Better Built Homes Presentations

Date:Friday 22 June 2018
Time:09:15 - 15:00

National Self Build & Renovation Centre
Lydiard Fields
Great Western Way


Better Built Homes: Practical guidance for high quality, high performance homes that don’t cost the earth

Presented by The Concrete Centre, Modern Masonry, Basement Information Centre and the National Self-Build and Renovation Centre


09:15 Registration & Refreshments

Session 1: Modern Masonry
Chaired by: Guy Thompson - 
Modern Masonry.

Brick and block cavity wall construction is the most popular form of construction for housing in the UK. Concrete and masonry products are UK-manufactured, locally available and one of the most cost-effective solutions for building a new home. Did you know that concrete and masonry homes also deliver on performance and sustainability as well as cost?  

  • Solid reasons for using concrete and masonry - Guy Thompson, Head of Housing, Sustainability & Architecture.

    The structure of a home plays an important role in the performance of the home. This presentation will provide an overview of the performance credentials of blockwork and concrete that provide the simplest solution to achieve energy efficiency, acoustic performance, flood resilience, fire resistance, security as well as resistance to damp and rot. 
  • Better built in blockwork - Tom De Saulles, Sustainability Senior Manager.

    Tom is author of new ‘easy guides’ that aim to help self-builders, builders and designers to get to grips with the product options for floor and wall solutions using brick, block and concrete. The information translates and simplifies best practice detailing for blocks, cavity walls, beam & block floors.  senior manager.
This session has been organised with Modern Masonry, a partnership of experts in concrete blocks, aircrete blocks, bricks and mortar that provide guidance for the use of masonry in housing.
11.00 Morning break


11.30 Session 2: Basements and Going Underground 
Chaired by: Kevin Dodds -
 The Basement Information Centre.

Considering a partially or fully underground living space may be the best way to get the most from your plot, either by providing useful additional space, facilitating planning approval or to cope with level changes on a site. Basements can provide comfortable day-lit rooms, with natural ventilation and external access that can make the perfect gym, music room, home office or swimming pool.
  • Planning a basement - Elaine Toogood, Senior Architect, The Concrete Centre
    This presentation will help navigate you through the site investigations, planning requirements and building regulations for basement construction including key factors such as daylight, ventilation and means of escape. Elaine is author of Basements for Housing. 
  • Basement Waterproofing, An Overview - Richard Crossley, CSSW WDS, Technical Director, Newton Waterproofing on behalf of the Basement Information Centre.

    Whether you are working on a new-build project or converting a basement, installing a robust basement waterproofing system is vitally important for protecting the structure against water ingress. This presentation will provide essential guidance for design detailing and construction. It will also provide an overview of the different types of basement and waterproofing options and when to use them.
  • Houses of the landscape – two award winning case studies - James Stroud, Loyn & Co Architects

    Project designer James Stroud will describe the benefits and solutions for creating houses embedded into the landscape, as experienced  through the design of  two award winning projects: Stormy Castle and Outhouse. Each was designed to provide a site-specific solution to asensitive rural location, minimising the impact on their environment.  

    The Manser Medal is an annual prize awarded for the design of exemplary new houses. Uniquely, the medal has been awarded twice to Loyn & Co Architects; in 2014 for Stormy Castle and Outhouse in 2016. The projects will be presented at the event by project designer, James Stroud of Loyn & Co architects. 
This session has been organised with the Basement Information Centre, who encourage and enable the design and construction of quality basements on new developments and the improvement of existing and retro-fit basements
12.45 Lunch break


13.45 Session 3: Concrete Innovations 
Chaired by:
Elaine Toogood - MPA The Concrete Centre.

Concrete and masonry have unique properties that are ideal for the fabric of your home, such as thermal mass which can reduce the energy required to heat and cool your home. The material is also fire resistant, flood resilient and is available in a wide range of forms and construction methods. 
  • Innovations in concrete and masonry for housing - Elaine Toogood, Senior Architect, The Concrete Centre.

    Elaine will provide an overview of recent developments in construction methods, products and guidance available supporting the development of new housing using concrete and masonry. The presentation includes offsite housing solutions, insulating concrete formwork, advice on detailing and useful design tools.
  • Energy efficient design for comfort and cost-savings - Tom De Saulles, Sustainability Senior Manager, The Concrete Centre.

    Early, and often fundamental design decisions can bring significant benefits to the long-term energy efficiency and comfort of a new home. This presentation provides essential tips for achieving year-round fabric energy efficiency and making the right design decisions from the outset. 
  • Case study using Offsite construction: Hill Top House - Adrian James, Adrian James Architects  

    This structure of this new house in Oxford was installed in just a few days using a concrete offsite manufacturing system. Architect Adrian James will present the design development of this bespoke new home along with the benefits of its construction method- advantages which extend beyond just speeding up time on site.
This session is organised with The Concrete Centre, who provide information on the design, performance, specification and construction of housing and buildings. This includes guidance on standards, sustainability, structural/ thermal performance as well as case studies.

The Better Built Housing event will close at 3pm. There is an opportunity for delegates to look around the NSBRC which closes at 5.30pm.