Modern Methods of Construction for Housing - HomeBond

The buoyant Irish residential housing market has set new challenges for builders and developers, including finding more efficient methods of construction, meeting tightening performance and environmental standards, and complying with the requirements of guarantee bodies.

Two years ago Kingspan Insulated Panels developed a new roofing system aimed at addressing some of these key issues and the result – Kingzip – has proved remarkably successful in the Irish market.

Kingzip is a pre-engineered zip-up roofing system to provide high performance, design flexibility, aesthetic appeal and fast-track construction. These features are particularly appealing to home building clients, who are looking for efficient ways to speed up construction and improve performance. Although the product was initially targeted at the industrial and commercial sectors, there was an immediate demand from residential clients, which has continued to increase. Last year Kingspan saw a 10-fold increase in demand for the product in the housing sector. The first sector of the residential market to adopt Kingzip was student accommodation, where speed and cost are extremely important.

The system was recently used for the roofing on a development of two blocks of student accommodation at Blackhall Place in the Smithfield area of Dublin. It was built by National Document Management Group (NDMG) under the “Section 50” tax relief scheme introduced to provide rented residential accommodation for third level students and relieve supply pressures in the private sector. Main contractor LM Construction said it opted for Kingzip because of the fast build speed, competitive price and, crucially, because the product has BBA (British Board of Agrément) certification. Since Kingzip gained the certification last year, developers and contractors have been able to specify the product in full confidence that it will meet all the relevant Department of Environment standards and provide the necessary information for the accommodation to be given a “HomeBond” warranty.

Developers looking for approval need to know that the components that have gone into the fabric of the building have a design life of at least 40 years, and BBA certification confirms this.

Such a warranty can be vital for potential homebuyers when it comes to borrowing from a bank or building society. It was certainly important to Barina Construction, which used Kingzip for its Primrose Gate development of 350 residential units on the outskirts of Celbridge, County Kildare. The Kingzip KS500 aluminium roof panels were chosen because of the high performance required for the apartments, and also because of the BBA certification. Kingspan spent three years developing Kingzip to create a system that successfully integrates the company’s extensive insulated roof panel technology with advanced standing seam construction techniques.

The company wanted to use the latest technology to bring innovative roofing solutions to market that take account of the “bigger picture”: factors such as growing demands for safe, efficient, consistent installations and heightened energy conservation. Designers of residential properties are also looking for more choice and kerb appeal for even the smallest development.

Extensive market research proved that there was a real opportunity to bring together the built-in energy-efficiency performance of Kingzip’s insulated panels with the unrivalled weathertight properties of standing seam technology.

The Kingzip system is extremely simple to apply, coming in one, easy to handle, weathertight component for fast track installation – a key factor in the drive for ever greater efficiency in construction.

Speed has been a key factor for Laing O’Rourke in building the Manor Mill development for Dulcedo Developments at Maymooth in County Kildare. The development consists of offices and retail units on the ground floor, with apartments on the upper levels. The contractor’s main factors in choosing the roofing system were high performance and high quality service. In all, 5,000 sq m of the Kingzip KS1000 will be installed. The standing seam construction method allows pitches as low as 1.5° to be laid quickly and easily, while the availability of panel widths of 500 to 1,000mm means panels can be applied to curved roofs over 150m in radius.

Also, Kingzip’s secret fixing method eliminates the usual need to penetrate the external sheet, maximising weather protection and thermal performance. Kingzip is available in a wide range of finishes and colours, as well as in both curved and pitched panels and longer lengths. HomeBond points out that only the panels with the stucco embossed aluminium finish are certified for durability in excess of 40 years in rural and suburban environments.

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