EGGER and SIPS@Clays eco-home in Haltwhistle

Eco-home in Haltwhistle showcases the strengths of structural insulated panels

About this project

Located on the edge of the stunning Northumberland national park, five minutes from the small town of Haltwhistle and with views of the historic Hadrian’s Wall, lies a state-of-the-art eco-home.

Designed to blend sympathetically into its scenic surroundings and to have minimal impact on the environment, it was important to the owners that their new home was built from some of the best natural building products available.

A structure for sustainability

The owners opted for carbon neutral materials and to achieve true conservation of the unique area the home was to be built in, they opted for a Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) method of construction for the 235m² project, and appointed North Yorkshire based SIPs specialist SIPS@Clays to undertake the design, fabrication, and installation of the superstructure.

To complement the SIPs building system, SIPS@Clays chose EGGER Protect as the structural flooring for the build, which is also made using renewable and recycled wood material. The enhanced P5 T&G chipboard has a negative carbon footprint and is 100% recyclable.

Due to its longevity, strength and ability to withstand all weathers and the rigours of an active building site, SIPS@Clays has used EGGER Protect for a number of years as its flooring system of choice.

The boards are finished with a hard-wearing, anti-slip surface on both the top and underside which provides protection against potential moisture ingress caused by inclement weather throughout the build. It also offers long-term safeguarding against leaking pipes once construction works have completed.

Modern methods of conservation

A modern method of construction (MMC) and one of the most ecologically friendly building materials on the market, SIPs are made of two sheets of 15mm oriented strand board (OSB) with a rigid insulation core sandwiched between them.

Once fully fitted, the boards can be left exposed to the elements for up to 60 days throughout the construction period, providing an exceptionally strong and durable frame. This makes SIPs an extremely high-performance building system that is typically used for the external shell such as external walls and roofs.

The pre-manufacture offsite of building elements like this and EGGER’s flooring mean they are delivered to site complete, resulting in up to 90% less wastage and also lower labour costs. This also results in greater efficiency in the build and a home that can be constructed 30-40% faster than alternative methods.

Use of timber

In addition to wood’s carbon capturing and resilient properties and the many benefits to the building process, SIPs also provide benefits long after construction has completed. As a result of the methods and materials used the home has less noise penetration and is more energy efficient, well-insulated and airtight than traditional builds, resulting in lower energy consumption and drastically reduced operational CO2 emissions.

In fact, the average SIPs home benefits from a 50% decrease in energy consumption and the manufacturing uses 80% less energy, making SIPs an increasingly popular green building method of choice.

Recycle and re-use

An important advantage to using SIPs and timber is that they can provide long-lasting sustainable and circular solutions. EGGER’s Protect boards use locally sourced timber (for this project, the boards were produced less than 20 miles away) and recycled materials so that once the board’s life has come to an end, they can easily be recycled through services such as  EGGER’s waste-wood recycling service Timberpak

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