Pick your battles

In the pavilion we demonstrate quite a few cutting-edge technologies related to heat pumps, solar panels, pcm’s, batteries, demand side management, water treatment, AR, and the like. And even though we have a renowned test lab at our disposal, we chose to use off-the-shelf components from Unilin. Why’s that? First of all, that same test lab subjected some of the Icoôn panels to severe conditions, impact tests, airtightness and watertightness tests, and the system proved to be very robust. Secondly, some of these panels are the result of a collaborative effort, so the Ghent University stamp is part of the panel. And thirdly, by using simple components we can easily guarantee the circular approach as standard sizes are adopted. Hence, we directed our design and research efforts towards other aspects as we knew this was an easy and safe choice!

Since last week the Mobbles in Ghent are starting to look like a habitable place as the wall panels has been placed. We lifted the structural insulated panels one by one into place with manpower as they're designed to be carried and placed without the need of cranes.

The wall panels are a key component in the modular building method of The Mobble due to their reusable and circular nature. We managed to connect everything without the use of silicones, glues or tapes; only dry connection methods have been used. Some fellow students came up with a quick and easy installation system. The panels are easily and quickly removed so if the habitant wishes to implement an extra window, add an extra module, they will have the ability to easily remove and reuse one of the wall components. Moreover, the wall panels are just simple off-the-shelf components, which provide the structural stability, thermal insulation, vapour barrier, airtightness, and interior finishing all in one. Our choice for mineral wool insulation in these prefab elements was mainly to reduce the carbon footprint, but the improved acoustic performance and fire safety are a bonus.

Furthermore the placement went quick and easy. As always problems had to be tackled at the start but once we found out the right method, it worked like a charm. Everybody had their own task: placing swelling tapes, handling the panels, leveling out, fixing them on top. We are absolutely convinced that these Unilin Insulation panels have been the right choice as rapid installation and circularity are two key features in our project!

We are creating an airtight pavilion by means of a swelling band in between the panels, and between the panels and the structure. This way the ventilation system will perform optimal and heat loss will be reduced as the airtightness is maximized. The swelling band can swell up to 15mm, but as the gaps are never more than 6mm we have an optimal compression level, ensuring the airtightness. These Soudal swelling bands and Unilin Insulation panels are the perfect marriage for the modular concept of the whole facade. Note that the same panels were used as floor and ceiling! This way we can eliminate waste production by adopting a modular sizing approach.

Concluding: these modular walls have a minimum ecological impact and result in the end. And to be fair, the pavilion looked great because of the immediate interior finish!

Soon the roof will be placed in a quite similar modular method. To be continued!

Many thanks to our sponsor Unilin Insulation, who provided the prefab facade walls as well as the roof panels for our Mobble. Special thanks to Ann-Sophie, Peter, and Pol @ Unilin Insulation.