This is our sixth polystyrene home

Written by  Wednesday, 09 November 2011 00:00

Jonathan Riddle

Jonathan’s firm ARC Design Services Ltd is an architectural design company specialising in the residential side of the industry. “We work on all types of projects in the South Manchester and Cheshire area,” he says. “These range from domestic extensions, loft conversions, remodelled houses, alterations and refurbishments to fully bespoke new-build homes.”

ARC clients range from private householders to small developers and house builders. “We work closely with our clients to create exciting new buildings and interiors,” says Jonathan.

Jonathan Riddle

Typical of Jonathan’s innovative approach is an energy efficient ‘dream’ home designed by ARC in Hale, with polystyrene as its key building material.

This was our sixth project of its kind, most of them being built in the borough,” says Jonathan. “The original 1960s house on the site was no longer meeting the needs of our clients, so it was demolished to make way for a spectacular new design using the latest Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF) technology.

Moulding the future

“Large polystyrene blocks are locked together, forming a mould.” Jonathan explained. “Concrete is then poured in to form the wall structure. Once everything is assembled, an insulated inner and outer wall are formed, all from polystyrene, with shutters installed to support the whole structure.”

Advantages and challenges

ICF homes are quick to build and eco-friendly, while the heating and hot water systems use very little energy. Other energy saving and efficiency measures include a rainwater harvesting tank, solar panels on the roof and a ventilation system.

"It's still a very new concept which takes specialist design work and building,” says Jonathan. “We work with all different methods of construction and this particular approach is something we really enjoy getting involved with."

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