inner
and outer leaves should be raised together
to avoid twisting the lintel; blocks should
continue for the full length of the inner flange.

Image: www.ancon.co.uk

4.1.3. Damp proof course


In a cavity wall, there is usually a damp
proof course (DPC) in both the outer and
inner wall. In the outer wall it is normally
150-200mm above ground level (the height
of 2-3 brick courses). This allows rain to
form puddles and splash up off the ground,
without saturating the wall above DPC
level. The wall below the DPC may become
saturated in rainy weather. The inside part
of the DPC sits one course higher than the
outside to allow any accumulated moisture
to escape through the weep holes. The weep
holes are simple end joints every third brick
or so that have no mortar in them.

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33

5. Materials list & procurement notes

6. Construction notes

Outer skin Clay bricks thk=100mm (20


kN/m3 density, compressive strength
22.5 N/mm2).

Install connections to the steel frame


along all edges of the wall via Ancon
non-drill fixings to provide the required
stability to the wall system. The use of
lateral and top non-drill fixings eliminates
the dangers associated with shot firing
and drilling, it is quick, simple and
economical to install. It doesnt require
power tools, special skills or equipment.

Cavity thk=50 mm (75mm=50


cavity+25mm insulation).
Insulation thk=25mm Kooltherm K8
Cavity Board (1200x450 sheets)
Inner leaf concrete blocks thk=140mm
(15 kN/m3 density, compressive strength
7.3 N/mm2).
Mortar M6 grade between the blocks.
Damp Proof Course.

Position the required amount of ties to


link the brick and block leaves together.
Position fixings and ties as specified in
section 4.1.1.1.
If any opening is included, ensure that
the opening in the wall do not exceed
the dimensions provided in section
4.1.2. Install lintels above openings
as specified.
School to provide concrete mixer for
mortar and has an appropriate scaffolding
system.
School to provide full personal protective
equipment to every student and
every person who attends site during
construction.
Contractor to provide stability in
temporary conditions during the
construction sequence.
During construction, the helfen channels
cast in the concrete base must be
covered or protected from dust to fill
them when/if not used to connect the
wall system to the ground.

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34

Timber frame wall


Data sheet
1. Introduction
Lightweight timber framing is a cost effective
and flexible design option with extremely low
embodied energy required to manufacture
a building component or material, deliver it
to site and install or construct it. Timber is
a renewable building material that stores
carbon in its production.
A lightweight timber construction can
be built for deconstruction or easy
dismantling and timbers from the
construction re-used or recycled at the
end of its use in the building. Although
it is a low greenhouse emission product
in principle, transport and manufacturing
processes can add significantly to the
overall emissions associated with typical
modern timber construction.
Nevertheless, lightweight timber construction
is often a sustainable option for housing.
Lightweight timber constructions can be
designed to incorporate as much or as little
insulation as the construction requires.
Insulated timber frame walls can provide
better insulation performance than masonry
walls of comparable thickness. Timber frame
offers reduced construction time, excellent
thermal efficiency and potential for easy
future renovation. Pre-fabrication enhances
quality control due to offsite manufacture,
thereby reducing the risk of on-site
workmanship problems. Lightweight
requires reduced footings and foundations
compared to masonry construction.

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2. Design activities
The students can familiarize with a traditional
construction technique such as timber
framing. They can search for existing typical
timber frames geometries, stud sections and
spacing depending on the external actions
applied to the wall (self-weight of the system
and lateral wind load of 1.15kN/m2), material
properties and resistance required.
Students can also get in contact with
manufacturers to obtain technical details
of the available prefabricated frames.
The proposed wall system is a standard
frame with 100x50mm C16 timber studs
at 400mm spacing with insulation between
the studs. In-plane stability is provided by the
external plywood sheathing. Internally, the
wall is covered with a vapour-control layer
and plasterboard.
Externally, the timber frame has a layer
of plywood sheathing, vapour permeable
membrane, 50mm cavity and various
cladding options. The proposed cladding
is a timber boarding. The students can learn
about thermal and structural behaviour of the
system, together with fire resistance
and condensation control methods.
The timber frame wall can be designed
without openings as initial simple example;
afterwards the students can design the wall
to allow for optional openings and compare
the results. At the end of the design stage,
the students can plan the construction
sequence and calculate the quantities
of materials needed to proceed with
the construction phase. As final task,
the students can also consider the weight
of the wall system and the overall cost

(considering materials, transportation and


construction equipment) comparing this
solution with the other proposed
wall systems.

3. Construction activities
On site, the students can assemble the
timber frame following their design and
lift it in place under the supervision of
experienced personnel. The students can
start with a simple solution without openings,
with timber studs and plywood sheathing
only. Insulation, vapour control membrane,
plasterboard and external cladding are not
essential for the wall, but could be a valuable
additional learning point. If a window is
included, students should make sure that the
opening is properly framed with horizontal
and vertical studs. The students have to
provide adequate fixing of the wall to the
primary structure. Precast channels installed
in the concrete base provide an easy
connection at the base of the wall, avoiding
drilling operations on site. The frame needs
to be connected to the steel beam at the top
end via nails 6mm in diameter positioned
at 200mm spacing.

