Problem Addressed

With embodied carbon responsible for 20% of UK built environment emissions, it is imperative that construction materials are as sustainably sourced and reusable as possible. According to the official UK Statistics on Waste, construction and demolition annually produce around 60 million tonnes of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste.

Modular construction systems such as structural insulated panels (SIP) present a way forward for reducing waste during the construction phase. Additionally, these systems are often assembled with design for deconstruction (DfD) principles in mind.

Solution Overview

Bio-SIP™ is a sustainably sourced and high-performance SIP developed by Qube Buildings to make construction easier and more environmentally friendly. The panels themselves are composed of an insulation core made from 100% recycled PET plastic sourced from a reputable manufacturer, and a structural facing made from bio-based materials including carbon-sequestering hemp and waste products from sugarcane production. In total, the insulated panels are made from 99.5% recycled plastic and organic materials. While this does create a wall system that combines the biological and technical cycles, it is assembled without adhesives, allowing for easier disassembly. This means these components can be moved and reassembled or repurposed at end of life. By constructing the panels offsite, transportation costs and emissions are reduced, and assembly can be faster.

Energy efficiency is another benefit of the Bio-SIP™ system, as they have good thermal performance, with the 250mm thick panel achieving a Passivhaus standard, reducing the energy needed to heat and cool a building. Bio-SIP™ is currently undergoing BBA and BRE certifications and has undergone successful initial fire testing.

Combining insulation, weatherproofing, and structure into a singular component, this SIP offers an all-in-one solution for the construction of a wide variety of buildings including homes, bike shelters, cabins, glamping pods, and garden studios. Additionally, the combination of materials used is innovative. It has been developed for mass production with the goal of allowing customers to have whole buildings delivered right to their door. The panels come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, allowing for different designs, and they are easy to transport.

Case Study

Bio-SIPS were used for the construction of a garden building in Chiddingfold, Surrey. Due to the modular components used, the entire building arrived flat-packed on a single luton van. A team of three installers completed the whole project in only two days including the installation of ground screws as a foundation system. The finished garden building was used to store paints and chemicals, meaning the thermal stability provided by the panels was appreciated by the clients.

Facts and Figures

1.2×2.4 m
50, 100, 200, 250 mm

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