Larkfleet shortlisted for national sustainability award

Housebuilder Larkfleet Homes has been shortlisted in the 'off site construction' category of the Sustain' Magazine Awards for Sustainability, Business & the Built Environment.

Housebuilder Larkfleet Homes has been shortlisted in the 'off site construction' category of the Sustain' Magazine Awards for Sustainability, Business & the Built Environment.

Larkfleet's entry focussed on a 'test house' that it constructed next to its head offices which demonstrates the feasibility of revolutionary new building technologies for housing construction.

Following many months of collaborative research, Larkfleet (as part of a consortium) developed Startlink Lightweight Building Systems (SLBS) - energy-efficient, low cost housing that is quick to build using lightweight, energy-saving materials and innovative, labour-saving assembly techniques. Importantly, the housing is designed to mitigate flood risk and may even make it possible to develop housing in areas of potential flooding - a major issue in many areas throughout the country.

If built and furnished with suitable flooring material and decorative finishes on the ground floor, Startlink homes are highly 'flood resistant'. The absence of extensive foundations and the nature of the pultruded materials of construction means that the structure is unaffected by flood water. If the house is flooded, it can swiftly and (compared with conventional homes) inexpensively be brought back into use. This may make it possible to construct such homes in areas where flood risks mean that the construction of conventional buildings is not viable.

In the longer term, the light weight of the homes opens the intriguing possibility that they could be built on foundations which would rise in response to flooding - keeping the house itself entirely clear of the water. This is one of the areas which Larkfleet hopes to explore in the next phase of Startlink research.

The Sustain Magazine Awards ceremony will be held at The Guoman Tower Bridge Hotel London on Tuesday 5 March 2013.