Polarwall - insulating concrete formwork

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The benefits of building with Polarwall Insulating Concrete Formwork were highlighted on a recent episode of the very popular Grand Designs television programme. Polarwall was chosen as the construction method for a new mews house in Kensington. The housebuilder, Ian Hogarth, is a professional architect who owns a thriving practice and this house was designed for his own family home.

The decision to use Polarwall was based upon several factors. The ICF system had to have a very low U-value (at Passiv Haus levels), it had to be quick to erect, and cost effective. The insulating formwork also had to have a very high strength to resist the concrete pressure because the construction site is immediately next to both Network Rail and London Underground lines and any spillage of concrete onto the railway lines was unthinkable. The formwork held up superbly to the high internal pressures of a very wet concrete mix, caused by using a special aggregate called Lytag.

The concrete pours for the three storeys of the house and the other external walling went absolutely perfectly, except for one small leak at a window opening, caused when the builders decided to use their own method of forming the opening rather than that prescribed by us. This was easily remedied with little drama and hardly any mess but the TV editors tried to make it look like a potential disaster which wasn't the case.

Ian Hogarth was very pleased with his decision to build with Polarwall formwork..after all he received the first delivery on New Years Eve and within three weeks the roof was on and the family moved into the house in May.

Grand Designs TV interview about ICF construction and the advantage and benefits of Polarwall ICF, and using eco concrete

1 Architect Ian Hogarth interviewed for Grand Designs with railway tracks behind him

We had never pumped Lytag based concrete before and the architect was insistent upon its use within the concrete mix.

Architect Ian Hogarth interviewed for his challenging new ICF structure for Grand Designs. Polarwall XPS insulation can be seen in the background.

2 Ian explains why a concrete ICF structure is the best build option for this challenging site

Architect Ian Hogarth chose Polarwall for his own home after originally choosing one of our ICF competitors. He changed to Polarwall because of the integrity of our products and because he realised that we were prepared to work around his scheduling and programming rather than expecting him to work around ours.   The house is designed to PassiveHaus standards with a 0.10 u-value!

We delivered our materials to site on New Year’s Eve 2010, and the build team had built the main house (three storeys and gables plus two poured concrete floors) before the end of January and despite particularly wintry weather! Ian and his family moved into the house at the end of May and then began working on digging out the huge basement!

see the project at http://www.hogartharchitects.co.uk/house_-_russell_gardens_mews