4.1.1. Wall connections details


4.1.1.1. Head restraint
Pre-drilled 8mm holes are provided in the
beams flanges to connect the timber frame
to the primary structure via nails 6mm in
diameter positioned at 200mm spacing. The
nails also guide the students positioning and
installing the timber frame.

4.1.1.2. Bottom restraint


Halfen channels are precast in the concrete
base to allow for an easy-to-install,
adjustable connections to the concrete base.
Simple twist-in T-bolts can be adjusted along
the length of the channel giving versatile
anchoring positioning. The channel provided
are are Halfen HTA-CE 28/15 (see http://
www.halfen.co.uk) and come together with
the T-bolts to be used to connect the frame
on site to the channel.

4. Options
4.1. Minimum requirements
For the wall to be a stable system, the
students must position the vertical studs at
the required spacing, connected at top by
the head plate and at the bottom by the sole
plate. To provide in-plane stability to the wall,
the students must install plywood sheeting
(sheathing quality). The timber frame wall
can be designed as a simple full-height wall
without openings as basic solution. The
students must connect the timber frame to
the steel frame via top and lateral restraints
as described in the following sections.

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4.2. Optional additions


4.2.1. Thermal Insulation
Timber is a natural insulator due to air
pockets within its cellular structure.
Most timbers are extremely low thermal
conductors relative to other building
materials. An additional layer of insulation
can be installed between the studs. The
suggested product is Earthwool FrameTherm
Rolls (KnaufInsulation- see http://www.
knaufinsulation.co.uk ). The insulation
Earthwool FrameTherm Rolls
are friction fitted between studs at
standard centres and are self-supporting.
Generally, two slabs fully fill the space
between sole and head plates for standard
floor to ceiling height.
A vapour permeable membrane or low
emissivity vapour permeable membrane
should be stapled or nailed to the sheathing
board in accordance with the manufacturers
instructions. It should be lapped so that each
joint is protected, with upper layers lapped
over lower layers to shed water away from
the sheathing board. Generally, horizontal
laps should be at least 100mm wide and the
membrane should extend below the lowest
timber member. Vertical laps should be at
least 150mm and be staggered.

4.2.2. Internal and external cladding


Internally, the wall can be cladded with
a layer of plasterboard and a vapour
permeable membrane. Externally to the
plywood sheeting, the timber frame has a
breathable membrane, 50mm cavity and
50x25mm vertical timber battens nailed
to the timber studs before fixing various
cladding options. The proposed cladding
is a timber boarding.
4.2.1. Acoustic insulation
The sound insulation of walls is usually
obtained by providing a barrier of sufficient
mass to absorb the sound energy. In
lightweight timber constructions the wall
cavities provide a cushion of air that absorbs
some of the sound energy. Acoustic barriers
can be supplemented by placing insulation
materials in the wall cavity.

5. Materials list & procurement notes

6. Construction notes

Cladding (e.g. timber boarding)

Ensure that the timber frame is restrained


at its top and bottom edges as specified
in section 4.1.1 in order to have a stable
wall system.

Cavity 50mm Vapour


permeable membrane.
Plywood sheeting, sheathing quality.
C16 timber studs 100mm deep 50mm
thick (2x4) at 400mm c/c.
Insulation between timber studs
thk=40mm Earthwool FrameTherm Rolls
(lightweight glass mineral wool).
Vapour control layer.
Inner layer of plasterboard
(e.g 12.5mm thick).
Nails and T-bolts are required to connect
the wall to the primary structure.

4.2.2. Openings
If openings are included, the allowable
opening is restricted to a maximum of
630x1050mm. Adequate framing of the
opening and provision of timber lintel is
required (refer to manufacturers details
or contractors instructions on site).

Ensure that the plywood sheeting


selected is suitable for sheathing to
provide in-plane stability to the wall.
If any opening is included, ensure that
the opening in the wall do not exceed
the dimensions provided in section 4.2.2.
Install lintels above openings as per
manufacturers specifications.
School to provide an appropriate
scaffolding system and full personal
protective equipment to every student
and every person who attends site
during construction.
Particular attention is needed
when lifting the wall into position.
Contractor to provide stability in
temporary conditions during the
construction sequence.
During construction, the helfen
channels cast in the concrete base
must be covered or protected from
dust infiltration when not used to
connect the wall system to the ground.

A low emissivity vapour control layer is


stapled to the studs across the inner face
of the wall with the low emissivity side facing
internally. The vapour control layer should
be free from holes; any gaps should be
made good, with tears repaired and
overlaps sealed with aluminised tape.

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37

Light steel frame


wall Data sheet
1. Introduction
Wall sketch
Lightweight steel framing is extensively
used due to its good thermal and structural
behaviour. Heat loss reduction and thermal
comfort have been the main driving forces
defining the design of these frames. With
this form of construction it is important that
some insulation is placed inside or outside
the steel frame to provide a thermal break
and avoid condensation.
Steel frame construction has many of the
attributes of timber frame construction:
off-site prefabrication delivers a quality
engineered product, the structural frame can
be quickly lifted into position and wet weather
does not interrupt erection process. Its
lightweight structure reduces the load on the
foundations. Although steel does not have
the sustainability credentials of timber, it is
fully recyclable and steel manufactured in
the UK usually contains approximately 20%
recycled content.

