Sound attenuation sent into Orbit

Designed for key workers in the town, Orbit Housing’s Fordham House in Stratford-upon-Avon aims provide enhanced protection against noise, a superior maintenance and repair strategy, and additional facilities such as secure internal bike storage rooms.

Much of the budget has come from the specification of Modus PVCU windows from Eurocell in place of the aluminium frames originally specified.

“We saved a significant amount without compromising on the specification or the design,” Orbit commercial director Adam Cooper said. “And from a planner’s point of view, they look identical.”

Deeley Construction began work on the site, which sits on the corner of Birmingham and Clopton Roads, in January 2016 with the demolition of a disused office building. Construction of the foundations began in May that year, with the first tenants due to move into their new homes in September this year.

Deeley’s parent company is one of three partners that form the scheme’s developer ABD Developments, and the site itself is owned by benevolent organisation Stratford Town Trust.

Constructed from dense concrete blocks with hollowcore flooring, the three- and four-storey building is clad in a mixture of curtain walling and green wall – sections of planted walls which will be automatically fed and irrigated. The Modus windows, supplied and installed by Unique Window Systems, are tilt-and-turn so that they can be cleaned internally – tenants will be required to keep their windows clean as part of their tenancy agreement.

With many tenants expected to come from expanding local hospitals, acoustic improvements were high on the menu of potential value-enhancing features. Orbit has beefed up the acoustic barriers between floors with a layer of insulation and screed with suspended ceilings added to the deep hollow concrete slab. It has also added fitted blinds within the reveals of the windows to provide an additional noise cushion for shift workers who need to sleep during the day.

“We did not need to increase the specification for the windows: the existing specification from Eurocell provided the level of acoustic protection that we needed,” Adam said.

The Modus range achieves a U-value of 1.2W/m²K using 4/20/4 mm sealed double-glazed units alongside the 75mm six-chamber profile system. A U-value of 0.7 W/m²K can be achieved by installing triple-glazed units.