A greener way of using concrete in housebuilding has gained the thumbs up from the National House Building Council, NHBC.
The warranty company has approved Roger Bullivant’s RBeam precast concrete foundation opening the door for getting insurance for more houses built this way.
The National Federation of Builders, NFB, housing and planning head Rico Wojtulewicz described it as an important step forward as precast concrete can be re-used.
“Concrete is the second most used element after water so it’s not going to go away. But if we can develop positive solutions for using it then that’s a good thing. We’re reducing its impact and increasing its lifespan,” he said.
The RBeam is a factory-produced system for low-rise developments with a range of piled foundation techniques for different soil types and ground conditions including clay heave situations.
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Bullivant’s foundation systems director Richard Taylor said: “This approval brings customer confidence and improved productivity on site. We also recognise it as an important achievement in the progression of offsite manufacture in the residential market.”
NHBC’s innovation manager, Richard Lankshear, said approval under the ‘accepts’ service for modern methods of construction products meant reducing the risks of delays on site.
“This will play a critical role in ensuring developers, manufacturers, lenders, and consumers have faith and confidence in the quality of new homes built with innovative forms of construction,” he said.
Detailed and robust technical reviews of design, manufacture and construction are conducted before a product is certified and given the ‘accepts’ logo.
Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said development finance lenders would be reassured to lend to housebuilders using prefabricated methods that had received ‘accepts’ seal of approval.