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38

2. Design activities
The students can familiarize with a traditional
construction technique such as a lightweight
steel wall system. They can search for
existing typical steel frames geometries,
stud sections and spacing depending on
the external actions applied to the wall
(self-weight of the system and lateral wind
load of 1.15kN/m2), material properties
and resistance required. Students can
also get in contact with manufacturers to
obtain technical details of the available
prefabricated frames. The proposed wall
system is a standard frame with C-section
vertical studs (100x50x1.2 C profiles- see
http://www.kingspanprofiles.com/Products--Solutions/Kingframe.aspx ) at 600mm
spacing with insulation between the studs.
Two U-shaped top and bottom tracks
connect and restrain the vertical studs
(104x55.5x1.2 U-channel).
In case of internal wall, the steel frame
has one layer of plasterboard on each
side. In case of external wall, additional
insulation and render layer can be applied.
The students can learn about thermal and
structural behaviour of the system, together
with fire resistance and condensation control
methods. The steel frame wall can be
designed without openings as initial simple
example; afterwards the students can design
the wall to allow for optional openings and
compare the results. A single C or U section
is required to frame the opening. At the end
of the design stage, the students can plan
the construction sequence and calculate the
quantities of materials needed to proceed
with the construction phase. As final task,
the students can consider the weight of the
wall system and the overall cost (considering
materials, transportation and construction
equipment) comparing this solution with the
other proposed wall systems.

3. Construction activities
On site, the students can assemble the
steel frame following their design and lift it in
place under the supervision of experienced
personnel. The students can start with
a simple solution without openings, with
vertical steel studs connected by top and
bottom U-channels. Insulation, vapour
control membrane and plasterboard are
not essential for the wall, but could be
a valuable additional learning point. If a
window is included, students should make
sure that the opening is properly framed with
single horizontal and vertical C-studs. The
students have to provide adequate fixing
of the wall to the primary structure. Precast
channels installed in the concrete base
provide an easy connection at the base of
the wall, avoiding drilling operations on site.
The frame needs to be connected to the
steel beam at the top end via nails 6mm in
diameter positioned at 200mm spacing.
4. Options
4.1. Minimum requirements
For the wall to be a stable system the
students must position the vertical C-studs at
the required spacing, connected at top and
bottom ends by U-channels. The steel frame
wall can be designed as a simple full-height
wall without openings as basic solution. The
students must connect the lightweight steel
frame to the structural steel frame via top
and bottom restraints as described in the
following sections.
4.1.1. Wall connections details
4.1.1.1. Head restraint
Pre-drilled 8mm holes are provided
in the beams flanges to connect the
lightweight steel frame to the primary
structure via nails 6mm in diameter
positioned at 200mm spacing. The nails
also guide the students positioning and
installing the steel frame wall.

4.1.1.2. Bottom restraint


Halfen channels are precast in the concrete
base to allow for an easy-to-install,
adjustable connections to concrete base.
Simple twist-in T-bolts can be adjusted along
the length of the channel giving versatile
anchoring positioning. The channel provided
are Halfen HTA-CE 28/15 and come together
with the T-bolts to be used to connect the
frame on site to the channel.
4.2. Optional additions
4.2.1. Thermal Insulation
An additional layer of insulation can be
installed between the studs. The suggested
product is Earthwool SteelTherm Roll 40
(KnaufInsulation), a lightweight, flexible glass
mineral wool roll. The insulation Earthwool
FrameTherm Rolls are friction fitted between
the steel studs at standard centres and are
self-supporting.
With light steel frame constructions a vapour
control layer is essential on the warm side of
the insulation to reduce the risk of interstitial
condensation forming. Where a foil faced
insulation board is used on the outside of
the steel frame, it is particularly important
to ensure that the vapour control layer is
continuous and not punctured by services.
The vapour control layer is taped to the studs
across the inner face of the wall before fixing
the plasterboard.
4.2.2. Internal and external cladding
The internal lining usually consists of two
layers of plasterboard to provide 1 hour fire
resistance to the steel frame. The external
cladding can be anything from a rainscreen
cladding system to a traditional brick outer
skin.
4.2.3. Openings
If openings are included, the allowable
opening is restricted to a maximum of
630x1050mm. The opening needs to be
framed with a single horizontal steel C-profile.

The Eco-house A practical design and build project for construction UTCs July 2014

5. Materials list & procurement notes


Plasterboard layer or other cladding
systems.
Lightsteel frame C section C100x50x1.2
at 600mm c/c with top and bottom U
sections U104x55x1.2.
Insulation between steel studs thk=40mm
Earthwool FrameTherm Rolls (lightweight
glass mineral wool).
Vapour control layer.
Plasterboard layer (vapour and fire
resistant board).
Nails and T-bolts are required to connect
the wall to the primary structure.

