Modplan release Eco House

Leading VEKA fabricator Modplan Ltd have just been used in a trailblazing eco project in Wales.

The project was to build a sustainable farmhouse that was completely “off grid”, with no mains electricity, gas or water. It was backed by energy supplier SSE, the Building Research Establishment, Constructing Excellence Wales and Caerphilly County Borough Council’s RDP Sustainable Energy Team.

As you would expect in a sustainable home with no access to mains utilities, energy efficiency was of paramount importance and all the building’s components needed to meet strict requirements. When it came to the windows, the specification required a u-value of 1.4 and to incorporate laminated glass to reduce noise levels (the house’s location on a Welsh hillside means it is particularly prone to extreme weather conditions). The aesthetics were also important: as the design of the house was based on a traditional Welsh longhouse the windows needed to complement the characteristic design. Modplan was approached to supply the doors and windows and the company was delighted to be involved in such a cutting edge project.

The solution that Modplan used more than proved the company’s ability to meet a strict brief. The VEKA window frames blend seamlessly into the feature tapered outside reveals making the most of the picturesque views over the landscape, while the traditional style stable door combines modern energy efficiency with rustic farm appeal. One potential difficulty was the requirement for a particular RAL colour, which was applied in Modplan’s specialist paint facility. The finish meant the frames needed to be fully reinforced, something that would normally affect the u-value. However, despite this, Modplan still managed to achieve the specified u-value of 1.4, a testament to the technology used in the windows.

The farmhouse will be lived in by award-winning sheep farmer Arthur Davies and his family and means that Arthur will be able to live on his farm and will no longer need to commute to look after his livestock. The house will also act as a guide for future eco projects: Constructing Excellence Wales are monitoring the home’s power and water usage to help understand the behaviour and lifestyle changes required for the effective transition from grid to off grid living.

Chris Reeks, Modplan’s Commercial Manager, said, “Projects like this one are vital if we are going to live more sustainably. We were delighted to be involved and hope that the lessons it provides can be put into practice in other sustainable projects.”