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New technical guidance published for housebuilders to boost uptake of gable wall spandrel panels

A new technical
guide is being issued to housebuilders in the UK to boost uptake of gable wall
spandrel panels, a readily available component that can support the industry as
it moves towards modern methods of construction (MMC).

Gable wall
spandrel panels are an offsite manufactured product, put together in
quality-assured factory conditions before being delivered direct to site. They
provide an alternative to the inner leaf of an exterior masonry wall at the
gable end of a building and must be designed to comply with robust structural
and thermal requirements and in some circumstances fire resistance performance
standards too.

Use of gable
wall panels makes housebuilding more efficient, often saving hours of
bricklaying time, and can improve site safety as less time is spent working at

Published by
the Trussed Rafter
Association (TRA), the ‘Gable Wall Spandrel Panels Guide’ provides
information and guidance for both designers and onsite contractors. The
guidance specifically relates to pitched trussed rafter roofs above
masonry-built homes, where there is an unoccupied roof space and insulation at
ceiling level.

Nick Boulton,
TRA chief executive, said:

“We have
developed the Gable Wall Spandrel Panel Guide to help housebuilders and
designers understand every aspect of the product and its benefits. With
increasing interest in MMC, gable wall spandrel panels are an ideal component
to help speed up and improve the build process.

“The guide
offers information on design responsibilities, structural considerations, fire
resistance, thermal performance, and the manufacture of panels. On the
contractor side we cover site handling details, installation, gable lateral
restraints and most importantly advice on staying safe when working with gable
wall spandrel panels.

“The TRA is
committed to offering guidance to increase safety, quality and accuracy
wherever possible. We hope this guide will help designers and contractors

The guide
features detailed technical illustrations to show what is required on
installation as well as advice on satisfying thermal performance requirements.
The guide also provides a safety checklist to assist contractors and site staff
responsible for installation.

For further
information or to request a copy of the guide please visit the TRA