Spot the Difference

Published Tuesday 19th June 2012
International Timber has played a key role in the construction of two timber clad student bedroom pods, which made their debut at this year’s Passivhaus Conference in a live ‘Spot the Difference’ format never seen before.

Created in association with Saint-Gobain, Church Lukas, Factory Homes and GB Construction, the two pods looked identical. However, with one built to Part L 2006 specifications and the other constructed in accordance with Passivhaus principles, they performed differently in terms of thermal performance and energy efficiency.

Student volunteers stayed in the bedrooms during the first evening of the conference, which took place from 7-8 November at The University of Nottingham, and energy consumption was closely monitored.

The results were shared at the final session and as the temperature in the pods stabilised, early readings showed an initial average energy consumption level of 180kWh/m² for the Part L 2006 pod, compared to just 50kWh/m² for the one constructed in accordance with Passivhaus principles. The pods are now being moved to the Energy Technologies Building, a specialist research centre at The University of Nottingham, where monitoring and testing will continue.

Designed by Nottingham-based architectural practice Church Lukas, which has extensive experience of off-site construction and knowledge of sustainable student accommodation, the pods were made almost entirely from materials supplied by Saint-Gobain’s UK businesses. These included battens and timber studs from International Timber, which were used on the interior and exterior of both pods.

The modules were manufactured by Factory Homes, the UK’s largest holiday home producer, and transported to The University of Nottingham by GB Construction, the only contractor in the world to achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rated student scheme.

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