HPC Homes Pioneers Piled Foundation Technique with Insulslab SFRC
Insulslab SFRC, the innovative super insulated and fully integrated foundation system, has been adopted by Lincolnshire based HPC Homes for a prestigious housing development in Ramsey St Mary’s, Cambridgeshire. Used as a cap on piles at the former agricultural site, Insulslab SFRC facilitated efficient site progression by removing the need for a ‘dig off’, which would have been required with a traditional ring beam detail.
The high peat content and poor ground bearing capacity at the rural site dictated that piled foundations were necessary to achieve stability for construction. Evaluating traditional foundation techniques against modern methods of construction, HPC Homes concluded that Insulslab SFRC provided an ideal solution for improving efficiency, in spite of the need to install piled foundations.
Simon Atkinson, contracts manager, HPC Homes, comments: “By combining Insulslab SFRC with a traditional piled foundation technique, we were able to realise tangible time savings on-site, which is critical with any development. The Insulslab SFRC technical team were also extremely responsive and supportive when it came to obtaining NHBC approval – providing the designs and corresponding documentation exactly when we needed them.”
In contrast with standard ring beam details, Insulslab SFRC requires only minimal ground preparation without the need to excavate trenches, install cage reinforcement and sub structure brickwork. By reducing the labour time in this way, Insulslab SFRC contributes to an overall project cost saving and on-site efficiency gains.
Once the ground is prepared, Insulslab SFRC pods, which are constructed of lightweight expanded polystyrene (EPS), are installed in accordance with the engineered layout leaving structural beam strips to form the cap on piles. Steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) from ArcelorMittal is then poured directly on to the EPS pods to complete the foundation structure.
In addition to pile caps, Insulslab SFRC offers a cost effective and high performing alternative to other traditional foundation systems, including raft and beam and block. Delivering the foundation up to ground floor level, Insulslab SFRC is fully covered by a BBA certificate from ArcelorMittal. Moreover, with insulation integrated into system design, Insulslab SFRC can achieve very low U-values while keeping floor depth to a minimum.
Mark Gray, technical manager, Insulslab SFRC, concludes: “Insulslab SFRC is rapidly growing in popularity with housebuilders seeking a cost effective and efficient method of construction, which also delivers on performance. A proven system, Insulslab SFRC is ideal for developers looking to build on brownfield sites or those needing to achieve higher levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes.”
For further information on Insulslab SFRC and full technical and specification support materials, please visit www.insulslab.com