Vector Homes is committed to developing and supplying low embodied carbon construction materials to enable everyone to make sustainable choices in how they build and live. Vector Homes has brought together a great team using innovative material science to solve today’s and future challenges in affordable sustainable construction.
Upcycling Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Polymers with Nanomaterials
We have developed specific formulations which enhance the fire resistance of recycled plastics through synergistic interaction between graphene and non-toxic fire retardant molecules. The additives work together to also boost the mechanical properties of the polymers which are used in thermal insulation foams as well as other non-structural features.
This combination is used to create low embodied carbon construction materials which also reduce cost and improve thermal performance.
External Wall Insulation (EWI) from Sheep Wool
The UK's Clean Growth Strategy identifies decarbonising heat as a critical challenge in meeting carbon targets, highlighting the need for innovation, particularly in retrofitting inefficient existing housing stock. Solid wall houses, prevalent in the UK, have poor thermal efficiency, making External Wall Insulation (EWI) vital. By 2025, to meet net-zero targets, EWI installations must increase 22-fold from 2019 levels. Traditional EWI materials, however, are carbon-intensive. We are developing low embodied carbon EWI panels using UK-sourced sheep wool which use no man-made binders or fibres and are optimised for performance, sustainability, and cost. This innovation uses an under-utilised natural by-product, promoting circular economy and benefiting rural communities. We are working with teams across Wales (Wool Insulation Wales), Scotland (BE-ST), and Northern England (Energy House 2.0) to bring together expertise in wool, construction, and advanced materials.
Low-Cost Heat Flux Sensor Design Using 2D Materials
To meet the UK Government's net-zero ambition by 2050, decarbonising domestic buildings is key, as home heating represents 7% of the UK's total energy demand. Heat-flux sensors are vital in measuring a building's 'U-value' or thermal conductivity, crucial for assessing energy efficiency. Current methods for measuring building thermal performance are costly and complex, hindering energy efficiency improvements. Vector Homes, is working with Printed Electronics, Tyrrell Building Technologies and University of Salford’s Energy House 2.0 to develop a low-cost, fully-printed heat-flux sensor using screen-printing technology. This sensor enables continuous thermal-health-monitoring in new builds, revolutionising the assessment and enhancement of building thermal envelopes with 2D materials that are helping us to improve performance through their exceptional sensing performance. We are seeking collaboration opportunities to trial the technology.