Alternative building methods

Alternative building methods

A variety of alternatives to masonry and timber exist, making use of both high-tech and traditional materials in unconventional ways. Benefits include the ability to mould liquid concrete into almost any layout, plus slender composite walling structures that combine extremely stiff, load-bearing qualities with highly efficient integrated insulation.

What are the alternative options?

SIPS or Structured Insulated Panellinguses layers of ply or OSB which encapsulate an insulating core. The thickness of the plasterboard and the effectiveness of the insulation vary according to the supplier and the cost of the chosen insulation material. These structures provide useful rigidity, often exceeding the strength of timber frames. The system can easily be adapted to work in combination with a steel or block-work frame.

Insulated Concrete Framework(ICF) 

uses large hollow lightweight blocks that lock together, providing a hollow formwork system into which concrete is poured. Once set, the concrete creates a high-strength structure and the formwork remains in place as thermal insulation. The process is simple and arrangement of the formwork is extremely flexible.

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Styro Stone

Styro Stone uses a stone-substitute made from expanded polystyrene, which is ecologically very sound and offers excellent insulation. Styro Stone buildings can reach a high level of completion by a proficient team in a single day.

Timber Cladding

Timber cladding is popular for its visual effect and green credentials, although some popular varieties will have travelled great distances. The choice of timber is critical - generally, cost reflects durability and finish, though chemical treatment by the supplier or buyer can improve weathering. The attractive appearance of tile-like timber 'shingles' creates a fine rustic finish.

The alternative options to conventional construction methods justify close examination, for their particular suitability to individual projects. The flexibility of these methods coincides with reduced ecological impact, combining a responsible approach with freedom to follow personal styling choices.