Looks can be deceiving: Nudura creates a quintessential country cottage with Solid Wall Insulated technology (ICF).

Ryan Gerrard / 09 October 2023

The Project

Nestled in the charming hamlet of Womenswold in the south-east of Canterbury, lies what appears to be a traditional countryside cottage, which to passers-by could easily be believed as having stood undisturbed for hundreds of years. Owing to the idyllic, tranquil surroundings and antique brickwork finish, this property exudes an air of days gone by. However, upon closer inspection you will see that Nethersole Cottage is in fact an outstanding new-build home.

Situated on what was originally the site of a 300-year-old cottage, the Client, who is a forward-thinking property developer, sought the ideal plot to build their dream home that would achieve the perfect balance of both aesthetics and ergonomic performance. The property they designed had many impressive features, including a full-sized basement and a local reclaimed brickwork finish to blend seamlessly with the other properties in the area. The Client had first discovered the potential of constructing with ICF at a building show in London and began researching local ICF suppliers to find the most suitable system for the project. As they were planning to build the structure themselves with assistance from local friends in the trade, they needed a supplier that offered full support from the initial discussion stages through to completion.

After thoroughly researching the various ICF manufacturers and suppliers available, the Client finally decided that the energy efficiency of Nudura technology from ICF Supplies was the most suitable option to achieving the project’s performance goals. The unrivalled support offered by ICF Supplies, along with the most complete product range in the industry, were also contributing factors.

The Solution

Boasting a variety of benefits, ICFs from Nudura provide architects, specifiers, self-builders, developers, and contractors with a stronger, more energy efficient, and environmentally friendly way to build. A Nudura structure can provide U-Values as low as 0.11, subsequently saving building owners over 70% in annual energy costs and reducing its carbon footprint on the environment.

Nudura ICFs are comprised of a unique patented web system that works in conjunction with the polystyrene forms, allowing them to be stacked and steel reinforced to create the shell of the building. From there, the forms are filled with concrete and perform in harmony with the polystyrene to provide a thermal mass, which optimises the structure’s heating and cooling capabilities, enabling Passivhaus levels of insulation and airtightness to be met.

In addition to the environmental advantages of building with ICFs, Nudura forms act as an effective sound barrier by dampening the vibrations from unwanted outside noise, meaning property owners benefit from superior comfort and acoustic levels. Structures built with Nudura are designed to last and retain their long-term value, largely due to the reinforced concrete element of ICF builds. Therefore, they offer substantially higher durability and subsequently require less maintenance and repair over the course of their lifetime.

The Installation

The Nudura ICF formwork with 250mm concrete core was selected for the basement at Nethersole Cottage and the 150mm core for the upper floors. Another benefit that the market leading, comprehensive Nudura system offered to the project, was the brick ledge/corbel blocks that carried the external brickwork finish from the top of the basement walls, all the way up to wall plate. The use of these corbel blocks negated the need to build a blockwork wall from the basement up to ground floor to carry the brickwork, which would have been required with many other alternative ICF systems.

ICF Supplies’ in-house architectural technicians met with the Client and enhanced their plans to better suit the ICF block sizes, as well as referring them to a structural engineer to design the rebar. Following this, the Client was ready to attend one of the Supplier’s in-depth training days. During construction, ICF Supplies attended the site after the delivery of the Nudura formwork to ensure both the ICFs were implemented in the correct manner and that the project was launched smoothly. Each and every concrete placement into the Nudura walls were supervised along with continued advice and support offered by ICF Supplies, until the structure was completed.

The Result

The finished result creates a feeling of understated class, complete with high-end interior fixtures and fittings. A lot of thought and effort has clearly gone into the creation of this bespoke home, not only from an aesthetics point of view, but also from an energy performance perspective.

Steve Burgess, Sales Director at ICF Supplies said: “It has been a pleasure to work on this charming residential project in the picturesque village of Womenswold. A real team effort went into this building this home and our Client, who was delighted with the outcome, is very much looking forward to using ICF technology from Nudura in future developments.

“The beauty of Nudura ICFs means they can be constructed entirely to your specification, whether you are looking to achieve a contemporary or traditional build. This property is a fine example of expert craftmanship, with both the exterior and interior finished to a very high standard.

“The capabilities of ICF technology from Nudura are truly phenomenal, with this latest project being no exception. The energy efficiency of Nethersole Cottage is extremely impressive, as is the property’s ergonomic performance, with an ambient internal temperature that hardly changes beyond 2-3 degrees, regardless of the outdoor temperature. This contributes to a more sustainable build with lower utility costs, but also optimises the living conditions for its inhabitants.”

Matthew Fidler, Sales Director for Nudura said: “Here at Nudura, we are committed to helping you create the home of your dreams, whilst ensuring optimum building safety and energy performance are prioritised.

“As part of the Tremco CPG UK family of brands, Nudura customers have access to a wide range of services to complement our product portfolio. We pride ourselves on being there for our clients at every stage of the construction journey and offer technical and specification support from initial design, right through to the build stage and thereafter.

“We are also proud to offer a series of training courses through the Tremco CPG UK Training Academy. From RIBA-approved CPD seminars for architects to product application tutorials for contractors and installers, these sessions are aimed at making your journey through the complex world of construction easier.”

To find out more about the potential of building with Nudura, get in touch today.