Perthshire housebuilder set for ‘Grand’ TV showing

The Grand Designs team at the JML factory

A Scottish construction firm is set to star on the small screen after carrying out work on what is potentially London’s smallest two-bedroom house.

Auchterarder-based JML Contracts will feature on the TV show Grand Designs, demonstrating why demand is growing for its “highly energy efficient and speedy” housebuilding method using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs).

The show will highlight a property in London built on a site of approximately 9.5m x 4m. JML said the SIPs method was selected for construction to allow for specific design considerations including the delivery of a speedy and precise build time and to ensure optimum thermal efficiency of the completed home to Passive House standard.

Due to growing demand for SIPs, JML has reported business growth of 30% year on year since 2015, and is projected to continue at this pace each year until 2020.

JML director John Langley said, “SIPs is one technology which could help to reshape the future of housebuilding in the UK but the country still lags behind in its uptake. The previously slow adoption of SIPs is largely down to the higher upfront costs, however the long-term benefits for residents, landlords and the environment significantly outweigh these initial outlays. These benefits include low energy usage due to the excellent insulation, limited thermal bridging, and inherently air-tight characteristics.”

Kevin McCloud during filming

As part of the filming for this project, presenter Kevin McCloud visited JML’s factory in Auchterarder, Perthshire, with the architect client to see the team construct the house in advance. The SIPs method requires that each piece is designed and cut in advance and then slotted together in a short time using a ‘jigsaw-style’ approach.

John Langley added, “This was a really great experience for the whole JML team and we were delighted to meet Kevin and his Grand Designs colleagues. This project was a really interesting and challenging one from the outset and the end result is fantastic. By using SIPs in this project so many of the client’s requirements were met and it really demonstrates why and how SIPs and its many benefits is becoming a popular method of choice for self-build and custom build developers.”

Joe Stuart, of JSID Ltd, the architect and owner of the house said, “Working with JML Contracts was great. They were knowledgeable and eager to advise, acting almost as an extension of my own team. After a thorough build up tweaking the design with the engineering team to get it completely right, the factory team was able to turn around the manufacturing incredibly quickly. The design of the kit was suited to the tight site, and the team was on call for any support required whilst I built the kit over 400 miles away! The structure was erected by hand within a week.”

The project took 23 months and cost approximately £250,000 to complete.