15 Mar 2013

We at CFBD enjoy a good natter about the weather as much as anybody; its an identifiably English thing and helps other less boring nationalities spot us from a safe distance..
This week however has been particularly character building in terms of how we are all affected by different weather.
Our great friends at Surrey Basements are currently creating a huge new basement for us in West Hampstead, that will form part of a new-build block of luxury apartments being built by us boys. However, this talented crew of clay-burrowers hail from Brighton and Hove, which this week has been under six inches of snow. In this country, thats equivalent to an all out thermo-nuclear strike; cars are abandoned at the sides of the closed roads, shops and schools close and men and women of all creeds stay wrapped-up indoors, from where they peer out of their windows at a ruined society.
So not much happening at West Hampstead then, where there has been no snow at all.
One might find some consolation in the activities of our decorating team, currently applying their Reuben-esque best to the exterior of a fine five story house in Chelsea. But we've seen a lot of rain in Chelsea this week and therefore very few brush strokes. The team have spent many hours in the vans, heatedly analysing the portrayal of the working classes in the Realism art movement of the late 19th century and other such pressing cultural topics. I expect.
Painting however, they're not.
Well never mind, let us instead examine the activities of our roofing team in Ealing on Tuesday, looking to top-out another excellent Welsh slate roof with its terracotta ridge....at least, if it had not have been so terribly windy, they would definitely have been topping out that roof.
Right, well. Good work men; go and grab yourselves a cup of tea for now.
So where does that leave us, you probably are not asking yourself? Friday, thats where; week over.
Lets just keep a sunny disposition, shall we?After all, next week we conquer the world!
If its not raining....

21 Nov 2012

What is ICF

What is ICF

Insulating concrete formwork (ICF) otherwise known as permanently insulated formwork (PIF) is an insulated in-situ concrete system of building that is quick to construct and offers levels of performance significantly better than that available from slower, more traditional approaches to building. Popular in Germany where it was born in the early 50's, it is grown rapidly in North America starting as a basement construction and now has approximately 8% share of the low rise housing market in Canada and the USA.  It has been growing in the UK self-build sector for some years with a performance far in excess of the Building Regulations but with the recent increases in performance demanded by Building Regulations, Eco-homes  and now the Code for Sustainable Homes it is broadening into mainstream and is currently on trial with a number of UK housing associations and regional house builders.
 It is recognised as an MMC system (Modern Method of Construction) by the BRE (Building Research Establishment).
ICF is based on hollow lightweight block components that lock together without intermediate bedding materials, such as mortar, to provide a formwork system into which concrete is poured. The block is formed of sheets of insulation materials normally expanded polystyrene tied together with plastic or steel ties or an integral web of the same insulation. The later is manufactured as a complete block whereas the forms with ties are formed from sheet material. Some systems are delivered complete and some with ties which are clipped together on site to make the 'forms'. These latter have the panels delivered flat packed. Some of the systems which are complete with hinged ties are also delivered flat packed.
Fresh concrete is poured into the forms built up to 3 metre high as a complete wall. This is normally dome by pump. Once the green concrete wall is set, it becomes a high strength concrete frame structure with the formwork remains in place as thermal insulation, providing u-values ranging from the standard 0.30 w/m²k as required by the current Building Regulations down to 0.11 w/m²k - ideal for zero energy buildings Star Level 6 in the Code for Sustainable Homes. The building process is quick, tidy and precise, with lower equipment requirements than alternative methods and only semi-skilled labour.
Creative design (without compromising performance) is encouraged by the availability of a comprehensive range of components, further enhanced by the option to incorporate reinforcement for basements or multi-storey projects. The highly insulated structure may be clad internally and externally with a wide range of finishes, including plaster, masonry, curtain walling and renders. Most of the systems are marked on the outer faces of the forms to indicate where positive screw fixing can be made with self tapping screws into plastic or metallic webs.
There are several different designs of ICFs world-wide.  ICFs are usually made of insulating foam, such as EPS (expanded polystyrene), and are manufactured either separate panels that are connected with plastic connectors or ties or preformed inter-locking forms or galvanised steel ties in preformed inter-locking forms.
The differing insulating concrete formwork systems cause variations in the shape of the concrete within the wall:
  • "Flat" systems (3rd generation) form even thickness concrete throughout the wall area similar to a conventional in-situ concrete wall. In areas where there are high seismic or severe weather conditions, flat wall systems predominate as the system of choice.
  • "Waffle Grid" systems (2nd generation) form create a waffle pattern were the concrete is thicker at some points than others.
  • "Post & Beam" or "screen grid" systems (1st generation) form discrete horizontal and vertical columns of concrete.  The areas within the grid are solid insulation, increasing the overall U-value but offering reduced fire resistance.

Insulating Concrete Formwork Association

14 Jan 2011

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27 Sep 2010

Channel 4 debut for White Goose Interiors

White Goose Interiors’ wonder woman Jan Booth has appeared alongside her daughter Hannah on Channel 4’s exciting new reality TV concept ‘Seven Days.’
The show follows groups of individuals over one week in a fly-on-the-wall style documentary about life in fashionable Notting Hill.
First Jan is seen giving workmen a piece of her mind about the slow progress of a project, before having a cosy chat on the sofa with Hannah where she reveals that she will be giving her more responsibilities in the family firm.
The show also captures people’s genuine reactions to topical events - Jan and Hannah are seen sharing a joke at the expense of singer George Michael.
Later the cameras follow Hannah as she goes out for a drink with her old flame Dougal.
Viewers were given intimate access to the conversation, seeing Hannah talk emotionally about her father’s illness.
Jan said: “Seven days is such an innovative concept – we were delighted to participate.”
Watch this episode of 'Seven Days' on the 40D website by clicking here!