6. Construction notes
Risks and minimum requirements
Ensure that the lightweight steel frame is
restrained at its top and bottom edges as
specified in section 4.1.1 in order to have
a stable wall system.
If any opening is included, ensure that
the opening in the wall do not exceed the
dimensions provided in section 4.2.3.
School to provide an appropriate
scaffolding system and full personal
protective equipment to every student
and every person who attends site during
construction.
Particular attention is needed when
lifting the wall into position. Contractor to
provide stability in temporary conditions
during the construction sequence.
During construction, the helfen channels
cast in the concrete base must be
covered or protected from dust infiltration
when not used to connect the wall
system to the ground.

39

Rammed earth wall


Data sheet
1. Introduction
Rammed earth is a form of unbaked
earthen construction used primarily to
build walls. Rammed earth is formed by
compacting moist sub-soil inside temporary
formwork. Once the soil has been adequately
compacted the formwork is removed, often
immediately after compaction, leaving the
finished wall to
dry out. Rammed earth walls often exhibit
a distinctive layered appearance as a
result of the construction process,
corresponding to the successive layers
of soil compacted within the formwork.
The advantages of building with rammed
earth include superior insulation, strength
and durability, low maintenance, fire proofing,
load bearing and pest deterrence. For
modern construction it offers a high-quality
and sustainable building method suitable for
arrange of external and internal applications.
To ensure sufficient lateral resistance and
allow construction, rammed earth walls are
normally 300 mm or more thick. Rammed
earth walls contain excellent thermal mass.
The thickness and density of the material
means that heat (or cold) penetration of the
wall is very slow and the internal temperature
of the building remains relatively stable, with
the end result of it feeling warmer in winter
and cooler in summer than the outside
temperature.
The acoustic performance of thick, dense
walls is generally good. The thick walls of
rammed earth homes are also extremely
fire- resistant because there are no
flammable components in the earth.

2. Design activities
The students can familiarize with a
construction technique that was probably
introduced to Britain by the Romans and has
been used in the UK for around 2000 years.
They can analyze case studies of existing
buildings and various examples available
in literature (the most significant period of
construction followed the reintroduction
of this technique into the UK in the early
nineteenth century, after a revival of interest
in France). The students can design the
rammed earth wall as external cladding or as
a freestanding internal wall, understanding
the actions applied to the wall, the material
properties and resistance required. The
maximum wall slenderness for walls
restrained along the edges is H/t<12, for
freestanding internal walls is H/t<8. The
proposed wall system for both the solutions
is 375mm thick minimum. For external walls,
the bending induced by the wind acting on
the wall is calculated as follows:

The design resistance of rammed earth walls for bending is evaluated as:

ft = flexural tensile strength of rammed earth,assumed to be equal to zero


fd = design compressive strength = assume 1N/m2
=

For external walls, the shear induced by the wind acting on the wall is
calculated as follows:

For external walls, the shear induced by the wind acting on the wall is
calculated as follows:

1. Vo = basic shear strength assumed = 0 without testing


2. = friction coefficient = 0,2
1N
3. fd = design compressive strength = assume
m2

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40

For external walls, the students might select


various rain-screen cladding or lightweight
aggregate renders to protect the wall from
weathering. The rammed earth wall can be
designed without openings as initial simple
example; afterwards the students can design
the wall to allow for optional openings and
compare the results. The students can
design a reinforced concrete lintel to frame
the opening (a worked example is provided
in section 4.2.2). At the end of the design
stage, the students can plan the construction
sequence and calculate the quantities
of material needed to proceed with the
construction phase. Due to the importance of
keeping stockpiled material dry, the students
can also be asked to prepare a site plan,
considering appropriate material storage
and allocation. As final task, the students
can evaluate the overall cost (considering
materials, transportation and construction
equipment) comparing this solution with the
other proposed wall systems.

3. Construction activities
A significant difference between rammed
earth and most other wall building materials
is that rammed earth moves straight from a
loose prepared material to a post-compacted
in-situ wall with very few intermediary
stages. Materials are prepared before
construction: loose moist soil is placed in
layers 100150 mm deep in the formwork
(used as a temporary support during soil
compaction) and rammed manually or
mechanically. Unlike with concrete, rammed
earth formwork can be removed almost
immediately after compaction, enabling
much faster re-use.

In addition, formwork should be light,


easy to assemble and disassemble, and
robust enough to withstand repeated use
and site practice.
Important to note that to allow for
compaction, the wall should be built
prior to install the steel structure on top.
Therefore, this wall solution must be
positioned aligned to the secondary
beams of the steel frame only.

4. Options
4.1. Minimum requirements
The wall can be designed as a full-height
wall without opening with a minimum
thickness of 375mm and must be built
aligned to the secondary bays of the
primary structure.
4.1.1. Wall connections details
4.1.1.1. Head restraint
It is common practice in rammed earth
construction to provide a timber wall plate
continuously at the top of the wall. Wall
plates are usually either timber or reinforced
concrete. The proposed wall plate is a C16
timber plate 100x50mm fixed to the rammed
earth wall using anchorage bolts 600mm
long positioned at 500mm spacing.
4.1.1.2. Bottom connection
Footings for rammed earth walls follow
design and construction provisions for
similar solid masonry walls. Protection
from water damage, moisture ingress and,
in appropriate areas, radon gas, is the
governing criteria for wall footing details.
Where possible the damp-proof course
should be made continuous with the damp
proof membrane, as is common practice.
During construction, the helfen channels
cast in the concrete base must be covered
or protected from sand penetration.

