The new Celcon Elements from H+H form the basis of the radical SIG I-House System being used to construct 164 residential units on a Barratt Homes site in Bromsgrove.

The SIG I-House System, based on the storey-high aircrete panels, delivers a complete house shell with weathertight roof and wrapped in insulation in just one week and is the result of a unique collaboration between H+H and SIG Off-Site.  It is one of a number of building types being trialled by Barratt Homes which is keen to experiment with new methods of construction that offer improved speed of build.

The Norton Farm site comprises a mix of units for private sale, social rental and shared ownership with housing types including single storey, two-storey and two-storey with room in the roof.  Terraced housing is mixed with detached and semi-detached properties.

In all cases the Celcon Elements are used for the inner leaf of the cavity walls and for the internal partition walls including separating walls.  Where required, standard thin-joint aircrete blocks are used in combination with the Celcon Elements, allowing the system to accommodate non-standard details such as bays.

Craned into place, the Celcon Elements are fixed using fast-setting element mortar. The ground floor panels are then supported with props to allow prefabricated floor cassettes by SIG to be fitted and for the second-storey panels to be fixed above the floors.  The roof consists either of standard truss construction or the ‘Roofspace I-Roof’ panelised roof system and the SIG I-House System also includes all lintels and cavity wall and party wall insulation.

The award-winning system is proving popular for its combination of the speed and efficiency of offsite with the familiarity of traditional build. Steve Cartwright, Barratt Construction Director for the West Midlands observed: “It’s simply one of the best offsite systems we’ve seen.  It’s basically blockwork erected in a different way which gives us flexibility on site.  If you require any design alterations while on site, you can treat it like a traditional build – if you need an additional window suddenly, you can do it, whereas with timber frame you can’t alter this due to the structural calculations changing.”