Building Sustainable Offices Using Innovative Building Materials

This is niche developer WCR Group’s solution to develop sustainable offices using the H+H Thin Joint system as a structural element to compliment its green-technology external treatments and services.

The ongoing fifth phase of the Caerphilly Business Park makes use of 140mm Celcon Solar blocks for the inner skin of a steel portal frame, providing better thermal and sound insulation than the aggregate equivalent, as well as improved air tightness.

Thin-layer Celfix mortar cuts down heat loss through the joint, while 85mm cavity insulation, opposed to 50mm and triple glazed argon filled windows help to achieve a low U-value of approximately 0.27W/m²K, in compliance with Part L2A of the Building Regulations. This was a major consideration in project manager Brian Gatehouse’s choice for this build:

“We wanted to build an office space that would have low energy needs, posses sustainable credentials and ultimately achieve a high BREEAM rating. Having seen the H+H Thin Joint system specified elsewhere, we decided to give it a try and I have been extremely satisfied with the results.”

“Bearing in mind this is our first time using the system, our crews have adapted well to working with it and we have undoubtedly saved time during the block-laying phase compared with using more traditional methods,” added Brian.

When completed, the system will contribute to the 15,000 sq ft office exceeding the highest category of environmental building performance awarded by BREEAM.

The three-storey development has a number of other eco-friendly features including solar panels to provide hot water, rainwater harvesting to flush washrooms and irrigate the garden, a grass roof and translucent curtain walling which lets light through while passively filtering excessive summer heat.

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