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Mon June 14 2021

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Construction begins on sustainable homes research project

18 Apr 12 Stewart Milne Timber Systems has started work on the first phase of AIMC4 homes for the social housing sector.

The £6.4m AIMC4 project, devised by a consortium of developers, was created to research and deliver Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 homes through a fabric-first approach. For this phase of the project, Stewart Milne Timber Systems is working with the Community Gateway Association and Adactus Housing Association, to build a trio of three-bedroom homes at the Adelphi House Development in Preston, Lancashire.

The timber systems for the homes were erected at the start of April, and these are the first AIMC4 homes to use Stewart Milne Timber System’s new open panel build system, Sigma OP4.

Stewart Milne Timber Systems group managing director Alex Goodfellow said: “The AIMC4 consortium is breaking new ground in its approach to sustainable building and we are excited to be leading the project. The country has ambitious targets for a zero carbon future and we are keen to ensure we can meet the carbon agenda as well as build homes that consumers want to live in.

“We have used different build systems for each of the three AIMC4 sites so that we can see which products work best to meet the government targets for sustainable homes. As cost was top of the agenda for this project, we used our most cost-effective system. Our Sigma OP products have the flexibility and a range of features which deliver significant cost benefits, making the system more commercially attractive.”

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Stewart Milne claims that its Sigma OP open panel range can achieve U-Values of between 0.44 and 0.12 W/m2/k with air tightness below 3 and thermal bridging as low as 0.03. The wall panels have an option of factory-fitted rigid insulation for simpler build integration, reduced on-site waste and higher levels of performance.  Other claimed benefits of prefabrication include reduced preliminary costs on site, safety and speedier construction.

As well as being the first to use an open panel solution, the AIMC4 units at Preston are the only homes in the AIMC4 project to be naturally ventilated.  This avoids the need for mechanical systems with complex duct works built in.

Of the 13 homes on site, three are AIMC4 and can achieve CSH Level Four through the building fabric alone. The other 10 homes have been built to CSH Level Three. The AIMC4 houses are due for completion at the end of June.

Co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board, AIMC4 comprises: Stewart Milne Group, Crest Nicholson; Barratt Developments; H+H UK; and BRE.

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