This month we had an office outing to our on-site project at Knollys Road. This development of 19 flats and 3 townhouses is due to be completed at the end of this year and work is progressing well. The site visit was an excellent opportunity to see the building at a moment of transition, where the largely-complete external envelope is beginning to be closed up and internal fit-out works are at various stages on each floor. We always gain great insights from discussing details, materials and buildability with the contractors on site and the foreman John was on hand to answer any questions the team had.
As architects, we are well-aware that decisions made early in the design process can have long-term knock-on effects in terms of cost, buildability and programme and we are constantly striving to improve outcomes for our clients. In this project we specified Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS) to form part of the building envelope due to their inherent sustainability credentials, potential programme benefits, high thermal insulation and air-tightness. However, SIPS are a relatively new product to be used in a sheathing wall situation and during detailed design and construction we had to develop a number of non-standard details to meet fire and acoustic requirements. The main contractor’s feedback regarding SIPS tolerances and installation will now form part of our specification deliberations.
A big part of our collective continued professional development and ISO 9001 quality management system is this learning and review process; before, during and after construction.