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41

4.2. Optional additions


4.2.1. Internal and external cladding
In case of internal walls, cladding is
not strictly required. For external walls,
a render coat up to 100 mm thick (e.g.
lightweight aggregate render)
enhances thermal insulation and
provides weathering protection.
4.2.2. Openings
The rammed earth wall can be designed as a
simple full-height wall. Allowable opening are
restricted to a maximum of 630x1050mm.
Openings may be formed by using temporary
block-outs or incorporating supporting lintels
during construction.

Lintels may be formed from solid timber,


concrete, stone or other suitable materials.
Lintels will normally be full width and thus will
be visible on both faces of the wall.
Bearing length for lintels should normally be
at least 300 mm for spans up to 2 m to avoid
overstressing weak edges. When a lintel
is used to provide horizontal support over
an opening, it is normally placed in position
within the formwork during soil compaction
to allow for possible settlement both
during and after ramming. The students
can design a reinforced concrete lintel
as a simply supported beam under
the load of the portion of earth above
the opening as follows:

Lintel Length L=630+2x300=1230mm


Lintel height H=150mm
Lintel base B=375mm

The required reinforcement is:

To cover the required area of reinforcement,


the students must use 4 rebar B10 (2 bars
at the top, 2 at the bottom; refer to sketch
for more details). To resist the applied
shear, 2 legs B10 links at 200mm
spacing are required.

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42

5. Materials list & procurement notes


In both case of internal free-standing wall
and external wall, the wall thickness is
375mm or more. For external walls, a
render coat up to 100 mm thick (e.g.
lightweight aggregate render)
enhances thermal insulation and
provides weathering protection.
Material selection:
Sand and gravel content 45 to 80%
(by mass).
Silt content 10 to 30% (by mass).
Clay content 5 to 20% (by mass).
Plasticity index 2 to 30 (liquid limit <45).
Linear shrinkage Less than 2%
(by mass).
Soluble salt content no more than 5%.
Organic matter content Less than 2%
(by mass).
Top timber plate 100x50mm
Holding down bolts 600mm long.

6. Construction notes
School to provide formwork
and compacting tools for
construction sequence.
School to provide an appropriate
scaffolding system and full personal
protective equipment to every student
and every person who attends site
during construction.

If any opening is included, ensure that


the opening in the wall do not exceed
the dimensions provided in section 4.2.3.
During construction, the helfen channels
cast in the concrete base must be
covered or protected from dust infiltration
when not used to connect the wall
system to the ground.

Contractor to provide stability in


temporary conditions during the
construction sequence.
During construction, ensure that the wall
thickness is not less than 375mm.
Storage of material is important; keep
stockpiled material dry.
Rammed earth walls require protection
from weathering and other construction
activities. Ideally roofing protection
should be available as soon as possible
following construction. Where necessary,
walls should be protected by barriers
or covers.
Health and safety issues of rammed earth
construction include working at height
(formwork activities and compaction),
lifting formwork and props, noise of
pneumatic compaction, the stockpiling of
materials, dust from dry materials, and
use of vibratory equipment.
Wall to be constructed without the steel
profile of the primary steel structure into
place to allow for compaction; hence this
wall should be built along a secondary
bay of the principal structure only.

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43

SIPs
Data sheet
1. Introduction
Structural insulated panels SIPs, are a
composite building material. Theyre are
prefabricated, high performance, lightweight,
building panels that can be used in floors,
walls and roofs for residential
and commercial buildings.
SIPs are manufactured under closely
controlled factory conditions and can be
custom designed for each application. They
consist of an insulating layer of rigid core
sandwiched between two layers of structural
board. The board can be sheet metal,
plywood, cement, magnesium oxide board
(MgO) or oriented strand board (OSB) and
the core either expanded polystyrene foam
(EPS), extruded polystyrene foam (XPS),
polyurethane foam or composite honeycomb
(HSC). SIPs share the same structural
properties as an I-beam or I-column.
The rigid insulation core of the SIP acts as a
web, while the sheathing fulfils the function
of the flanges. Their high insulation and
airtightness reduce the major sources of
building energy use, making them one of the
greenest construction materials. The result
is a building system that is extremely strong,
energy efficient and cost effective. The high
strength and low weight of SIPs allow large
sections of building to be lifted in one piece
for speed of erection but the panels may
also be erected one at a time by hand
where access is restricted.

2. Design activities
Panels are prefabricated by the
manufacturer, either from pre-designed
plans or a customized layout. The students
can search for available products,
understanding the structural behaviour of
the SIPs in resisting external loads, airtightness performance, thermal and fire
resistance properties. Students should end
up selecting a manufacturer to procure
SIPs panels suitable for a wind load of
1.15kN/m2. The design of the panels must
comply with top connection via nails and
bottom connection via helfen channels.
The proposed wall system is a 150 mm
thick wall, but the students must consult
the system manufacturer to confirm system
specific details. For this wall solution, all
openings should follow the manufacturers
specifications. The students can plan the
construction sequence and calculate the
quantities of materials needed to proceed
with the construction phase. As final task,
the students can calculate the weight of the
wall system and the overall cost (considering
materials, transportation and construction
equipment) comparing this solution with the
other proposed wall systems.

