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About Me


Found 58 results

  1. My partner and I recently bought a small cottage near Forres in Scotland. It has a concrete floor slab and thick masonry walls. I've been planning to add a layer of insulation to the inside of my house but have found guidance on this to be a bit vague. Some suggest that a permiable insularion should be used others a vapour barrier. There is a threat that if the wrong approach is taken damp / condensation could result. I'm hoping to hear from people who have insulated their walls successfully. What method of insulation was used? Any input or suggestions welcomed.
  2. Ages ago I wrote a spreadsheet for doing what-if comparisons to see whether it was better to invest in more insulation in the walls, roof, floor, fit better windows and doors, or fit a better MVHR system. Others have found it useful and I've been reminded that I've not re-posted it over here, so here's the latest version. It should be self-explanatory, you fill in the cells with your wall, roof/ceiling and floor areas, add the areas of each door and window, put in the U values for each and, if you can, get hold of the met data from the met office for your area (the data in there is for West Wiltshire, right on the border with Dorset). This isn't a thorough modelling tool, it just looks at heat loss fairly accurately but doesn't take into account heat gains, although there is a crude way of doing that by drawing a line across the seasonal plot at the point where you don't use heating and you can very roughly assume that anything above that line will be heating. Please feel free to ask any questions, but bear in mind I wrote it back when I was designing our house and haven't used it for a couple of years. so I may be a bit rusty. Note that the file is an Excel spreadsheet, but to get the forum to accept it a an attachment I had to rename it with a .txt suffix. Download it, then edit the name so that the ".txt" is replaced with ".xls" and it should work. I have a Libreoffice version as well, if anyone would prefer that, although Libreoffice will open and run the Excel file OK. Heat loss calculator - Master.txt
  3. Weebles

    Rockwool, and lots of it

    After reading every post on this forum on the subject of sound insulation and in particular Rockwool I wanted to document our experience. Until the delivery arrived and we opened the packets we really didn't know what we were going to be working with. Here is the best description I can give. We ordered the following from Insulation4Less. They told us the lead time was about 4-6 weeks (nationwide shortage) but actually it all came within a week leaving us with a literal mountain of rockwool to store around site. It was wrapped but needed to be lugged into the house out of the rain. Big job. The 50mm deep packs were orginally intended to go in the ceilings where there were lots of pipes to fit around. We chose RWA45 rather than the more expensive Flexi. Having not seen the Flexi I can't give a really accurate comparison. But the RWA45 is flexible and can be pushed into spaces and compressed a little anyway. And it is cheaper. It is not rigid / solid like Celotex (which I had first thought it might be). Here are some open packs. It is pretty easy to cut using an insulation saw like this. But it does shred easily too. Mask and gloves absolutely essential. The 100mm deep stuff looks like this. So although it comes in these "batts" which have a form to them, you can trim to to the size you need. We are trimming almost everything because the 600mm wide batts don't fit into the 560mm gaps between the 600mm centred studs. But there are plenty of places to stuff the offcuts and the puzzle of how to use every offcut as efficiently as possible is keeping us both amused somewhat. We are fitting this into all the stud walls (internal) and the ground floor ceiling. No need for any insulation on the external walls or top floor ceilings as that has been pumped in by MBC (more of that in another blog). Hubby used our MVHR builders straps to fit up a load in the ceiling. He is now using cheap pallet strapping and a staple gun! It is fair to say that we have been doing this sound insulation on and off now for well over a month. It is a big job. Ceilings harder than the walls. Time consuming. A bit (alot) messy. Requires us to ply the walls first (where ply is needed) and then insulate. For the stud walls that don't need ply we will work as quick as we can in the evenings once the the plasterboarders are on site (due next week) filling in behind them as they plasterboard one side. Going to be a busy week. But progress is satisfying and physically working on our build again is fun.
  4. vfrdave

    Perimeter insulation

    I am in the throes of doing my insulation in the floor. Perimeter strips will be done around external walls. Is there any great benefit in doing this on the internal walls as well rather than just the foam strip? Thanks in advance.
  5. Weebles

