All manner of off-site innovations, including ideas on how to put up a departure lounge in a hurry, how to install a fully serviced washroom in two days, and how to build a school from pre-existing units

Starter home for £40,000

Modular buildings specialist Rollalong used the Delivering Sustainable Communities Summit earlier this month to launch a price-busting starter home costing £40,000. It is a two-person starter home and is one option in the company’s new Rollalong Homes range. The range covers a variety of house types including bungalows, flats and three- and four-bedroom houses. The company says the volumetric modular homes are fully compliant with Housing Corporation standards and can be specified with a choice of factory-fixed claddings.

Rollalong 302

Precast panels for homes and warehouses

German company Kastell has introduced into the UK market its precast, panellised solution for constructing residential apartments, homes, extensions and industrial units. The system consists of bespoke panels made using an expanded clay aggregate. These are used to construct floors and the main structure. The company says the panels are very durable, with excellent thermal and acoustic properties and a high-quality finish that removes the need for plastering. The panels are supplied fully wired and insulated and, once the panels are erected, the building is said to be usually 60-70% complete. Kastell says it supplies the precast elements for up to 600 new-build projects a year in Germany and the first use of its system in the UK, a private home in Warwickshire, is nearing completion.

Kastell 303

Modular cabling system

Telecoms infrastructure equipment provider Pressac Communications has launched a modular cabling system called AssuredNet. The company says it enables the installation of Category 5e and 6 cabling systems in a quarter of the time of conventional systems for up to 30% less cost. It is a pre-terminated solution enabling the wiring to be installed with minimal site work. Standard options include patch panel to dado outlet, patch panel to plug, patch panel to floor box and patch panel to patch panel. The company can also make any custom solution.

Pressac Communications 304

UK’s first panellised first-floor sports hall

Corus has teamed up with contractor Bluestone to build what Corus says is the first panellised first-floor sports hall in the UK. Corus provided the panellised system, which is called Quantum CF, and Bluestone erected it on site. The system consists of structural panels measuring up to 3.2 × 7.2 m. These are made using a structural-steel frame complete with internal and external cladding attached prior to delivery to site. The sports hall, at Winton Primary School in Islington, London, uses panels with a cedar plank rainscreen cladding on the exterior, and Corus’ Colourcoat precoated steel for the high-traffic stairwells and entrances. Corus says the panels can be specified with almost any commonly available surface treatment. The monopitched roof was constructed using a 120 mm thick composite steel panel system. The sports hall was built on top of an existing steel-framed building and Corus says it was weatherproof within two weeks.

Corus 306

Instant disabled toilet

Public washrooms specialist Bradco has introduced a freestanding public toilet for disabled users, which can be built off site. It is supplied as a shell complete with the WC ready for connecting to services on site. It has a steel frame that can be specified with an exterior finish, including brick or heavy-duty laminate, to suit the location. There is a choice of the company’s fittings including sanitaryware, sinks, mirrors, taps, and automatic hand dryers. Bradco claims that he unit can be delivered to site by crane and made fully operational within two days. Foundations can also be prefabricated prior to arrival on site, thereby further increasing the speed of installation.

Bradco 307

Recycled classrooms

Foremans Relocatable Building Systems has completed the first phase of a project to provide education facilities at Parklands Girls High School in Leeds. The single-storey building includes art and technology rooms, a food science laboratory, an IT suite and a quiet room. Foremans recycled and completely refurbished existing modular buildings for the scheme, thereby minimising expense, waste and energy consumption. The second phase of the scheme will provide additional classrooms, an air-conditioned learning resources centre and a drama room.

Foremans Relocatable Building Systems 301

Modular airport lounge

Modular building specialist SGB Rovacabin has built and installed a 250 m2 lounge for defence and aerospace company BAE Systems. It is an arrivals and departures lounge, complete with a kitchen and toilets for the company’s shuttle passengers at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire. The airport lounge was built from seven interlinking modular units, each measuring 12 × 3 m. SGB Rovacabin also provided all the groundworks and paving, including concrete pad foundations and trenches for connecting to services such
as waste and water.

SGB Rovacabin 305

Movers and makers

  • The UK Timber Frame Association has launched a guide called the “Timber Frame Technical Pack”. It contains 18 different sources of information including the TRADA guide Timber frame construction, the BRE’s Multi-storey timber frame buildings – a design guide, and up-to-date information on meeting Building Regulations using timber frame and the environmental performance of timber frame.

    It also contains training packages for sales, technical and site personnel.

  • Housebuilder Persimmon launched its modern methods of construction project at the Delivering Sustainable Communities Summit held at the beginning of February. It is set to build four homes at an existing development in Irlam, Greater Manchester. The company said each element of the homes has been researched to find the most eco-friendly solution, and the four homes would trial a range of different construction methods. The first home is timber-framed and is intended to have a very high EcoHomes rating.

    The second home has a steel frame and comes replete with cutting-edge communications and security systems, and the third and fourth homes will focus on off-site techniques including precast concrete.

  • Metway Electrical Industries has launched a catalogue for its pre-manufactured wiring systems. It covers wiring configurations, components, the company’s approach to lighting control and other practical information for contractors and specifiers. It also contains case studies including schemes at Gatwick Airport and Manchester’s Piccadilly Exchange.

  • Guildford Timber Frame is to supply a bespoke building system for the construction of 76 apartments and penthouses for Milford Homes, as well as Milford’s own head office. The scheme also includes a head office for the housebuilder. The project, in Purley, Surrey, is being constructed in two phases. The first phase is due for completion this autumn and the second phase starts this summer. The frames will be made at Guildford’s factory at Billinghurst, West Sussex.

  • Kingspan TEK has just received the first ever certified BRE Ecoprofile for a building system. Ecoprofiles provide certified data for the environmental impact of building materials. The Kingspan TEK Building System yields A ratings for most of its wall and roof constructions.

  • Visit Offsite 2005

    More than 50 exponents of modern methods of construction will be showcasing their design solutions during Offsite2005 at the BRE in Watford.

    Offsite2005 will have full-scale exhibits of building systems from around the world and will run from Monday 6 June to Thursday 9 June.

    There will be a seminar programme demonstrating how MMCs can deliver quality construction and buildings to time, budget and sustainability standards.

    Among the exhibits will be the English Partnerships affordable dwelling that featured at the Delivering Sustainable Communities Summit in Manchester. Ruukki and Terrapin are among other manufacturers who will be displaying full-scale MMC buildings.

    There will be a demonstration of MMC by members of the Insulating Concrete Formwork Association, who will be assembling one wall of a new building on each day of the event.

    The seminar programme will include discussions on the client’s requirements for modern dwellings, the manufacturing of sustainable communities, training, regulation and assurance, and global opportunities and international best practice.

    Offsite2005 will also report on the European Union-funded SmartLIFE project, which aims to build 80 affordable and commercial houses in Cambridgeshire using MMC and conventional building techniques.

    For more information and to book online visist

    Off-site manufacture