MgO board manufacturer, Magply, is continuing to build its relationship with Irish offsite specialist Framespace, leading to their latest collaboration helping create an ultra-low energy residential property in County Clare.
The 9mm version of the versatile magnesium oxide panels has been used on both faces to Framespace’s light gauge steel (LGS) wall sections, contributing to the rigidity of the structure as well as its airtightness and fire resistance. All the 1200 x 2400mm Magply boards having been installed during the manufacturing process at Framespace’s plant in County Roscommon. Framespace routinely calls on the services of Merriman Solutions, headed by Chartered Building Surveyor Fergus Merriman, to deliver both commercial and residential projects, including apartment buildings and passive type constructions. Fergus Merriman comments: “This latest house is a three bedroom detached building set out to achieve a healthy home with very low or no external energy input, based around high insulation standards, excellent airtightness, sustainability, recyclability and the inclusion of mechanical heat recovery ventilation it resulted in one of the most energy efficient homes in the country. The factory fabricated wall construction features 170mm of Neopor EPS insulation carrying a white EWI render finish, over the 9mm Magply and then 100mm of Rockwool within the steel frame. Internally there is another layer of Magply fixed to the steel structure, 25mm standard plasterboard top-hat sections carry the linings forming a services zone, overall achieving an air leakage score of 2.2 and a U-value of 0.12 W/m2 K.
“Importantly, because the top-hat sections are fixed horizontally across the walls they provide extra rigidity to the Magply’s racking strength forming an extremely fire safe structure which achieved two-hour fire rating during independent testing to EN 1365 series standards. Overall the use of this all-dry system solution not only guaranteeing the quality, speed and low cost of the build, but also ensured there was almost no waste on site, an important sustainability consideration of the project.”
Framespace had originally employed sheets of OSB as the sheathing to its LGS frames, but had suffered problems from exposure to Ireland’s notoriously wet weather, as well as handling issues and the need to provide separate fire protection. Consultations between Magply’s Irish Sales Director and Merriman Solutions led to Framespace switching to using the multi-functional MgO board – which has recently been awarded BDA certification in the UK, to add to other international accreditations. Magply offers a fire-safe and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional plywood or OSB products. Additionally, the unique production process keeps the chloride content to just 0.01%, enhancing both stability and long-term durability avoiding the deleterious difficulties encountered by other MgO boards. The different thickness of panels is also widely used as a substrate board for the direct application of proprietary render systems, as well as for flooring and flat or pitched roof build-ups.