    7.5 Tonnes of Pumped Cellulose

    That's alot of insulation - over 600 bags of the stuff. They cut a load of holes in the MBC vapour layer ply. More holes than we ever imagined. Then they pump the insulation into the holes to fill up the walls (300mm deep) and ceilings (400mm deep). Some of it escapes. Easy to vacuum up though. Then they put the ply discs back in and tape over the holes. They have left us with some patches for areas of the ceiling they can't reach and for any they might have missed. Only found one so far. Sean and his firm - works subcontracted for MBC for alot of the pumped cellulose insulation for them - was fantastic. The house is definitely warmer inside now, and the echo is now deadened. It is so quiet in there. Can't wait to move in........
  6. Hello, I'm new to the forum, will soon have a house in need of insulation... Will post my questions in the relevant forum!
  7. Blob the Builder

    Timber Soleplate and moisture

    Hi, I'm requiring advice/suggestions regarding protecting my timber soleplate from condensation/moisture between it and the DPC. I've read various threads how moisture can remain through lack of ventilation, and difference in temperature of timber and blockwork beneath, but not found a relevant solution yet, if necessary at all. Please see attached drawing for the build up. The wall is built and i'm starting timber cladding in the new year. So, before cladding commences i'm wondering if there is something i can do at this stage to insulate the blockwork wall externally, without bridging DPC ??? Foundation detail.pdf
  8. Blob the Builder

    Spray PU Insulation

    I've tried to find a thread on the forum about spray pu insulation without success. Does anyone have experience of it regarding cost and insulation values compared to PIR? I'm planning to insert 140 mm PIR into my open panel timber frame walls. But i have so many studs at varying centres that i'm considering alternatives.
  9. Hi We have been asked if we would consider using "Thermal Bead Screed" on the ground floor, it's an Italian product, real name Politerm Blu 110. It appears to be a lightweight screed with insulation beads used as aggregate. My original ground floor build-up gives me a respectable U-Value of 0.14 and is as follows; 100mm Sand & cement screed with UFH pipes embedded 3mm Polythene 125mm Thermafloor TF70 insulation boards with hot & cold water pipes embedded 3mm Raydon barrier 150mm dense concrete sub-floor The key to reaching the U-Value of 0.14 is that the boards are installed correctly without gaps or voids. The "Thermal Bead Screed" approach appears to remove the risk of gaps & voids and the floor build-up is as follows; 50mm Liquid Hemihydrate screed with UFH pipes embedded 3mm Polythene 175mm "Thermal Bead Screed" with hot & cold water pipes embedded 3mm Raydon barrier 150mm dense concrete sub-floor This won't give me as good a U-Value, I've been told 0.16 by the company selling it to me and 0.18 by an independent energy assessor. Have any of you used "Thermal Bead Screed" or know anything about it?
  10. Hi I think I understand how U-Values are calculated e.g. (Layer thickness) X Lambda = R in m2 K/W Add up all the R-values for each of the layers and 1/(Total R-Value) = U-Value in W/m2 K However if you look at the calculations from my "As-designed" SAP 2009 report below, the calculated Total R-Value = 5.844 m2 K/W and if you take the inverse of that the U-Value is 1/5.844 = 0.171 W/m2 K and not the 0.14 shown on the report below. Can anyone please explain how the 0.14 was achieved...what am I missing??? Thanks
  11. AnonymousBosch

