The Future is Modular…and needs Tyvek

The Future is Modular, Tyvek®, Membranes from DuPont to enhance energy-efficiency in buildings, Images

The Future is Modular… and the future needs Tyvek®

Membranes from DuPont to enhance energy-efficiency in buildings

30 Oct 2019

The Future is Modular… and the future needs Tyvek®

Tyvek® Supro and Tyvek® Reflex™ W1 wrap the modular housing units made off-site by Modularwise Ltd to create air, water and weathertight new homes at a 73-unit brownfield development by Places for People for Homes for England:
Modular Tyvek
image courtesy of DuPont Tyvek

Modularwise chooses Tyvek

The multiple benefits of modular development, from cost to sustainability to efficiency, are playing a valuable part in addressing not only the housing shortage but also the impact of climate change. DuPont™ Tyvek® membranes and systems are also playing their part in this new housing story, as the perfect partner to offsite construction.

For a new 73-unit housing development under the Homes for England scheme on a brownfield site in Blackburn, Modularwise Ltd of Powys worked with client Places for People to create the optimum, easily replicable solution. This consisted of two types of home: a number of detached four bedroom houses plus multiple three bedroom models. The three bedroom homes combine four distinct modules, with the bedrooms and bathrooms located in the duo pitched roof.

Mike Rutland, Business Development, Professional Body Accreditation and Compliance Manager for Modularwise explains, “In terms of reducing the carbon footprint of the development throughout the chain, material choices were very important. This is primarily an off-site timber build on a steel frame floor, with a brick slip or rendered finish 90% applied off-site, then completed on-site.

When it came to the design of the building envelope, energy performance and airtightness were as vital as weather resistance and moisture control, therefore the appropriate membrane system was essential. Tyvek® offered the ideal combination of reliable products, accessories and service.”

Modular housing units at a brownfield development by Places for People for Homes for England, UK:
Modular Tyvek
image courtesy of DuPont Tyvek

The modules feature the Tyvek® Supro advanced breather membrane to the roof, a product which exceeds BS5534 regulation without restriction and is suitable for all wind zones, regardless of height or topography. The Blackburn site is in an exposed location, so superior wind uplift resistance together with a dry fix for ridges and gables added to the membrane’s suitability. In fact the ingenious BRE-approved wind calculator tool developed by the DuPont Building Knowledge Centre made itself particularly useful in this specification.

To meet STA guidance requiring a breather membrane to also act as a second line of water ingress defence with no leakage, Tyvek® Reflex, which is both W1 rated and offers a low-e surface, provided a combined moisture control and thermal solution in one hi-tech and trustworthy layer.

These membranes are part of a system that includes a comprehensive package of tapes and sealants for every requirement, and is supported by expert guidance from the Tyvek® technical team.

Indeed, efficiency and expertise are at the heart of the Blackburn development, from the performance of the materials to the construction process itself. For Modularwise, once the design and sourcing processes are in place and manufacture begins, it takes approximately twelve days to complete the first pod, with new pods coming through the line every day. The completed pods are then transported to site where it takes around one day to erect a completed house.

The Tyvek® membranes are fitted on the factory floor in controlled conditions, without having to battle the elements, allowing the installation to achieve optimum airtightness. Once the individual modules are connected on site, Tyvek® specialised tapes are used to seal the laps, adding to the efficacy of both project design and building methods.

In the sophisticated new world of high quality pod and modular housing there are many considerations when it comes to specification. It’s crucial not only that all building regulations are met – and futureproofed against – but also that any requirements demanded by warranties and insurance policies are satisfied.

“All our buildings are warrantied, therefore every product needs to come from a reputable company with BBA certificates and a record of independent testing, meaning mortgage lenders can have confidence that the house will perform,” adds Mike Rutland. “The beauty of these membranes is that the modules are already watertight, weathertight and airtight. Once everything is connected and air pressure tests conducted we usually find the houses perform even better than designed. Furthermore the technical support and service from Tyvek® was excellent – if we needed anything we got on the phone and it was job done.”

The Blackburn site is on course to be completed and ready for occupation in less than 3 months from the start of construction – this is the flexibility that companies such as Modularwise, teamed with products such as Tyvek®, can bring to today’s – and tomorrow’s – housing market.

Modular Tyvek

Modular Tyvek
The Modularwise housing units once connected on site, in a process that takes approximately one day

About DuPont™ Tyvek® & DuPont Building Membranes and Products: DuPont™ Tyvek® advanced building membranes are unique in the market due to their high-quality single layer construction. Tyvek® breather membranes, in all their specialised versions, are naturally vapour open but also durably wind and water-tight. Lightweight yet robust, it is easy to install and offers long-term, proven reliability.

Designed to protect the building envelope against the effects of weather and moisture, this family of membranes also offers optimal air-tightness and water holdout and can help to improve the thermal performance, energy-efficiency, interior climatic stability, and in the case of Tyvek® FireCurb®, enhanced safety.

Tyvek® is also designed to work as part of a holistic and optimal system with a range of other proven DuPont products for the building envelope, including the DuPont™ Tyvek® AirGuard® advanced AVCL series, the highly versatile Tyvek® FlexWrap air and water sealing tape, plus other specialised tapes and sealants. All DuPont building products come with the renowned service, expertise and technical back-up of a world-class science company.

About DuPont Safety & Construction
DuPont Safety & Construction is a global leader in delivering innovation for life’s essential needs in water, shelter and safety; enabling its customers to win through unique capabilities, global scale and iconic brands including Corian®, Kevlar®, Nomex®, Tyvek®, GreatStuff™, Styrofoam™ and Filmtec®.

About DuPont
DuPont (NYSE: DD) is a global innovation leader with technology-based materials, ingredients and solutions that help transform industries and everyday life. Our employees apply diverse science and expertise to help customers advance their best ideas and deliver essential innovations in key markets including electronics, transportation, construction, water, health and wellness, food, and worker safety. More information can be found at .

For more information about DuPont™ Tyvek® and AirGuard® please visit: or call 08444 068 722 (087 922 2740 in ROI)

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