9th February 2010 / posted by Rob
Our Award Winning Panels
AWARD WINNING INSULATION PANELS
As some of you will have seen in our news section, Oakwrights have been placed first in the Homebuilding & Renovating ‘Self Build Product Innovation Awards 2010’. Our Type 3i panel system was chosen as the winner in the ‘Construction Systems’ category, beating off some stiff competition from multinational companies like Kingspan Potton, and Hanse Haus to scoop the prize. We are obviously very proud of this achievement and I thought I’d give you a more in-depth look at our system and why the judges felt we deserved this award.
Wedding Barn from outside with panels and same Barn from inside showing fewer timbers
We have spent eight years researching and developing the type 3i insulation panel and we’re confident that we have the most advanced system currently on the market. The beauty of our panel is that it maintains the look of a traditional ‘half-timbered’ house externally, but is far more energy efficient and weatherproof than, any other panel system available today. And to be extra sure, our panel system has been thoroughly tested and approved by TRADA (the Timber Research And Development Association) and is accepted by the NHBC (the National House-Building Council).
INSULATION PANEL FEATURES
Here are just some of the innovative features of our panel system;
Rather than have every timber visible both internally and externally, which by passing through the whole width of the wall causes so called ‘cold-bridging’ , many of the timbers in our system are half-width. This means that only the large structural beams and posts are visible both inside and out, all secondary timber members are only visible one side which means we can run an almost uninterrupted layer of insulation around the walls. It’s this principle that allows our paneled system to achieve a U-Value of 0.235, including allowing for the effects of cold bridging, this figure has been verified by both Kingspan and TRADA. This is, we believe, the best in the industry for this type of construction. We also find that Clients feed back to us that too many visible timbers internally can lead to problems in arranging furniture and hanging pictures, whereas our system creates a much more flexible internal environment.
As we use traditional timber construction, all our joints are held together with oak pegs. Traditionally, the peg would go right through the timber, creating a potential weak spot for weather-proofing. In our construction, the half width timbers only use half size pegs which do not penetrate all the way through the main structural post and beams. This drastically reduces the number of times the building envelope is punctured when compared to similar constructions.
The main body of the panel system is composed of a 12mm ply board which is set into a groove cut into the oak members all the way around the panel and then secured with locating strips to allow the ply to move with the oak frame rather than fight against it. Butyl tape is run along every junction where the ply meets the oak, this creates an airtight seal around every panel and allows our frames to easily pass the air pressure test.
Unlike anybody else, to prevent the spread of fire an intumescent strip is located on the inside of the panel where the plasterboard abuts the oak. This strip expands when heated, forming a seal around every panel thus preventing fire from spreading to the insulation or to other panels around the property.
These are just a few of the many pioneering ideas we have incorporated into our system, I could go on but obviously I don’t want to give away too many of our secrets!!
The type 3i panel will be showcased, along with the winners from the other categories, at this year’s National Homebuilding & Renovating Show at the Birmingham NEC from March 18th – 21st. As usual we will also have our own stand at the show, plus another stand featuring Eco House building in the Green Building section - so we hope to see you all there.