    Shaped Insulation for a flat roof

    After much research we now know our flat roof can only be built using shaped insulation. And elbow grease. '... Much research.... ' disguises a long , nitty gritty detail process, much head and withers scratching. However, good progress towards conscious incompetence has been made. Not bad when you consider I started out unconsciously incompetent. Help me on my journey please.... One quote shows that, to create the fall, some of the PIR panels will be cut to shape by the producer - here's the twist we have to cut about 8 sheets to shape. Calamity, calamity. Just a simple wedge of cheese shape, but still currently - without a mountain of waste PIR - beyond me . Ah the joys of DIY eh? I know now that if I stick at this little sod of a challenge, I'll get there..... The lovely old guy who daily walks past our place -facing the friendly overtures of our fearless tom cat- says I should hot wire it. Memories of modelling glider wings Anyone done this before?
  12. So we had our first meeting with the designer last week and when I asked about the u-value for the walls he said he had calculated it to .22 with a 125mm thick full fill mineral wool, block inner and outer, render finish, plastered inner walls. I stated I wanted it to be lower and asked about the advantages of using a foil faced eps. He then said if we used a foil faced then we need to leave a gap i.e. not full full?? Is this right? For example, using the Concrete Block Association Website u-value calculator a medium density block inner, plaster finish, brick outer with 150mm foil faced full fill cavity gives a figure of .15 which is more like the figure I was hoping for. Just found his comment about the gap was a little strange as it contradicts all my research, but he has me thinking I've missed something now? I was just curios to anyone's thoughts on the point to see if they had heard similar?
  13. Hello Members, this is my first post and I'd like to say that I really appreciate Jeremy's Heat Loss Calculator, which took one day to complete (yesterday). The compact one-page format with 'what-if' ability is very, very useful. Thank you Jeremy. These are my current considerations and I'd appreciate any comments and/or advice from members Regards, Hugh
  14. vfrdave

    Corner window insulation

    I have 2 corner windows with the obligatory steel corner posts. How should these be insulated, all 4 sides or just the 2 external sides? Was thinking of using this for insulating:- blanket or CBS
  15. Triassic

    EPS current prices

    I’m just about to start my insulated foundations and have been getting prices for EPS 100 and EPS 300. So far the best price I’ve got for 2400 x 1200 x 100mm sheets are - EPS 100 £14.65 per sheet or £5.09 / m2 EPS 300 £36.85 per sheet or £12.79 / m2 Can anyone better these prices?
  16. Ferdinand

    Thermal Camera

    Are there any current recommendations for thermal cameras? I am wondering about buying one. Cheers Ferdinand
  17. dpmiller

    XPS Plus

    Has anyone any experience of XPS Plus? I was in contact with Polarwall to get delivery costings and the chap mentioned a new option, XPS Pus. It's got a Lambda of 0.027 and is only a few quid more per cubic metre (£144 vs £120). Guessing it's this kinda stuff?
  18. AnonymousBosch

    Insulate between doubled rafters?

    Either side of the Velux in our roof, is a doubled rafter. Have a look: There's a slight gap between them, one or two mm: not much, but enough to make me think that something needs to be done. One rafter has a slight twist in it.... Foam? Bolt? Screw? Ignore? Foam and bolt? Get a life?
  19. My external insulation has failed. It’s under guarantee so getting replaced at no cost. It was finished 15 months ago. The external render and mesh didn’t bond properly to the EPS and is coming away surprisingly easy. We’re still not fully sure of the cause. It’s an exposed south west facing gable so originally we though water was penetrating in someplace and causing it to bubble in an area. It was only when they started removing the bubble they noticed it was widespread and therefore not a localised water issue. If it was water at the top the render would bond fully under the window cills. We now think it’s most likely frost damage. When the base coat was applied it was very cold and think it froze before it had a chance to dry out. Lesson is don’t apply external insulation in winter or cold weather.
  20. Been working hard on the plans now we have had the all clear from BC, managed to get the stair design put back otherwise we are good to go. In drawing things up I came across the build up below from the architect. Its only on a portion of the front and rear walls (the others are 300mm I joist and 40mm PUR) but I am worried about several things and though I might seek thoughts from THE forum. My concerns are: 1. How to seal the bottom of the PUR to the top of the EPS to ensure no cold bridging? 2. What methods are there, other than long nails, to fix the Vertical battens through the PUR to the I joists (which only have 36mm thick flanges) and will these support the weight of tiles, horizontal battens and fixings. (I had thought of M12 studs fixed to the flanges -bolted both sides, and then fed through the PUR at intervals but it feels like a phaff although it won't be much of a cold bridge overall it feels like a great dew point opportunity. 3. What sort of thing (detail) can I do along the bottom of the overhang to make it look good, seal the bottom from insects but allow air flow up behind the tiles? Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
  21. newhome

