Prague, Czech Republic

The duplex is located in a small new development of individually designed residences on the northern outskirts of the City of Prague (Czech Republic). The two floors have the same simple rectangular footprint, with living and sleeping areas separated by a central core of bathrooms /utility risers. A garage with recreational deck over (for upper floor use) and an enclosed stair (providing upper floor access) are attached to the south face of the rectangular floor plate. 

Traditional construction was deemed too slow and expensive. Alternative prefab options were studied and a relatively “low tech” factory fabricated structural insulated panel (SIP) system was selected for economy and planning flexibility. The wood framed SIPs forming the exterior walls of the enclosure are 300mm (12”) thick, incorporate (triple glazed) windows and doors, multiple layers of high performance thermal insulation and are faced with cement board (exterior) and compressed strand board (interior). 

The construction took approximately 5.5 months from inception to completion, 3 months for factory fabrication and 2.5 months on site, compared to at least 12 months (on site) for traditional construction. The in-ground works and floor slab were completed in two weeks and the weatherproof enclosure was finished 5 days after the SIPs were trucked to the site. The cost was approximately 50% less than for traditional construction, involved no change orders and no cost extras.