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Case Study: Willow Vale

Four modern and spacious mews-inspired SIPs homes with plenty of natural daylight, and complete with off-street parking. The project was built on a very tight site, and required the flexibility of SIPs to work around this problem.

Location: Shepherds Bush, West London

Materials: Full 169mm kit, 194MM Sips roof, w/254mm metal web joists. 95X45 C16 internal studwork

Area: 450m2

Project duration: 13 weeks (SIPs Design & Install)

Tight sites can be a challenge for any developer, as it can often slow up a build and cause many logistical issues that often involve creative thinking for workarounds. Luckily, the inherent nature of SIPs means they’re ideally suited for this situation.

Below, we’ve highlighted an example of how we were able to work with a client, Greenleaf Projects, to find an ideal solution that meant they could build four sustainable, energy efficient modern homes quickly, and without too many logistical headaches.

The challenge

Greenleaf Projects – a company already well-known for designing and developing energy efficient, sustainable homes that are contemporary, light and spacious – had bought a plot of land with the aim of developing four mews-style homes in West London.

The plot was quite small, and accessing it involved travelling down a very narrow driveway situated between two buildings. This made the site not particularly accessible for lorries and other commercial vehicles, creating a challenge in itself.

After carrying out extensive research, Greenleaf projects decided to team up with us, as our Award- Winning SIPs panels  offer a solution in the form of a build method that not only fits in perfectly with their sustainability and energy efficient values, but is also ideal for tight sites.

As a secondary concern, Greenleaf Projects also wanted the homes to feature a sedum roof – a roof with living vegetation such as grass, flowers and other living plants – giving the properties a colourful and upbeat look.

Because of the very nature of sedum roofs, they often hold a lot of moisture, adding a lot of weight to the roof itself – which is another reason why SIPs, being seven times stronger than timber frame, appealed to Greenleaf.

The solution

The project comprised four homes; a couple of two-storey homes, and two bungalows, so that Greenleaf could achieve their goal of  creating a unique environment with as much natural daylight as possible.

We were able to assist with the SIPs design and engineering, and install the SIPs super structure in-house, building from DPC up, once groundworks had been completed. Once complete, it was wind and water tight, ready for Greenleaf to apply their render and brick slip finish, install their sedum roofs and complete the internal build.

Due to the fact that our SIP panels create an airtight enclosure that is incredibly energy efficient, the houses would remain at a constant temperature, allowing Greenleaf to give the greenlight on this ambitious project.

The SIP panels were covered with 12mm RCM Y Wall Render Board; a fire-resistant cement board uprated in the current post-Grenfell climate. Meanwhile, brick slips were stuck to the Y-Wall to achieve the look Greenleaf desired.

The stone features were a composite material covering a polystyrene core, making them lighter and helping the adhesion to the cement board – whilst the render was a silicone-based coloured product from Baumit.

Our lightweight SIP panels meant the tight site was not an issue, as having been fabricated off site, they could easily be carried down the narrow driveway and immediately installed, with much less wastage on site than other build methods.

This meant the Greenleaf team were able to construct quickly and efficiently, with hardly any issues, and on and off-site guidance from the SIPs Eco Panels team throughout the build process.

Reduced waste on site helped cut emissions during the build, and was welcomed by LBHF planners. Other eco-friendly features included uprated sound insulation, low-nox boilers, underfloor heating, 100% LED lighting, sedum roofs and high-performance glazing.

The results

It was a pleasure to work with Greenleaf on this project, who were left with four beautiful, cosy and extraordinary homes located in West London. The combination of the two property types meant maximised space available on site.

At times it was still a tasking project due to the very limited site space, however, SIPs are more suited for working on tight sites than any other build type, which made the process of building these four homes so much easier.

Overall, this felt like a great collaboration on a beautiful project. Here’s what Greenleaf had to say:

“The choice of SipsEco was an easy one – the site was very constrained which meant that the off-site construction was ideally suited to the space available, and Sips Eco were very proactive during the decision-making process and their product was also cost effective.”

“Using SIPs also cut emissions during the build, and reduced waste, both of which are high priorities for local planners. Sips Eco proved once again to be very easy to work with, and the service was professional and faultless. Problems were quickly ironed out, and they were always flexible and accommodating. We would highly recommend them and we would certainly work with them again.”


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