SMARTPLY HELPS DELIVER COST-EFFECTIVESMARTPLY PROPASSIV lived up to its reputation as an ideal panel system for ultra-low energy buildings by ensuring a private two-storey house exceeded the Passivhaus levels for airtightness.

Having taken just over two weeks to erect, the residential property is in the heart of Maidenhead within the Royal Borough of Windsor. Building work was carried out by MBC Timber Frame Homes, specialists in the production of timber frame Passive Homes. The wall cassettes were manufactured from SMARTPLY PROPASSIV structural OSB3 panels and were constructed offsite, before being transported to site where the stylish, sustainable home was completed within a strict three-week deadline. This remarkably rapid construction time was possible due to the reduced man hours required to install the SMARTPLY PROPASSIV system. The structural air and vapour tight panels can be readily cut and fixed using standard timber frame fixings, removing the need for the secondary installation of additional membranes, sealants and foams.

With integrated vapour control properties and airtightness engineered into each panel, SMARTPLY PROPASSIV is the ideal panel system for ultra-low energy buildings. In addition to forming the structure of the building, it was also used as the Maidenhead home’s airtight layer and provided the integrated vapour barrier which removed the need for an additional Air and Vapour Control Layer (AVCL). The home’s innovative design also incorporated the use of MEDITE VENT, a high performance breathable external sheathing panel which offers excellent vapour permeability and high weather resistance. The SMARTPLY PROPASSIV and MEDITE VENT boards work together to not only encase the timber frame and insulation, but provide additional rigidity and strength to the overall structure. A breather membrane was secured to the MEDITE VENT, with PROPASSIV sealed using airtight tape at the junctions to ensure the house remains completely airtight and draught free. In addition to these low energy projects, standard SMARTPLY OSB3 was installed in partitions and floors.

In just 19 days, with SMARTPLY PROPASSIV having created the perfect insulation envelope, tests showed the completed home achieved 0.55 Air changes per hour (ACH), which compares excellently against the Passivhaus requirement of 0.6 ACH. The client was presented with a sustainable, low energy house with an estimated 90% reduction in heating demands compared to the average home.

SMARTPLY PROPASSIV’s rigid panel is a sustainable, robust and cost-effective alternative to specialist AVCL membranes. With minimal risk of damage during assembly, transport and installation, airtightness should not be compromised, thereby ensuring the panel performs as well on the construction site as in factory controlled conditions.

Suitable for both new build and renovation projects, SMARTPLY PROPASSIV is a versatile, strong and cost-effective OSB panel system further enhanced by the additional installation of MEDITE VENT to ensure appropriate vapour diffusion.

With more and more focus on low energy construction, SMARTPLY’s latest innovation could play a vital role as part of a highly sustainable and fabric first approach.