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Statistical case study: Warmbuild home, Cullenagh, Portlaoise, Co Laoise, Ireland

In UK terms, this home falls between levels 4 & 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes

House size: 302m2,4 bedrooms

Exterior walls: 150mm NUDURA U-value 0.24

Floor insulation: 100mm Kingspan U-Value 0.21

Roof insulation: 150mm NUDURA U-Value 0.24

Air Permeability: 0.096 ACH/1.86m3/hr.m2

Energy consumption/non renewables: 671 litres oil heating/hot water, 12 months 6452kWh electricity, 12 months (house, garage/workshop, stables)

50kg LPG, cooking

Oil 671L @ 10.27kWh/L: 6891kWH

Electricity: 6452 kWh

LPG 50kg @ 12.5 kWh/kg: 625kWh

Total: 13,968 kWh/yr

Total usage: 46.25 kWh/m2/year

Usage for home only (non renewables) Assume 75% of oil for heating and 25% for hot water

Heating: 5168 kWh = 17.11 kWh/m /yr

Hot water: 1723 kWh

Electricity: 4457 kWh (av Irish home usage)

Cooking: 625 kWh

Total: 11,973 kWh/yr

Total/m: 39.65 kWh/m2/yr

NB: Zero carbon hub standard is 46kWh/m2/per year


NUDURA ICF delivers on sustainable design for AONB home

NUDURA’s Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF) building system was selected for the rebuilding of an existing cottage to Passivhaus standards in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with additional planning development restrictions in West Sussex.

The client’s brief for The Curly House was to design and build a dynamic and contemporary 407.8 m home that would minimise their energy consumption and carbon footprint.

The challenge was to design an affordable and very low energy building on a highly exposed site that is subjected to bitingly cold winters and very hot summers. Architects Ecotecture designed a crescent shaped detached home which steps and slides into the slopes of the site and features a curved brise soleil.

After considering a raft of sustainable construction options, Kithurst Builders specified NUDURA ICF (insulated concrete formwork) for the walls and OP-Deck (thermally broken super insulated deck system) for the floors and roof.

ICFs are highly suited for ease of build for both complex and curved structures, and the same system can be used for below and above grade walls. In total, some 340m of concrete was required to complete the project.

The Op-Deck was specified to take a load of 5kN/m . The heavier construction option was chosen to provide thermal mass in order to balance the heating gains and losses due to the large areas of glazing. The insulating element of NUDURA’s ICF acts as a buffer to the thermal mass allowing the slow release of heat into the building to ensure a constant internal temperature throughout the year. The semi-subterranean nature of the design also meant that materials susceptible to damp could not be considered, so no timber was used in the construction of the building envelope.

Structural engineer Dave Smart from BLB Engineers was responsible for the structural design of the building to meet British building regulations. Reinforcement in the building was provided by vertical and horizontal rebar, lintels were designed to be poured in situ and made up of rebar saddles. Due to the nature of the curved design, all rebar was shaped onsite. Steel beams were used only to frame the stairwell.

By combining NUDURA ICF and OP-Deck it was possible to reduce thermal bridging to a minimum. It allowed the brise au soleil main support system to be bolted back to the concrete core and the thermal bridge was further reduced by using stainless steel anchors. Initial air tests show the property achieving 0.3 air changes per hour. By using ICF and detailed construction, the building has surpassed the air tightness standard required for Passivhaus compliance.

Homeowners of Curly House didn’t need to switch their heating on throughout the winter of 2011/2012. Heating typically accounts for approximately 60% of energy usage/costs in a dwelling. Curly House demand has been modelled in IES thermal analysis software and based on actual consumption in late 2011; predicted heat demand is 2 3kwh/m /year. Compared with an average UK home in 2003, the NUDURA system has reduced energy demand by 98% and, to today’s Passivhaus standards, by some 80%. The project has been uploaded to the low energy buildings database and, with the building now occupied, data is being fed in.


Choose NUDURA ICF and measure the difference


Walls make up the largest surface area of any building. By choosing global leader, NUDURA ICF, your sustainable building won’t be limited by design and will come with measurable benefits:


Energy efficiency: NUDURA ICF structures optimize energy performance through U-values that meet and exceed Passivhaus/Code for Sustainable Homes; saving building owners up to 70% in energy costs.

Speed of build: With NUDURA, six building steps are completed all at once: saving up to 60% on labour and 25% time on site for a shell finish.

Acoustic performance: NUDURA ICF is an effective sound barrier, offering superior building comfort with a Sound Reduction Index of 51.

Strength: NUDURA ICFs are ideal for both complex and curved structures and the same system can be used for below and above grade walls.

Fire resistance: NUDURA ICFs deliver a fire protection rating of up to four hours.

Disaster resistance: NUDURA ICF is inherently resistant to whatever Mother Nature brings.

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