As construction recovers from the effects of imposed isolations there is a more serious drive to “Build Back Better” and take on board the need to improve both the output of the industry and performance of the buildings produced.
Modern Methods of Construction have a significant role to play in realising these targets, not just by the deliverance of offsite prefabrication, but also by raising the levels of onsite production using the abilities of the existing resources to better effect.
ICF systems such as BecoWallform are in the category of the “Tailor Made” MMC, comprised of precision made components that are produced offsite in the factory and delivered onsite for rapid and precise assembly into the insulated structure of the building. Adapting the existing skills of the workforce on site is a quick and practical process, illustrating how the benefits of air tightness and absence of thermal bridging reflect on both workmanship and building performance.
Sometimes labelled as a “Site-based MMC”, ICF has the advantages of having relatively short lead times and greater flexibility to accommodate the broadest range of designs. Compatible with other materials and systems, it compares favourably with traditional methods but offers the step change in production output and building performance that the industry needs.
There is steadily growing enthusiasm for this method of construction as it is easier for site personnel to adapt, and for apprentices to adopt, this practical and systematic building process. Maintaining employment local to the development site is also to the benefit of the local, rather than the offsite and more distant economies. This aspect of ICF systems is becoming more significant as the movement to “Zero Carbon Construction” gains momentum.
Although recognised as an MMC because it is a practical and economic alternative to our traditional building methods, Wallform has the particular advantage of having a proven track record of performance and durability over some fifty years. It became the first building system to be approved by the Passivhaus Institut in Germany over twenty years ago – ie. for over twenty years we have been building to the performance levels currently being pencilled in to be the national standard by 2030!
In the drive to “Build Back Better” it is reassuring that we already have the proven technology to achieve the performance standards required.