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3. Construction activities
Panels are shipped to the site and
assembled. Typically, the complete system
is delivered to site ready for erection. The
panels are lightweight, quick to erect and
free from the problems of compression
shrinkage and cold bridging associated with
other forms of construction. The students can
lift the panels in place under the supervision
of experienced personnel,depending on the
schools risk assessment.
4. Options
4.1. Minimum requirements
As a simple initial solution, the panels can be
designed to create a full-height wall without
openings. All connection details should be as
per manufacturers specifications.
4.1.1. Wall connections details
4.1.1.1. Panels connection
Panels are jointed using either solid
timber within the ends of the panels or SIP
based insulated splines, depending on the
manufacturers specific system. Timber
fillets are normally used when additional
strength is needed (not necessary in this
case). The splines are fixed into the ends
of the panels using either nail, screw or
bolt fixings and sealed.

44

4.1.1.2. Head restraint


The manufacturers panels design should
comply with a head connection to the
primary structure via nails 6mm in diameter
positioned at 200mm spacing to suit the
pre-drilled 8mm holes provided in the primary
beams flanges.
4.1.1.3. Bottom restraint
Wall panels bear onto the foundations via a
preservative treated timber sole plate which
is firmly secured to the sub-structure. The
wall panel is then nailed or screwed to the
sole plate to provide solid location of the
panel and resistance to sliding, overturning
and uplift forces. The manufacturers design
of the bottom connection should comply with
the use of Halfen channels precast in the
concrete base. Simple twist-in T-bolts can
be adjusted along the length of the channel
giving versatile anchoring positioning. The
channel provided are Halfen HTA-CE
38/17 and come together with the T-bolts
to be used to connect the frame on site to
the channel.

4.2. Optional additions


4.2.1. Internal and external cladding
In case of Internal Partition Walls, where
cabled services are required, the SIPs
panels are built with a single layer of
minimum 15 mm plasterboard on
minimum 10 mm deep by 38 mm wide
vertical timber battens; or double layer
of minimum 12.5 mm plasterboard.

5. Materials list & procurement notes


The SIPs panels are made of OSB panels
sandwiched around a foam core made of
expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded
polystyrene (XPS) or rigid polyurethane
foam. The third component in SIPs is the
spline or connector piece between SIP
panels. Nails and T-bolts are required to
connect the wall to the primary structure.

In case of external walls, the wall panels


should be lined internally with vapour check
plasterboard. Before applying the external
cladding, a non-tenting breather membrane
should be is fixed direct to the wall panels.
A minimum cavity of 25 mm should be
maintained between the breather membrane
and the wall cladding. Possible cladding
options are: outer leaf of brickwork / stone,
lightweight render coating carried on calcium
silicate board, feather edge timber boarding
or wall tiling. Although not needed for the
wall, cladding could be a valuable additional
learning point.

Panel thickness: 150 to 200 mm;


Panel typical width: 200 mm to 1220 mm;
ideally, panels should be 1000mm wide to
match the 3m steel bay.
Length: 7,500 mm (max) for walls a
maximum 3 m storey height is allowed.

4.2.2. Openings
Once the panels have been manufactured,
openings can be formed. These can either
be in the form of small framing panels that
are site assembled to form the opening,
or cut from a large blank wall panel.
Solid timber lintels, studs and rails are
normally inserted around the perimeter
of the opening into the core of the panel.
These timbers support any imposed
loads from above and provide a solid
fixing for the installation of window or
door sets. If any opening is inserted,
consult the system manufacturer to
confirm opening specific details.

Possible cladding for internal walls can be


a single or double layer of plasterboard.
In case of external walls, the wall panels
can be lined internally with vapour check
plasterboard and externally with a nontenting breather plus an outer leaf of
brickwork / stone, lightweight render coating
carried on calcium silicate board, feather
edge timber boarding or wall tiling.

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6. Construction notes
School to provide full personal
protective equipment to every
student and every person who
attends site during construction.
Particular attention is needed when
lifting the wall panels into position.
Contractor to provide stability in
temporary conditions during the
construction sequence.
Ensure that the wall system is
properly connected top and bottom
to the primary structure via nails
and halfen channels as per
manufacturers specifications.
If any opening is included, follow
manufacturers specifications.
During construction, the helfen
channels cast in the concrete base
must be covered or protected from
dust infiltration when not used to
connect the wall system to the ground.

45

ModCell
Data sheet
1. Introduction
ModCell allows super-insulated, highperformance, low energy passive buildings
to be built using renewable, locally sourced,
carbon sequestering materials that include
straw bale and hemp to create a less than
zero carbon construction system. The
structural timber frame is infilled with
locally sourced straw bales, which are
stacked to form a wall, pre-compressed to
reduce settlement and then held together
for stability. The wall is then either plastered
using a protective render or closed with
breather and then clad with a range of
products, including timber cladding.
The bales act compositely with the render
to provide a stiff panel that resists wind
loads. This provides a sustainable form of
construction with minimal use of materials
and low embodied energy.

