Parmoor Barn is on the site of an old convent and over the years there have been different attempts to get planning on the site, all of which have failed. However Skillbond Ltd, a property development company, believed they had the experience, expertise and drive to create a building which would meet the demands from the planning office and would succeed in obtaining planning.
Working in conjunction with the architects at Danksbadnell the plan was to create a residential dwelling which blended beautifully with its surroundings, retained the original oak frame and was as energy efficient as it possible could be. Skillbond held a strong interest in the Passivhaus movement and decided that they wanted to take the building to Passivhaus standard, therefore they needed to find an expert partner in that field. After undertaking some research in the market, Eco Frame Systems were identified as a company which focused on specialised timber frame builds and had the Passivhaus experience that both Skillbond and Danksbadnell were looking for.
As you can see from the architect images and pictures taken on site the original oak frame is retained and used as an internal feature – with a new timber frame structure enveloping the oak frame and creating the frame on which the remainder of the build could be constructed.
Eco Frame Systems’ (Canterbury, Kent) team of engineers and timber frame specialists worked closely with the architects designing the timber frame and manufacturing in their on site factory. Using CAD based design systems, which communicate directly with the factory precision engineering machinery, the sustainable sourced timber was manufactured in the factory and then despatched to site and erected by Eco Frame Systems team of timber frame erectors.
In addition to the timber frame Eco Frame Systems undertook the insulation, roof tiling and glazing (supplied by Gaulhofer).
Gaulhofer is an Austrian window company which manufactures i nnovative glazing solutions, offering outstandingly impressive U-values (from 0.81 w/m2K). The Eco Line product installed in Parmoor Barn meets the demanding requirements for passive house without compromise on design. The sustainable window range features aluminium (RAL 7106) on the outside, timber on the inside and has amazing properties in thermal insulation. Eco Frame Systems are a UK partner for Gaulhofer and have examples of the product in their Canterbury showroom.
The critical factor for any Passivhaus design is the air tightness test. Eco Frame Systems had responsibility for ensuring the building would meet the airtight requirements for Passivhaus Certification (0.6 ach at least). The day that Airsmart arrived onsite to run the test the team were quietly confident that 0.6 would be achieved (although it is quite common for Passivhaus test to fail on first attempts). The result of 0.59 ach was achieved on the first attempt, meeting the requirements for Passivhaus Certification. However Eco Frame Systems are a determined team and will certainly be carrying on work to improve this (although the target they have in mind is a company secret!).
Nick Sargent from Skillbond Ltd says ‘Eco Frames have been very good, all is on schedule and the operation so far has been completely painless!’
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