H+H’s products were the key to the success of the new building. “My husband has a great deal of experience in energy saving products. Because of this there were certain products we specified ourselves, such as H+H’s Celcon Blocks for the internal partitions and external walls as well as the foundations,” Lynn, the house owner explains.
A Warm Forever Home
“It is so warm and comfortable; there are no cold spots at all,” says Lynn about her new four-bedroom family home, which has been custom built to their design at Bourne End, Buckinghamshire
The family of four did not set out to be custom-builders but wanted to move to a bigger, more comfortable home. Unable to find a property they liked, the family decided to demolish their current home and replace it with a new custom-built two-storey home.
It was watching a video about low energy buildings that sparked the family’s ambition to build a very efficient structure. Further research in lifestyle magazines prompted the decision to use concrete floors and masonry for both internal and external walls.
By now completely gripped by the self-build bug, the family decided not to employ an architect but to design the building themselves, working with an architectural technician to develop the detailed design.
H+H’s products were the key to the success of the new building. “My husband has a great deal of experience in energy saving products. Because of this there were certain products we specified ourselves, such as H+H’s Celcon Blocks for the internal partitions and external walls as well as the foundations,” Lynn explains.
The family’s new low-energy home is unusual in that its external walls are built using an insulated single blockwork skin rather than a cavity wall construction. The walls of this house are built using H+H’s thermally efficient 215 mm thick Celcon Blocks. 100 mm of insulation is then applied to the outside and finished with render.
Solid wall design is growing in popularity in the UK as it makes for a much simpler construction. With a thick layer of insulation on the outside, the walls allow very little heat to escape from the interior of the building, while the solid blockwork with high thermal mass helps to regulate the temperature in the living areas.
In this project, H+H’s blocks have also been used for the ground floor and partition walls. To construct the ground floor the blocks were laid flat on their side spanning between a series of concrete beam.
The beams and blocks were then insulated, under-floor heating pipe-work was installed which was covered with a special screed. In the living areas the floors were finished with an engineered wood finish, while tiling was used for the bathrooms, kitchen and utility room. The internal partition walls have been plastered to give them a smooth, robust finish.
The use of H+H’s aircrete blocks for the external wall and floor construction have helped Lynn’s new home achieve a B energy efficiency rating, putting it in the top 10% of energy efficient homes in the UK (the average house in the UK is band D). She certainly appreciates the low energy credentials of her new home: “We love living in the house; despite being bigger than our old bungalow it uses less energy,” she says.