2. Design activities
Panels are prefabricated by the
manufacturer, either from pre-designed plans
or a customized layout. The students can
familiarize with this innovative construction
technique, understanding the behaviour
in resisting external loads, air-tightness
performance, thermal and fire resistance
properties. Students should end up procuring
ModCell panels suitable for a wind load
of 1.15kN/m2. The design of the panels
must comply with top connection via 6mm
diameter nails at 200 mm spacing and
bottom connection via helfen channels.
The proposed wall system is a ModCell
traditional panel 480mm deep, but
the students must consult the system
manufacturer to confirm system specific
details (see http://www.modcell.com ). For
this wall solution, all openings should follow
the manufacturers specifications. The
students can plan the construction sequence
and calculate the quantities of materials
needed to proceed with the construction
phase. As final task, the students can
calculate the weight of the wall system and
the overall cost (considering materials,
transportation and construction equipment)
comparing this solution with the other
proposed wall systems.

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46

3. Construction activities
ModCell traditional panels are 480mm
deep and delivered to site with a two coat
render finish applied inside and out. A finish
skim coat is applied on site from a scaffold
or cherry picker as the final surface finishes.
ModCell panels can be lifted into position
on site using a telescopic arm or crane.
Panels are sealed using a range of airtight
tapes. The students can lift the panels
in place under the supervision of
experienced personnel, depending
on the schools risk assessment.
4. Options
As a simple initial solution, the panels can be
designed to create a full-height wall without
openings. All connection details should be as
per manufacturers specifications.
4.1. Minimum requirements
4.1.1. Wall connections details
4.1.1.1. Head restraint
The manufacturers panels design should
comply with a head connection to the
primary structure via nails 6mm in diameter
positioned at 200mm spacing to suit the
pre-drilled 8mm holes provided in the primary
beams flanges.
4.1.1.2. Bottom restraint
The manufacturers design of the bottom
connection should comply with the use of
Halfen channels precast in the concrete
base. Simple twist-in T-bolts can be adjusted
along the length of the channel giving
versatile anchoring positioning. The channel
provided are Halfen HTA-CE 38/17 and
come together with the T-bolts to be used
to connect the panels on site to the channel.

4.2. Optional additions


4.2.1. Openings
If any opening is inserted, consult
the manufacturer to confirm opening
specific details.

5. Materials list & procurement notes


The panel are made composed of a
structural timber frame infilled with locally
sourced straw bales and plastered using
a protective lime render. The suggested
product is a ModCell traditional panel
480mm deep. Nails and T-bolts are required
to connect the wall to the primary structure.
6. Construction notes
School to provide full personal
protective equipment to every student
and every person who attends site
during construction.
Particular attention is needed when lifting
the wall panels into position. Contractor
to provide stability in temporary
conditions during the construction
sequence.
Ensure that the wall system is
properly connected top and bottom
to the primary structure via nails and
halfen channels as per manufacturers
specifications.
If any opening is included, follow
manufacturers specifications.
During construction, the helfen
channels cast in the concrete base
must be covered or protected from
dust infiltration when not used to connect
the wall system to the ground.

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47

Straw bale
Data sheet
1. Introduction
Wall sketch
Straw bales have been used to construct
buildings since the middle of the 19th century
with the advent of the baling machine.Today,
straw bale is used in modern construction
because of its excellent thermal properties
and its low environmental impact. Straw is
a renewable material that can be replaced
by natural processes at a rate comparable
or faster than its rate of consumption
by humans.

This is of particular relevance during


construction, when the components are most
exposed, but applies throughout its usable
life. Also, as an agricultural co-product,
inconsistent properties (dimensions, density
and moisture content) can be problematic
during construction.
The proposed system is to use the timber
framed studwork that the students will
assemble on site with straw bales used
as infill.

It is a lightweight material with simple


construction details and processes, therefore
basic building skills are required. Once
constructed, the bales form a robust wall
infill that can receive a vapour-permeable
lime render finish internally and externally,
although external walls can be finished
instead with a timber rainscreen cladding.
Any waste from straw bales is entirely
biodegradable. Straw bales may be
used in both infill (non-loadbearing) and
modest loadbearing wall applications.
Nonloadbearing straw bale walls, as this
case, can be constructed either on site or as
prefabricated panels delivered to site already
covered with a protective lime render (see
ModCell option).
Detailing requirements for both approaches
are similar, although construction sequences
are different. Straw is a stable structural
material provided that, like timber, moisture
does not reach levels of ingress over time
that might compromise its stability.

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48

2. Design activities
The students can familiarize with this
innovative construction technique,
understanding the current use in modern
construction, structural and thermal
performances and related advantages
and disadvantage. Students can also
get in contact with manufacturers to
obtain technical details of the available
prefabricated frames.
The proposed wall system is a timber frame
with two 100x50mm lateral studs (framing
the straw bales) connected by a top plate
and sole plate. The straw bales are used
as infill, laid using a stretcher bond format.
The students can plan the bale arrangement
and work out the number of layers required.
They can also develop the base connection
details, considering wooden spikes at
approximately 450 mm centres rising about
250 mm from the base plate of the wall to
secure the first course of bales.
It is suggested to pin the bales together with
wooden spikes, to increase the robustness
of the wall. The pins should intersect four
courses of bales (see wall sketch), locking
them together. To provide in-plane stability
and rainscreen protection, the student should
choose an appropriate render layer. The
suggested render is a lime render applied
on site.

