Collaboration is the key for island community development
Steve Hardy is the Joint Managing Director of Sidey Limited, specialists in providing fenestration solutions to the off-site industry, and keen advocates of a Fabric First approach to construction.
When the company was asked to get involved in providing windows to an 80 unit affordable housing development on Guernsey it was obvious that a collaborative and innovative approach to ‘delivering the contract’ would need to be taken.
“The key deliverable for the Guernsey Housing Association was 80 offsite manufactured affordable housing units at their Grand Bouet site. Why offsite manufactured? Simply, the extremely high specification of the units, in addition to the very specific non-standard design elements and logistical challenges, meant that it was highly impractical for the site to be built using traditional methods”.
“As advocates of a Fabric First approach we always think about the structure first, and how we might work with other delivery partners on the site to ensure that all aspects of the specification and on-going performance are met. In this case, given the challenges it was absolutely essential that all parties worked together”.
“From the meetings between ourselves, the air-tightness membrane manufacturers, the SIPs panel suppliers and the major constructor on site, it was clear that only by embracing a Fabric First approach to the contract would we be able to meet the client’s thermal performance needs and his wish-list in this most unusual of build locations; and only by working together and innovating with some new ideas and practices would we be able to deliver at all”.
“The thermal calculations for new window designs with triple glazing and air-tightness membranes were added to the performance figures of the design driven oversized SIP’s panels. The installation of the windows, doors, and air-tightness membranes into the SIPS panels in a controlled factory environment utilising our KITFIX ® installation system enabled us to guarantee an ‘as built’ thermal performance figure to the client in line with his requirements; and also enabled the panels to be shipped flat to the island, erected on site, and to be sealed against wind and water ingress immediately. The logistical benefits of being able to ship the panels complete to the island were equally significant in terms of overall site build times and costs, and maximising of transportation payloads”.
“The exercise was a fantastic case study in collaboration between parties looking to achieve a common goal, and we were delighted to be able to play such a major role. To be able ultimately to offer a whole new ‘window solution’, which included the integration of the frame, glass, and air-tightness membranes along with our OSM KITFIX ® installation solution into the SIP’s panels meant that we had played a significant part in helping the client achieve what he wanted to”.
“It was also classic Fabric First installation with thermal performance requirements driving and determining the practical elements of the build to deliver the client a truly sustainable development which will act as a model for many other developments in the future”.