Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) are at the core of our building system for these lodges. The panels are manufactured in a highly controlled factory environment, working to ISO 9001 standards by our sister company SPT Systems. The outer structure is Class A Grade Magnesium Oxide, which is highly water resistant, fireproof and extremely strong. The thermal core comprises Elastapor® insulation, developed with world market leader BASF. These panels are the perfect solution for rapidly constructing thermally efficient buildings for residential use.
Before we began assembling the SIPS panel kit, we had a galvanised frame constructed as a base on which to build. This meant that we not only had firm foundations for the build and once the lodge was on site but we also had a structure with lifting points. This allowed us to easily lift and transport the lodge and once on site it could be quickly positioned. Details like this cut down wasted time and save money.
On top of this frame we built the SIPS panels which came in kit form, a sort of “Lodge in a Box”. The SIP panels are the perfect solution for rapidly constructing thermally efficient, airtight buildings. They are simple to erect, go together quickly and accurately and they come in various thicknesses. On this project we used them for the external and internal walls, roofs and floors. At this stage we also built the frames for the doors and windows but, because we assemble the lodges indoors, there was no need to make the structure weather tight at this stage. So all the actual window and door fitting was left until the final stage of the build a few days before delivery, cutting down the chances of damage and making the structure more accessible for the various trades.
The next step was to complete the internal fitting out including electrical wiring and plumbing. After we fitted all the services we then started the internal wall and floor tiling and carried out the installation of the kitchen units and white goods. We also fitted a Charnwood log burner at this stage but more of that later!
The final step before delivery was to finish the outside of the lodge, in effect covering up the SIPS panels to give the lodge a more traditional look and add additional weatherproofing. The SIPS panels allow for a wide range of finishes to be applied, including render, brick, timber cladding, composite panel or even stone. We used the SIPS panels for the roof structure as well on our lodges and finished these off with standard roof tiles but other options could be used.
Once finished the lodge was tested in accordance with the performance criteria we set ourselves. We were not surprised when the lodge exceeded all the requirements of current and future UK Building Regulations and Building Standards as well as the highest European Standards. One of the major features when tested was the excellent thermal performance of our SIP panels. With their ability to minimise thermal bridging and maximise thermal airtightness high levels of performance were achieved. And this is where the Charnwood log burner comes in. The heat generated by the log burner was so intense throughout the lodge that it had to be turned off and this was due to the minimal heat loss and air tightness provided by the SIPS panels.
It was then just a matter of taking the lodge to site and positioning it exactly where the client wanted it. We delivered it on 13th March 2020 and our installation team set it up on site. From leaving the factory to handover to the client as a resident ready home took two days. We are now working on six subsequent lodges, to match the first. All due for delivery by June 2020