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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
    height.

    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
    alike.”

    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
    website.

    www.tra.org.uk