Design for Manufacture / Oxley Woods

Design for Manufacture/Oxley Woods - construction

Each house has a timber frame, made using wood from sustainable forests. The walls are 'Trespa' panel cladding, comprising 70 per cent softwood from European renewable forest, inert binding agents and dyes which are metal free.  Effective insulation made from recycled paper together with sealed glass panel windows contribute to the air-tight, heat-saving build, while the membrane roofing material and watertight external wall cladding result in increased rain water run-off - which is diverted to large capacity collecting butts. Cladding panel sizes were optimised to reduce waste – leaving only 15 per cent wastage in the manufacture, which is recycled at source and even the delivery was organised to use the most carbon-friendly modes of transport and the quickest routes. This superstructure takes one week to manufacture in the factory before travelling to site as a 'flat-pack'. The external envelope is assembled in just two days (without the need for scaffolding) to form a waterproof shell. The interiors are completed in two weeks.

The first houses were launched for sale in Spring 2007.

The volume of the house is adaptable both in terms of orientation, regional variation of scale, proportion and material and is conceived for life-long living, with an inherent flexibility both in the short and long term. Internal layouts are free-span – ie without structural pillars and walls, maximising flexibility. To further enhance the range of choice, RRP envisages a range of add-on elements to give distinct identity. These elements include canopies, balconies, planted walls and study rooms.

Modern Methods of Construction allow components to be manufactured off-site, either as modules or ‘flat-pack’ for ease of transportation. Not only does this decrease construction times, it also reduces waste and energy used in the transportation of materials to site. Even without the distinctive EcoHat, the Oxley Woods houses represent a reduction of approximately 27 per cent in carbon dioxide emissions, compared with a conventional new-build house of similar size. This reduction rises to almost 40 per cent with the inclusion of the EcoHat, 50 per cent when the EcoHat is attached to a hot water system, and more than 70 per cent if the EcoHat utilises geothermal energy sources through a local bore hole.