Energy efficient, low maintenance student accommodation for the Highlands University

Some of the highest performing technically advanced thermal membrane products have been supplied by the A. Proctor Group Ltd for a new build student accommodation project in the Scottish highlands.

The project consists of a 40-bed student accommodation development in the Sutherland village of Dornoch, and is part of a wider programme by the University of the Highlands & Islands (UHI). A key factor in the design by the architects 360 Architecture was ensuring that the materials chosen required little or no maintenance, and that the building continues to enhance its setting over the course of its lifetime.

The buildings were constructed using Val-U-Therm® a unique closed panel, factory insulated timber frame system with class leading thermal performance and manufactured off-site by Scotframe Timber Engineering. The Val-U-Therm® wall, roof and floor systems in combination with the high performance breather membranes from the A. Proctor Group give the finished structure outstanding thermal efficiency.

As we look to create buildings which are better insulated, more airtight and more energy efficient, taking the management of moisture into account in the design process becomes more critical. Roofshield pitched roof underlay, which is both air and vapour permeable, was chosen for the roof because it has an extremely high degree of vapour permeability, as well as air permeability, so will still perform in conditions in which air tight alternatives will not.

As part of the construction Scotframe chose Reflectashield TF 0.81, a vapour permeable low emissivity membrane for use externally on timber frame buildings, and Reflectatherm Plus a reflective, high resistance vapour barrier for internal walls, ceilings and floors, designed to enhance the thermal performance when placed on the warm side of the insulation. The introduction of Reflectashield and Reflectatherm Plus restricts the passage of water vapour, and enhances the energy performance of the building envelope.

The student accommodation also benefits from enhanced acoustic performance with the introduction of a high quality floating floor solution. The Profloor Dynamic Batten System from the A. Proctor Group provides excellent levels of impact and airborne sound insulation.