Silken Park is a new build housing development featuring a mix of 149 units comprising two, three and four bed houses and is situated in the west side of Dublin. Built by Durkan Residential, the development is aimed at the starter home market.
The development is being built with a primary focus on the building’s fabric to conform to the building regulations in the most cost effective manner. Showcasing the latest design features and a high standard of specification the development will provide attractive low-energy housing for its residents. 15 houses were constructed as part of the second phase of the project. The third phase is now beginning, with 59 houses being designed to achieve Passivhaus standard which exceeds the Building Regulations requirements. This will be the largest certified Passivhaus project in Ireland.
Minimising environmental impact was a key challenge for this project. Every part of the development has been carefully considered to reduce energy use and to make the houses comfortable and healthy to live in. In order to achieve this, the specification and use of a complete external wall insulation system was vital. The construction and the design teams were tasked with creating a cost effective building envelope that delivered efficient fabric performance and excellent overall thermal performance.
The ROCKWOOL Solution
Durkan Residential’s approach to the project was quite unique. “We focussed on the details of the building fabric, so that we could achieve the latest building regulations and Passivhaus standards in the most cost effective manner, while at the same time, achieve a more robust and better built house for our customers” comments Patrick Durkan, Managing Director of Durkan Residential.
As the main contractor on this project, Ecofix Ltd, adopted the ‘fabric-first’ approach to the construction to build a well-insulated and airtight building that reduces heat losses through the windows, walls, floor and roof. Key to this approach is the use of an external wall insulation system that completely wraps the houses and therefore minimises thermal bridging
“ROCKWOOL worked with Ecofix to develop a simple solution for the insulation of the building envelope,” says Darren Snaith, Director of Refurbishment and Regeneration at ROCKWOOL. “We’ve done this by adapting our construction details which have been tested and simulated, and they can deliver the high standards in terms of meeting building regulations and Passivhaus standards, whether that’s for insulation purposes, airtightness or thermal performance.”
Specifically designed to meet high thermal standards, ROCKWOOL’s range of insulation products, ROCKWOOL® External Wall DD Slab, ROCKWOOL’s BrickShield® and ROCKWOOL REDArt® Silicone render systems have provided a perfect solution at this project.
“Single leaf construction forms the basis of the building system at Silken Park,” comments Barry Durkan, New Homes Director, Ecofix UK and Ireland. “We are using a 215mm concrete hollow block which allows a cost effective, quick and efficient building method. It also allows the external wall insulation to be mechanically fixed to the outside of the building, effectively making the blockwork a heat store for the homes. The fabric is the most important part of our system. Once we get this right, everything else follows.”
Developed in a partnership between ROCKWOOL and Ibstock, the BrickShield® system was used to provide a real brick finish on the external wall insulation. ROCKWOOL insulation boards were fixed using an adhesive around the perimeter of each piece of insulation as well as mechanically fixed with thermally-broken Insulating wall anchors.
Offering triple value, the ROCKWOOL REDArt® Silicone EWI System is renowned for its thermal performance, fire protection and provides an attractive exterior for projects. The REDArt® rendering solution has been developed to be installed on a wide range of substrates and wall construction types. This has provided Silken Park with an efficient thermal solution to minimise the resident’s heating requirements and provide high standards of thermal comfort.
“ROCKWOOL is our first choice of insulation because it is breathable and fire proof” says Jay Stuart, Technical Director, Ecofix UK and Ireland. “The particular product that ROCKWOOL provided us with to build these houses is dual density. This means it is impact resistant on the outside, and slightly softer on the inside where it is fitted against the masonry wall. This means that the slab compresses and fills all the unevenness on the masonry wall achieving a perfect fit of insulation. In addition, the technical support ROCKWOOL provided was second to none which helped in the delivery of the project on time.”
“By combining simple wall construction, good solid windows, air tightness, ventilation, and above all, high levels of insulation, we will have a very happy customer, with a healthy home, and most importantly, very low energy bills” concludes Barry.”
ROCKWOOL’s thermally engineered and environmentally-friendly solution has helped to provide energy efficiency and reduced heating consumption. The building fabric has exceptionally low heat loss which is in line with design predictions and will provide the residents with increased levels of thermal comfort in a cost-effective manner.
“Durkan Residential is seeing savings of approximately 10% in the external walls themselves” said Andrew Kinnear, Commercial Director at Durkan Residential. “We are seeing a faster build, which is reducing our time on site.”