    U-Value calculations

    Does anyone have a link to an idiot proof guide to help me understand my U-Value calculations, and what ‘Ok’ might look like please. I don’t have a passive house, so it won’t be super efficient, and some of the assumptions in mine aren’t quite right I believe as surely if I have MHRV it shouldn’t say ‘ventilation natural, fans 5’ ? It also doesn’t take the extension into account either. I really just would like to form view of how my house performs, and how I might be able to calculate a revised value. I doubt I can change anything at this stage. Many thanks! Summary of mine is below.
  22. Hi, I spotted an opportunity to save money a while back and in areas where we are not using the space all the way to the roof I changed from PIR insulation between the rafters to rockwool above the ceiling. What I did not realise though was that the MVHR ducting has to be in an insulated space. So now we need to insulate the MCHR which loses almost the entire saving. The installers have recommended using 50mm foil backed insulation wrapped around the ducts. This is fine, but I wondered if in areas where the ducts are installed just above the roof trusses and the loft insulation was pushed under the duct work could be just add another layer of rockwool that covers the duct work? This would be a lot faster and cheaper, but there is more risk that bits of the duct aren't covered.
  23. I know that most people here are building homes that will far exceed the minimum standards required by Part L of the Building Regulations (Part L = conservation of fuel & power) I finished my own build about a year ago - it's a small 2 bed holiday home on a remote site in N Wales and I decided to build it to just meet the minimum standards allowable in Part L and I thought it may be useful to give those of you who are exceeding Part L requirements an example of minimum compliance for comparison purposes. It's a single storey timber frame and timber clad bungalow with a net internal area of 71 m2 and an internal heated volume of 234 m3 (we've exposed the pitch of the roof internally). It's a rectangular shape on plan as it's built along the contour of a 1:8 sloping site. (Small rectangular bungalows are about the worst shape for energy efficiency). It's heated by bulk LPG and a combi boiler. No PV or other renewables. Naturally ventilated with no MVHR. These are my SAP figures: EPC C71 [Edit to add EI Rating of B81] Averaged (area weighted) 'U' values for walls, floor and roof of 0.15 Actual 'U' values are: floor 0.1 (we have a ground bearing conc slab with Hive app controlled underfloor heating and 300mm of EPS under the concrete) walls: 0.21 (minimum allowed in Welsh regs). Roof: 0.13 Windows 3G 0.8 Air test actual figure of 3.7 m3/(h.m2) (no special tapes or air tightness layer) Energy demand figures from the SAP calculation: Heating demand 3400 kWh (this equals 47.9 kWh/sqM of internal area) Hot water: 2290 kWh Electric for pumps and fans: 120 kWh Electric for lighting: 314 kWh (all LED) Primary Energy Demand: 106.1 kWh/sqM/year [Edit to add: CO2 emissions: 1,596 kg/yr CO2 emissions: 22.49 kg/m2] The house is warm and draught free. The things I like most about it apart from the location and spectacular views are the open plan layout with tall 'cathedral' ceilings, the u/floor heating and the 3G windows. I'd be very interested in seeing comparative figures for your own builds. Ian
  24. Any help out there please? We have 2 corners with glazing meeting at the corner vertical SHS. We have an MBC timber frame but there is no timber frame at these junctions, just the glazing units and the steel corner post. We are worried about thermal bridging. Still at the design stage so could design in some insulation. What would you do?
  25. Quoting from our architect's notes '...Insulate fully between rafters with Kingspan K7 or equivalent, with 62.5mm of Kingspan K18 beneath rafters...' That suggests that somewhere there is a performance equivalence table. But there isn't is there? There seem to be equivalence claims (often unverifiable, it seems) This is the closest I got. Anyone help me do better, please? Specifically, what is the equivalent of Kingspan K7?