Durisol – Construction Benefits

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Durisol

Durisol is a light-weight, Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) Block made of mineralized waste wood chippings, mixed with 0-carbon cement (Cenin).  The mixtures is then formed and compressed into blocks which do not support capillary action, fireproof and are breathable while at the same time providing airtight walls.

These ICF blocks don’t rot, they have highest thermal and acoustic properties in comparison to standard build walls without any additional layers of insulation. Because the construction process is fast (blocks are dry-stacked) and there is no need for cavity walls, no additional insulation or mortar and only 8 blocks are used per M2 saving, money and the environment – this is a building material of now and of the future.

Durisol is a premium quality construction material that’s recycled, renewable, and energy efficient. Trusted around the world for over 60 years, Durisol is the safe, reliable alternative to timber-frame construction.

The blocks are made in a 50,000sq ft factory in South Wales in a controlled environment to maintain quality and unity. The manufacturing process is carried out under a process that is audited by BBA annually.  Every batch is marked and tested. It takes 28 days from the moment a block is formed to being ready for delivery but still Durisol has a lead time of 4-6 weeks.

This is a solution for high quality, sustainable and affordable houses:

Made from 80% recycled wood, treated not to rot or burn

BBA certified

Technically approved by NHBC and LABC

BRE Green Guide Rating of A

Exceeds Building Control requirements

4-hours fire-resistance certificate at 1100 C (cannot be burned)

Acoustic performance up to 63dB

U values as low as 0.15W/m2K

Breath-ability yet air tightness

Low energy manufacture with low embedded energy

Lower build cost

Low running costs – little energy is needed to keep it warm in the coldest winters and no energy to keep it cool in the summer

Wood is mineralized to turn it inert so Durisol doesn’t burn or support mold growth

Fabric efficiency and SAP

Improved thermal performance of the walls reduces the amount of energy required to heat or cool buildings. This will directly cut the running costs of the space and the country’s reliance on expensive resource depletive fuel imports.

U Values – Durisol walls have values without additional insulation down to 0.15 W/m²K. They can easily be reduced further by external cladding of extra insulation but this is only likely to be necessary if Passivhaus standards are required.

Thermal Bridging – Durisol units are designed so that insulation is external to the concrete core and wraps around the full envelope even at the corners. Consequently average psi values in the range of 0.04 to 0.08 are usual depending on design. SAP calculations are far more sensitive to the movement in psi values compared to relatively large changes in wall, floor or roof U Values. At the Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 this will significantly reduce or remove the requirement for renewables.

Thermal Mass – The internal face of a Durisol wall will be 40 mm of woodcrete followed by 120 mm of concrete helping a building to achieve high levels of thermal mass. The main benefit of this is in the smoothing of temperature movements through the walls and greatly enhanced acoustic properties.

Durisol walls contribute to SAP with a BRE Green Guide A rating which reflects the low resource usage required to produce the product

We actively encourage discussion between our clients’ energy assessors and our own experts in order to achieve the lowest cost build package to meet the client specified targets.

Carbon

In terms of resource depletion and carbon costs in particular Durisol’s net cost is broadly neutral. Although cement is used in the units and of course in the pouring of the walls, there are various compensating factors which reduce our Carbon count to below most traditional methods of construction.

An average 3-bed semi-detached house built from Durisol will have 10 tonnes of recycled wood in the product. This wood is made up of old pallets and off cuts which would have been destined for Landfill and consequently would have released carbon back into the atmosphere. The mineralization of the wood in our process and subsequent coating in cement locks up that carbon for at least 100 years, if not permanently.

Durisol units are manufactured by moulding onto the factory floor and they then set at room temperature – there is no requirement for extra energy to warm the units.

In the manufacturing process we use Cenin as a replacement for ordinary Portland cement, which greatly reduces the carbon content of the Durisol unit. This product can also be used in the concrete used to pour the walls to significantly reduce the carbon footprint.

We are currently calculating examples of the carbon footprint of our builds and this data will be available to customers shortly.

Sustainability

Sustainability in building is a much overused and misunderstood concept. So how does a Durisol build help to reduce the use of the world’s precious resources while providing excellent environments in which people can live and work.

Sustainability is not just about energy efficiency, the use of natural resources and tonnes of carbon released back into the atmosphere. It also means producing buildings which provide a healthy and safe environment for people to live and work – indeed an environment which adds to the enjoyment of life rather than detracting from it. Durisol contributes to this in a number of ways:

Acoustics – Durisol woodcrete panels are used across Europe and North America as sound barriers on motorways and railways and attain the highest possible European ratings for sound absorption. Combined with the thermal mass this produces a stunningly quiet and calm environment which has been particularly noticed in our schools and homes. A Durisol party wall unit has a db rating of 63, when wet plaster is used as a finish.

Breathability – The nature of the woodcrete is that the size of the air gaps will not encourage capillary action of moisture through the unit but does allow a high degree of breathability. When used with breathable skins the building can achieve impressively high levels of airtightness while still allowing the movement of air through the walls.

Fire resistance – Durisol units attain European levels of fire resistance which are considerably higher than their UK counterparts. Durisol woodcrete will not burn or rot due to the mineralisation process during its manufacture. Durisol walls have maintained their integrity in heat tests of 1,100 degrees for over 4 hours without igniting.

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