The concept has already attracted international attention and is understood to be the first of its type in the UK, and now the groundbreaking Curriculum House has entered its main construction phase.
Designed, developed and constructed by the brightest and best architectural and construction students from the Motherwell Campus of New College Lanarkshire, the Curriculum House, located on the BRE Innovation Park in Ravenscraig, represents a fresh, unique and youthful take on how homes for the future should look, feel and perform for the benefit of people, the environment and the economy.
BRE Scotland Director Rufus Logan said; ‘The objective at BRE Innovation Park in Ravenscraig and our network of Parks across the globe is to apply innovation and science to find solutions for our existing and future buildings not only in Scotland but in the UK, Europe and around the world and this innovative project will more than meets that criteria. Undoubtedly the Curriculum House will have a significant impact on Scotland in terms of making our buildings better but also in helping us progress the skills of our young people so they can develop careers fit for the global workplace.’
CAADT (Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology) students from the Motherwell Campus of New College Lanarkshire oversaw the timber kit of their environmentally-friendly, flexible design being assembled on-site and were joined by Construction students, who will finish the house once the frame is complete.
With a brief to create a flexible family home, which can be adapted over time to reflect a family’s changing needs, the construction of the home embraced low-waste construction methods and includes de-mountable partitions, as well as CELLECTA tetrus flooring, one of the most highly insulated flooring solutions available.
The project aims to provide the students with real world construction knowledge, backed up with the sustainability skills which are needed and will equip them to help drive the sector forward as construction standards constantly evolve. Such is the interest in the development that last December, Michael McGuire from New College Lanarkshire was invited to the annual AutoDesk Conference to address an audience of 10,000 delegates to discuss the project.
Michael McGuire, course leader of HND Architectural Technology at New College Lanarkshire, noted:“We are delighted that our students’ design for the Curriculum House is being realised here in the heart of Ravenscraig and so close to our Motherwell Campus. The project has reinforced to our students that what they are learning is giving them the knowledge and skills required to be successful in the architectural industry. This is an opportunity of a lifetime to create a unique and exciting project that should not only showcase the skill and motivation of our students and staff to the rest of the UK, but also worldwide.”
The foundations of Curriculum House, along with a TETRiS insulated floor system, were laid earlier this year. Erection of the main structure should be complete within three days, after which construction students move in to fit out the house.
The College has been supported by a number of external companies who have helped make the project possible, including Cellecta TETRiS flooring, Airflow heat recovery and ventilation, Dimplex heating and hot water, Scotframe and BRE. The thermally-efficient, closed panel timber frame was manufactured in Scotframe’s factory in Cumbernauld. The timber kit includes 14 external wall panels, 18 internal wall panels, four floor cassettes, 14 roof trusses and two sets of gable ladders. The heaviest panel weighs 342kg, while the longest panel measures six metres.
Peter Hall, Marketing Manager from Scotframe commented:“We are delighted to be so closely associated with this prestigious project and feel privileged that we are able to make such a worthwhile contribution toward the academic and learning benefits for both the College and the timber frame industry at home and abroad. From the outset, the College has recognised the advantages of taking a ‘Fabric First’ approach to the building structure and envelope. In response to this, we supplied our closed panel, factory-insulated product Val-U-Therm, which will provide extremely high energy efficiency along with excellent thermal performance and air tightness. Minimal site waste and quick erection times also add to the well-established environmental credentials a timber frame structure such as this offers.”
Curriculum House will continue to act as a valuable teaching resource after completion. It will be used by both CAADT and construction students as a test and demonstration facility for both teaching and monitoring of low energy design and construction.
Follow the progress on Curriculum House on Twitter: @CAADT_students