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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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  1.  
    Hi,

    We are trying to sort out a few cold spots in our house that I suspect are caused due to a lack of attention to detailing from the builders around air tightness and fitting of insulation. One of the areas I want to try to sort next is a desk area that we have built into our landing.

    I have put a couple of photos below, but essentially to the left of the desk there is a boxed out void. I don't trust the air tightness and the fitting of insulation to the exterior brickwork (there is no parge coat in this area like there is the rest of the house).

    I've been trying to think about what I can do while causing minimal disruption. We have a plasterer doing some work in the next couple of weeks so I was thinking about getting a hole cut at the top so that we could pour in insulation beads. I was hoping this would add insulation and, while not perfect for airtightness should help there too?

    Could I please get people's thoughts on this approach? I've done some searches for EPS beads and couldn't find many suppliers. Would vermiculite (which seems easier to find) be ok?

    I realise it will be a nightmare to ever access the void once it is full of beads, but the only thing on that wall is a couple of power sockets, ethernet cable and phone line under the desk so I'm hoping I will never really need access.

    Thanks,
    Richard
  2.  
    Floor plan:
      Screenshot 2021-09-25 21.12.32.png
  3.  
    Photo of the boxed out area
      Screenshot 2021-09-25 21.11.48.png
  4.  
    Posted By: richardelliotCould I please get people's thoughts on this approach? I've done some searches for EPS beads and couldn't find many suppliers. Would vermiculite (which seems easier to find) be ok?

    Vermiculite is an insulation but unlike EPS will absorb water so I would expect any damp that gets in will be held. However vermiculite won't, as far as I know, attack the PVC cabling sheathing the way EPS is reported to do.
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2021
     
    It's a bit difficult to offer thoughts without some more information - is this newbuild or an old house refurb? Is this a point at which an extension meets an existing building? What's the construction of the walls and where's the insulation layer supposed to be?
  5.  
    Posted By: Peter_in_HungaryVermiculite is an insulation but unlike EPS will absorb water so I would expect any damp that gets in will be held. However vermiculite won't, as far as I know, attack the PVC cabling sheathing the way EPS is reported to do.


    I read that about Vermiculite after my original post, it makes me think I should go for an alternative. From internet searches I've been struggling to find suppliers who sell the beads. I don't know if they need to be professionally blown in?
  6.  
    Posted By: lineweightIt's a bit difficult to offer thoughts without some more information - is this newbuild or an old house refurb? Is this a point at which an extension meets an existing building? What's the construction of the walls and where's the insulation layer supposed to be?


    Hopefully answering your questions:
    - It is a new build, built in 2016

    - There is no extension, the whole house was built at the same time

    - The walls are a brick and block construction, however, in this area it is basically only the brick window reveal. The green outline on the plan above is the area in question. The windows are set into quite a deep brick reveal (the bottom of the green outline). Kingspan was put up against the bricks, but I don't trust it to have been fitted well and I'm pretty sure there isn't an effective air tightness barrier. Most of the green box is a void. Hopefully that makes some sense!
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2021
     
    Warmcell?
  7.  
    Warmcell is a blown in insulation so probably expensive for a small item (when call out charge is considered) I don't think it is a DIY job. EPS can be poured in DIY
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2021
     
    Think there was a time when one could buy Warmcell in bags to self-scatter in the loft. Hence the question mark. Certainly would be challenging to 'spoon' into a smallish hole.

    But as with Vermiculite, would certainly be very moisture absorbent.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2021
     
    Posted By: Rex: “Think there was a time when one could buy Warmcell in bags to self-scatter in the loft.”

    It needs to be blown into walls under pressure, though, otherwise it'll settle over time. I think you're right, though, that it once could be bought for lofts but not any longer. Cellulose insulation can be bought for DIY installation in the US where you typically rent the pump to install it and, I think, in parts of Europe for loose fill but AFAIK nobody sells it like that in the UK.

    BTW it's Warmcel (one 'L'), a trademark: https://www.warmcel.co.uk/
    • CommentAuthorRobL
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2021
     
    I've diy blown EPS beads into a cavity I found hadn't been filled, I've also poured in Silvapor. Silvapor was better, as it doesn't attack PVC cables, and flows better into gaps. Eps beads are very easy to get, ebay will flog some for a bean bag. Or maybe you can find the better "platinum" stuff, with carbon flecks in it with a better lambda.
    If there's access from above, then either EPS or Silvapor can just be poured in - I used a 2l plastic bottle with the end cut off, sellotaped to the eps bag to guide beads in.
    I've done some from the side too which is more faff - for this I drilled a big hole (44mm dia), and attched a 40mm pvc pipe to a little 5v fan, and blew in beads from a bag. It was slow, kept clogging the fan, but eventually it worked.
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