A Neath-based company has just become the only UK company to receive the industry stamp of approval for a product that could reduce heating bills by 90% and cut the time it takes to build a house down.
JG Hale Construction has just received approval from the British Board of Agrément (BBA), the body that guides the construction industry around which products to use, for an insulated panel product called Trisowarm. Although similar products exist, Trisowarm is the only one with industry approval, now making it a viable choice for housing developers.
If you’re wondering what Trisowarm is and why it’s exciting, the basic idea to grasp is that it’s a product that uses the same chemicals as regular insulation panels but crucially, comes in foam form.
This is highly effective, as the foam can be injected in the factory in between the timber frame panels which form the interior structure of a house, enabling it to get into every nook and cranny. Combined with super tight fitting joints which hold the timber panels together, this makes houses draught-proof and conventional central heating no longer necessary.
Jonathan Hale, Chairman of Hale Construction said:
“Trisowarm makes a significant different to a home’s carbon credentials as it enables you to future proof the energy performance and thermal efficiency of a house from the start. And just as importantly, people don’t live in homes with cold spots lying in wait.”
Tests by Swansea University have also shown that timber panels bound by Trisowarm can withstand pretty much anything. This means they could form the main structure of a house, replacing our current approach of building a home with bricks – they would just need to be clad for appearance’s sake. As a result, houses could be created almost entirely in a factory and then assembled on site, thereby cutting out weeks of dead time when construction is held up due to inclement UK weather.
As Jonathan explains:
“The biggest problem in the UK is the weather. If it’s pouring down with rain, we can’t plaster or do a number of things. But by using Trisowarm, we could design a house and get it water tight within a two-week period.”
This brings a new perspective to the UK’s concept of pre-fabricated houses, currently based on the peculiar looking concrete and steel boxes that popped up after the Second World War and its blitzes. They’re undoubtedly the sign of a time but conversely, making a house in a factory with Trisowarm, means homes could be updated and modernised as often as kitchens are by just changing the outside cladding. And of course they’re built to last forever.
“In the UK we think an Englishman’s castle is made of bricks, but it doesn’t have to be. In Scandinavia, North America and Canada for example, homes are traditionally made in a factory before being put up. It makes a lot of sense – it’s just a change of mind-set.”
At present, Hale Construction creates enough panels for 12 homes a week. Unsurprisingly as fuel prices go up and winters get