Peter Leaver, landscape partner, David Wilson Partnership, Barnstaple
The practical difficulties we had on the site were that the hospice building was set into a slope, but we didn’t want a large, positively-drained area of paving. We needed car parking, and good access to the building for wheelchairs, so we wanted to keep the area as flat as we could.
The building is quite remote and we didn’t have access to mains drainage, so we wanted a permeable system with spacers between the pavers where we could deal with the water underground — the water flows into a sub-base of drainage medium before percolating down into the subsoil.
When we looked at permeable paving units, it was also important to have a range of unit sizes, to differentiate between the parking area at one end of the scale, to a little children’s hideaway area where we wanted small element paving. At the same time, we wanted unity in terms of the overall feel, and a granite finish — as it’s in Cornwall, the predominant stone type is granite.
Sustainability was an important part of the brief. The building has solar PVs and air-source heat-pumps, and it sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It was important to us that the product had a 77% recycled content as well.
Hanson’s Formpave seemed to fit the bill in terms of the range of sizes and finishes. It’s actually quite a close match to the granite you find in the area, but considerably cheaper than what we would have paid for real granite paving. It also offered the uniformity of surface we needed and the advantage that it could be machine laid. Having evaluated various products on the marketplace, we are confident we have specified a future-proof solution.
Rockwool has developed a suite of standard interface details to make it easier for specifiers to assess the suitability of its RockShell modular exterior load-bearing wall system. RockShell integrates high levels of insulation to improve air-tightness, minimise thermal bridges and achieve a typical U-value of 0.143W/m2K.
The standard details, developed with ECD Architects, cover various commonly-used facade and foundation interfaces, roof designs, door and window details, for use with any building up to two and a half storeys high. www.rockshell.uk.com
Alpha Heating Innovation
Alpha Heating Innovation will debut a range of sustainable products designed for use with its boilers at this year’s EcoBuild.
The 200-litre solar-powered pump station and cylinder works in conjunction with Alpha’s InTec system boilers; the Air Tec air source heat pump works with its standard InTec boiler range; and its boiler range now includes a floor-standing storage combi boiler.
Alpha will also show its FlowSmart system, designed for homes with above-average hot water demands that want the performance of a boiler that uses 25% less gas. www.alpha-innovation.co.uk
Actis, a French insulation manufacturer, is promoting its new HControl Reflex+ multifoil insulation. The three-in-one product incorporates a reflective vapour control layer, an airtight barrier and supplementary insulation layer.
The system has a thinner profile than other products for a similar thermal performance, when installed between the main insulation layer and the building’s internal lining. It is completely airtight, acting as a barrier against air leakage. It can be used in combination with any type of insulation in roofs, walls and floors. www.insulation-actis.com