Modular specialist creates first ever double loft conversion – using Actis Hybrid
A company which makes modular lofts as a revolutionary alternative to a traditional attic conversion has completed its first ever double loft project for a pair of semi-detached houses in Wimbledon.
And the project, whose walls and roofs were insulated with Actis Hybris honeycomb insulation and insulating vapour control layer HControl Hybrid, involved only two days of disruption – compared with the three to four months its traditional counterpart would have taken.
Indeed, the firm won the Product Innovation category of this year’s STA Structural Timber Awards.
Moduloft is the only company in the UK to offer a ‘roof raise’ system which sees the entire project built offsite at its Yorkshire factory before being transported by lorry and lifted by crane onto the roof of the house.
And, having discovered the Actis Hybrid insulation range, Moduloft now uses its products in 99 per cent of its developments.
While it is used to handling unusual projects with seemingly insurmountable logistical challenges – such as building in tight spaces in high traffic areas – the Wimbledon project is its first ever double loft conversion.
But the project began life as something totally different for neighbours Steve Prior and John Stephenson. Before John moved in next door Steve was going to have a traditional loft conversion as the previous neighbour was not in a position to invest in extending his side of the property.
In fact, Steve even got as far as having the scaffolding erected and was braced for three months of disruption while the builders were on site. At that point, his neighbour decided to sell – and the new owner, John, leapt at the chance to extend his home at the same time.
John explained: “Using this system drastically reduces the amount of time for the on-site build. When you have three young boys having scaffolding for three or four months wasn’t really that appealing. You were also able to slightly increase the height of the roof compared with a traditional loft conversion which is good as I’m quite tall.”
The entire building was created offsite at Moduloft’s factory. While the exterior of each half was identical, the neighbours wanted two very different internal living spaces. John’s family opted for a master bedroom with en suite and huge walk through wardrobes, while Steve wanted two bedrooms and a fully fitted bathroom.
The pair were invited to see the work in progress in Yorkshire and were able to physically walk through the building, suggesting adjustments and pointing out where they’d like electric sockets and services.
The entire off-site build, including plastering, plumbing, electrics and, of course, Actis Hybrid insulation took nine weeks.
Delivery and lowering the modules onto Steve and John’s houses took just two days, with seven lorries carrying the modules from Yorkshire to London with precision timing to ensure delivery fitted the lifting schedule.
John was awestruck by the whole process: “It’s quite weird to see your bedroom come down the street on the back of a lorry. Seeing it being lifted onto the roof was quite majestic.”
Once installed the installation team took a further four weeks to fine tune the extensions, connect the services and build staircases to the main body of each house.
Moduloft buyer Paul Thompson explained: “The Hybrid system saves time, is easy to use and handle, the cost is comparable to other alternatives and there’s no wastage. What particularly appealed was the physical flexibility of the materials aligned with the ease of installation.”
The CE marked Actis Hybrid range has LABC and LABSS registered details and NHBC, LABC and Premier Guarantee warranty approval.
Actis regional sales director Jemma Harris added: “Because the products are flexible they can easily be wrapped round corners and squashed into gaps, making the whole building airtight and eliminating thermal bridging. It’s also a fantastic system for closed panel systems as the specification can’t be altered. Once it’s in place there’s no opportunity to fiddle about onsite, which means it achieves the predicted U-values.
“We hear from builders over and over again that the reason they choose Hybrid is because it’s so quick, clean and easy. It takes about half the length of time to install compared with solid board and they love that.”
Watch the Moduloft team in action at Wimbledon here