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Knauf has supplied flooring and insulation products to ZedFactory for its prototype LivShare, a multi-occupancy housing solution to address Britain’s housing crisis which is being assembled at an Essex college before making its way to the Futurebuild exhibition on 5-7 March 2019.

Lead architect Bill Dunster OBE chose to specify Knauf GIFAfloor FHB; Knauf Insulation Earthwool Flexible Slab (140mm on external walls); and Knauf Insulation Earthwool Rainscreen Slab (140mm on external walls and 100mm on internal walls).


Bill explained: “I chose to use Knauf GIFAfloor because it is durable and has an A1 fire classification rating. There is no question about the quality of the products supplied.

Knauf GIFAfloor provides a strong floor deck laid directly on joists and was installed by students in half a day.


“We needed a loadbearing flooring solution that could be quickly and simply installed, and Knauf easily met those requirements. A representative from Knauf also came to visit us on-site during the installation which was very helpful.”


Ben Arnold, Project Engineer at ZedFactory who is the site representative for the build added: “We really enjoyed building LivShare: everything went well and it was really easy to construct.


“A single LivShare module can be completed in under three weeks. Five of these modules combined forms the complete house, capable of accommodating up to seven occupants.”


Knauf GIFAfloor FHB is a high-density dry screed panel system which is able to span between joists. Its high thermal conductivity makes it ideal for using over underfloor heating systems and raised access floor systems alike. Knauf GIFAfloor is ready for foot traffic once the adhesive has set: an ideal solution when speed of build is essential, for example in offsite construction projects. Knauf has recently partnered with the Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA) to help make it easier for specifiers to find the quality solutions they need for projects which employ offsite construction methods.


LivShare is being exhibited at Futurebuild, a leading trade show for the construction industry which showcases the latest products and developments. The inspiration had come from Bill’s frustration at seeing some local councils propose to address their housing shortage by using shipping containers which are narrow and have poor longevity.


In contrast, LivShare is an affordable, permanent and high-quality housing solution which can be erected quickly. The house is also extremely sustainable and has the ability to deliver no net annual energy bills.


The prototype LivShare house isn’t just designed to demonstrate a cost-efficient affordable housing solution however. Prior to its debut at Futurebuild, the house was constructed by some sixth-form students at South Essex College in Grays, helping the younger generation learn valuable and modern skills within construction. Two to three students worked on the build during the construction period, gaining valuable experience which contributed to their work experience module.


LivShare demonstrates how Knauf helps to build for the world we live in, every day. Visitors to the Futurebuild exhibition will be able to see these Knauf solutions for themselves by visiting stand C52 between 5-7 March at the Excel centre in London before the house moves to its permanent home at Southend-on-Sea in Essex.