We are going to spotlight on a Low Energy self-build project we have recently finished in Glasgow, Scotland. The property boasts a stunning contemporary aesthetic, with the innovative design considerations to boot.

What was our client looking for?

Our client, a retired Architect, and their project Architect (Stewart Cameron, Cameron Webster Architects) had designed a scheme to sit perfectly into our clients existing garden ground, that presented both level and design constraints that Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF) could overcome with ease. Our client was therefore led to finding a suitably experienced ICF shell contractor to assist with not only the build but the architectural and engineering detailing. Our client was looking for a shell contractor as they wished to self-manage the interior fit out.

What is ICF?

ICF is a building system which brings polystyrene blocks and concrete together to provide one of the most innovative build methods in modern construction. Polystyrene building blocks are used as the walls of the structure, cut to fit the exact specs of the home. These blocks are then filled with concrete, offering both incredible insulation and structural integrity.

What did we do?

As Econekt were appointed at the point our client achieved Local Authority planning permission we worked with the project design team to ensure the scheme was designed to not only maximise the value of Izodom ICF, but also integrate with key components; from the below ground waterproofing, triple glazed window system and also the key detail of ensuring the basement cap had a suitable structural loading and waterproofing design to allow this to be used as the homes driveway area.

To achieve the client and project design teams goals the site had to be excavated to ensure the existing road and the new driveway access levels provided safe and compliant site access all whilst not disturbing the exciting road structure that had previously been partially retained by the site and its natural ground levels.

Incorporating Izodom ICF and Econekt into this project from an early stage ensured that the structural ability of the houses design was simplified but also that the client’s low energy and Passivhaus principle desires were achieved. Izodom ICF provided Passivhaus insulation levels and airtightness without over complicating the self-managed fit-out our client wished to carry on with.

To deal with what is normal the leakiest part of the house – the junction between ICF and timber roof structure – Icynene spray foam was used to insulate and provide an air tightness barrier. This is standard practice for Econekt and their ICF shells as the spray foam compliments the thermal performance and air tightness of ICF with ease.

Once the shell was completed Econekt managed the external finishes of standing seam Zinc, acrylic render and monoblock paving to the driveway area.

Benefits to the client

This site itself did not come without its challenges, especially with the split-level nature of the ground. We were able to build the waterproof basement on this both quickly, and efficiently. A single method of construction was used throughout which provided an insulated envelope and retaining structure, while also waterproofing the entire self-build property, helping to safeguard it against any potential water damage or flooding.

In both the basement, and above ground, Izodom ICF was used throughout alongside the insulated foundation slab and the external boundary walls. This will bring a whole host of benefits to the client as they will enjoy unrivalled thermal insulation, airtightness and low-to-zero running costs. All being achieved through a single point of contact with Econekt.

Rachel Sterry