For this wall solution, no openings are


allowed in order to keep the design simple
and limit the difficulties on site. At the end
of the design stage, the students can plan
the construction sequence and calculate the
quantities of materials needed to proceed
with the construction phase. As final task, the
students can also consider the weight of the
wall system and the overall cost (considering
materials, transportation and construction
equipment) comparing this solution with the
other proposed wall systems.

3. Construction activities
The students can assemble the timber frame
under the supervision of qualified personnel
and connect it to the primary steel structure.
As in the case of the timber frame wall, the
top connection is done via 6mm nails and the
bottom connection via channels cast in the
concrete base.
It is usual practice for the first course of
bales to be secured onto wooden spikes at
approximately 450 mm centres rising about
250 mm from the base plate of the wall. The
timber spikes ensure that the foot of the wall
does not slip. Once the first course of straw
bales has a secure footing, the student can
stack the bales without any bonding agent or
mortar using a stretcher bond format, ie each
bale centred on the bale joint. It is suggested
to pin the bales together with wooden spikes,
to increase the robustness of the wall. The
pins should intersect four courses of bales
(see wall sketch), locking them together.

The students inevitably have to cut some


bales to respect the stretcher bond format,
which is easily done by inserting a long
needle at the desired point to bind the
bale at the required length, with the extra
bale then trimmed off. They can secure
the bales tying them with straps onto the
surrounding framework.
Having the fixed frame completed first,
the student must compress the bales by
applying pressure to the penultimate layer
of bales, allowing the final layer to be put
in place before release. Once the pressure
is released, the remaining bales expand to
hold them all firmly in place. Note that the
straw bale wall should be left in a state of
compression to provide some stability and
mitigate later wall settlement.
To complete the wall, the students can
apply the rendering layer that further stiffens
and strengthens the wall. The overall wall
thickness is 450500 mm once finishes
have been applied.

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49

4. Options
4.1. Minimum requirements
The straw bale wall requires the external
timber frame with wooden spikes rising
from the base to secure the first course of
bales. The frame should be firmly connected
to the primary steel structure to provide a
stable structure. The straw bale layers must
remain in state of compression to avoid any
settlement after construction.
4.1.1. Internal and external cladding
Although not necessary for stability
(providing that the bales are left in state of
compression), the lime render is needed as a
rainscreen protection for the straw bale.
4.1.2. Wall connections details
4.1.2.1. Head restraint
Pre-drilled 8mm holes are provided in the
beams flanges to connect the lightweight
steel frame to the primary structure via
nails 6mm in diameter positioned at
200mm spacing. The nails also guide
the students positioning and installing
the steel frame wall.

4.2. Optional additions


4.2.1. Openings
We propose to install this wall system
without openings.
4.2.1.Damp proof course
The wall needs to be separated from the
ground using a robust damp proof above the
structural base to resist moisture rising.

5. Materials list & procurement notes

Risks and minimum requirements

The timber frame is made of 2 timber studs


100mm deep 50mm thick (2x4) connected
by top and bottom plates. Typical UK
dimensions for straw bales are 990 500
375 mm. For straw construction in the UK,
wheat or barley straw is preferred. This can
be sourced from local farmers, or specialists
in straw bale construction may source the
materials. In either case, it is important to
ensure that bales are tightly bound and
relatively consistent in dimension and
density. Straw bale density for construction
should normally be no less than 110 kg/m3
to provide robustness in transport, stability
and fire resistance. The proposed render is a
lime render. Nails and T-bolts are required to
connect the wall to the primary structure.

School to provide full personal


protective equipment to every student
and every person who attends site
during construction.
Contractor to provide stability in
temporary conditions during the
construction sequence.
Ensure that the wall system is
properly connected top and bottom
to the primary structure via nails and
halfen channels.
On site, straw bales should be kept in dry
conditions until used to ensure no ingress
of moisture, with protection provided
against rising water from the ground or
very high levels of humidity.
Minimise the risk of fire through proper
management of loose straw.
Ensure water cannot enter the head of
the wall behind the render or rain screen.
During construction, the helfen channels
cast in the concrete base must be
covered or protected from dust infiltration
when not used to connect the wall
system to the ground.

4.1.2.1. Bottom restraint


Halfen channels are precast in the concrete
base to allow for an easy-to-install,
adjustable connections to concrete base.
Simple twist-in T-bolts can be adjusted along
the length of the channel giving versatile
anchoring positioning. The channel provided
are Halfen HTA-CE 28/15 and come together
with the T-bolts to be used to connect the
frame on site to the channel.

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50

THINK UP
FIRST FLOOR
MORLEY HOUSE
320 REGENT STREET
LONDON W1B 3BB
T +44 (0)20 7307 6520
E INFO@THINKUP.ORG
W WWW.THINKUP.ORG

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