Saint Gobain: Isover Helps Insulate Macbryde Homes for Part E

A small change in construction methods using a Robust Detail-approved insulation system from Saint-Gobain Isover is enabling regional housebuilder Macbryde Homes to finish developments days ahead of schedule.

North Wales-based Macbryde Homes first used Isover’s RD35 system last year on its Amberley Park and Gannock Mews developments in Prestatyn and Deganwy respectively. Now it is their standard method for party wall construction.

Amberley Park is a development of 44 townhouses and detached homes and Gannock Mews a terrace of eight three-storey townhouses, for which Macbryde Homes won a LABC North Wales Building Award in recognition of their high standard of construction and workmanship.

Isover’s RD35 will also be used at Fairways Park, Rhos on Sea (91 apartments and townhouses for first-time buyers) which has just started and on Marl Farm at Llandudno Junction (142 apartments, townhouses and detached homes) which is due to start later this year.

Macbryde’s design director Ian Hornby specified Isover RD35 from distributor Sheffield Insulations because it reduced their reliance on wet trade work (the render coat to the blockwork of the party wall) and negated the need for the pre-completion sound testing normally required under current Building Regulations.

“In addition, when using a scratch coat we would have to wait for this to dry out before we could apply the drylining and this could take several days,” he said. “The render coat could also not be applied when the temperature was very cold. Isover’s RD35 system can be installed in all temperatures, in a fraction of the time a parge coat takes, and without the mess and labour involved when using wet cement. And because it’s manufactured from 80% recycled material, it’s vastly more environmentally friendly than cement.”

Saint-Gobain Isover launched its RD35 system as a response to the requirements of the new Part E Building Regulations which required a Robust Detail–approved system to avoid pre-completion testing. However, all seven previous Robust Detail masonry party wall constructions forced housebuilders to revert to a wet trade internal wall lining, generally involving sand and cement, from the plasterboard-on-dabs method which had been their preferred one for years.

Isover RD35 high-performance acoustic slabs are positioned in the party wall cavity in conjunction with plasterboard-on-dabs drylining, allowing housebuilders to revert to their preferred method of construction. It is the only Robust Detail-approved alternative to cement-based solutions As such, it has attracted more than 10,000 plot registrations to date but Macbryde Homes is one of the first developers to complete with it.

Macbryde Homes have operated in North Wales and the north-west for more than 25 years, combining a traditional, family-run approach with forward-thinking ideas such as the use of Isover RD35. Particularly notable previous developments include The Waterfront at Liverpool’s Albert Dock and Slate Wharf in Manchester.

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