Architects and contractors are under ever-increasing pressure to reduce both build cost and time on projects while considering climate change and the use of sustainable building materials.

A building fabric and system that is quicker, greener, and more cost effective than traditional bricks and mortar or steel or timber frame construction would be the ideal solution, then. 

For green building company Green Life Buildings (GLB), safeHome renderty, sustainability, and saving, have been the key principles at the forefront of its advanced building system using EMMEDUE (M2) technology. 

Approved by the government as a Modern Method of Construction (MMC), the Corby-based offsite experts boats the only UK factory that produces the system. 

From there GLB is providing innovative, sustainable, and cost-effective structural building solutions to developers, housing associations and local authorities. 

The science behind the system

The core feature of the GLB M2 building systemSingle Panel is a modular SIP panel comprising of two galvanised welded steel wire meshes joined by connectors and enclosing an expanded polystyrene sheet, which is then assembled and concrete/shotcrete applied on-site to provide the final element enhancing the structural and weatherproof properties. 

This rigid core provides intermate contact between the insulation and the structural face, allowing the lightweight system to construct buildings that achieve high levels of energy efficiency and strength. Finished panels of rigid or mineral wool insulation can both provide more than 120 minutes of fire protection (REI120). 

The system can be applied to whole modules or hand carried in panels onto building sites with challenging access. 

GLB Managing Director Chris Williams is under no illusions why the system is so effective, explaining: The material science behind the GLB M2 system, which is lightweight but has a compression strength of at least 10 times that of a breezeblock, is what makes it work and why timber, steel and wood cannot compete if we are genuinely serious about cutting carbon. 

The SIP panels can form walls, floors, roofs, stairs, and internal partitions and can also be curved to create architectural features, giving architects complete freedom in their designs. 

The versatility and adaptability of the panels mean there is no design restrictions and it can be dressed in a range of finishes, including bricks, timber, tiles or render as standard,” added Chris. “What’s so exciting about this product is it’s able to meet any specification and beat the design of the competition. 

Huge benefits

GLB’s advanced building system has several huge benefits, none more so than making house building easier. It can be carried on site by hand eliminating the need for cranes, while one truck can hold the complete M2 kit for one whole house (depending on the size of the house). 

A complete watertight house can be built in under six weeks, while GLB can provide up to 2000m2 of kit per day and have the capacity to supply material to build 3,000 houses a year. 

The rigid panel is typically more than 95% air, providing the best carbon footprint per U value, and each home built using the system could save 40 tonnes of carbon. The home can also reduce energy expenditure and carbon emissions by 65% compared to traditional builds. 

And compared to traditional materials and methods, a raw structure made with GLB panels can cost up to 40% less than a traditional structure of comparable insulation (U) value. 

Chris said: The beautiful thing about this product is it helps make life easier for contractors, installers and everyone else involved in the process. It works for any type of structure and keeps things simple and saves time, money, and energy. 

A rich history

Despite being a modern method of construction, the technology is over 35 years old and was born out of an accident in Italy when a school collapsed. EMMEDUE engineers designed the system to be safer, stronger, and more sustainable to produce. 

“I actually discovered the system nearly 20 years ago, and I was amazed that such an innovative building system was completely unknown in the UK at the time. I was really inspired by the EMMEDUE team to bring the system to the UK. said Chris. 

With 70 factories around the world in 30 countries, the panels produced using the EMMEDUE (M2) technology have been used to construct over 1 million buildings all over the world using offsite construction in various ways, from modules through to panels provided for the self-build market. 

“One of its advantages is that it’s an innovative and adaptable construction system that has been proven for over 35 years,” added Chris. “And for 15 years I have had the benefit of living in my home, which is one of the one million buildings constructed using the technology and it continues to balance warmth and cooling while providing me with a solid home that I could not have afforded to construct in any other method.” 

An even better future?

With the construction sector under increasing pressure to provide affordable materials that produce top-quality construction with less impact on our environmentthe GLB building system is set to come into its own. 

GLB has fitted into the space to provide a greater value add, combined with a more affordable way to construct, and for architects, contractors and specifiers, once they understand what it can do, it provides the perfect solution,” added Chris. 

“Our system provides a simple low-carbon option that will provide a project with a high-quality and cost-effective alternative to traditional construction. Buildings really don’t have to cost the earth.” 

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Make a difference and change the way you build today

We know you are under pressure to reduce construction costs and build time, while also building in a more sustainable way. Our building system will provide you with greater speed of construction, a lower carbon footprint and better value than traditional bricks and mortar, steel, or timber frames. So, why not change the way you build today?

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