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Housing, Jaywick Sands, Essex

The scheme is designed on environmentally sustainable principles. Reflecting the timber chalets of the original settlement, the walls of the two-storey houses are clad with untreated western red cedar boards, with sand/cement render on north and east elevations for wind protection and on gable walls for fire protection.

Because of difficult compressible ground conditions the foundations are formed on 19m deep driven piles which support precast beam and block ground floor slabs. The superstructure is a 'breathing wall' which consists of a partially prefabricated system of Prestoplan storey-height wall panels with Presweb composite joists at first floor level to accommodate a 6m span, allowing tenants to use the first floor as an open-plan living room. The monopitched roofs are formed of 235 x 38mm rafters and 250mm fibre quilt insulation, covered with treated cedar shingles.

The construction sequence was as follows: storey-height wall panels with cut-outs for window openings were erected, clad with Panelvent sheathing board and overlaid with Tyvek breather membrane, which overlapped 150mm to the adjacent panel to make the construction waterproof. The panels were filled with Warmcel insulation and lined on the inside with plasterboard. The external cladding of 150 x 19mm cedar boards was fixed to timber battens; it acts as a rainscreen, with 8mm gaps between the boards.

The double-glazed timber windows have a mill-finished aluminium drip at the head.

On the east facade two windows meet at a corner, divided by a 170 x 170mm solid timber post which is attached to one wall panel.

The post is channelled with rebates to take weatherbars.

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