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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
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    • CommentAuthorrylan
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2008
    I plan to upgrade house insulation in two area A, the ceiling, B the exterior walls (solid 9” block) by using the most effective materials and designs to contain heat. The house was built in late 30’s early 40’s, it has solid single leaf walls (except for the brick, which has a cavity of 50 mm, the slate roof is rendered with a lime horse hair mix. Joist dept 115 mm and distance apart 300 mm, ceiling surface area = 60 M2, Exterior wall surface area = 140 m2
    Currently Actis Super 9 (http://www.tri-isosuper9.co.uk/tri-iso_super_9_insulation_meashured.htm) is installed above the ceiling joist, I have an air gap of 25 mm either side, with floored attic above. I plan to remove the ceiling slabs beneath, insulate between and below the joist, add a vapor selective membrane, followed by slab and plaster.
    In addition I plan to remove all exterior render and fittings on the external walls, secure the selected insulation to brick/ block work, add wire or glass fibre mesh (+maybe a engineered board) for mechanical support . followed by semi permeable membrane, a scratch coat and propitiatory final finish (STO. Marmorit).
    The ultimate objectives is beat the energy U value requirements for at least 10 years, minimize energy use , wastage and loss.
    There are many options v/v interior and exterior insulation materials and profiles
    I am currently looking at insulation products (see www listings below)

    Some of the potential issues and difficulties in finding information on to date include:
    1. Possibility for condensation forming on the underside of Actis Super 9, this condensate may expedite the decay of the joist
    2. Selection and sequence of materials for exterior installation to ensure, it meets expected U value, is mechanically secure / stable system, has long life, value for money, breathable etc.
    3. New insulation products offers superior insulation properties but do not have independent bodies / laboratory endorsement (Bre) at this time, e.g. Proctors Spacetherm.
    4. How is the breathability of old houses affected by incorporating new technologies e.g. vapor selective membranes, polymerized exterior finishes. Should I use lime hemp exterior coat in order to allow the house to breath
    5. How does the water vapor escape from inside to outside which materials like the wall vapor selective membranes, polymerized exterior finishes.
    6. What is the most effective method to insulate a single leaf block wall on the exterior?
    7. What is the most effective method to insulate a cavity brick wall with block on the inner leaf ?
    8. The plaster on the inside is in good condition but soft when and crumbles easily e.g. after drilling, should I remove and put a new lime based plaster on the wall which enhances breathability and thermal mass storage.
    9. I wish to understand most suitable exterior coatings on the market today, I would expect long life and warranty period, fit and forget mentality.

    Thanks for your time and interest in supporting this forum and enquiry.
    Kind regards,

    1. Moy isover (part of Saint Gobain) for information on Metac and Vario smart vapour barier for use in between the joist and below


    2. Xtratherm for information on rafter lock and Thin R for use in between the joist and below.



    3. Ecological building systems for information on wood fibre and hemp for use in between the joist and below. They provide a selective vapor barrier


    4. Kingspan Kooltherm range in particular K5 (external) and K7 & K17 for internal sealing use.


    5. Proctor group out of Perthshire they supply Spacetherm which can be used interior / exterior use, the big issue = it has no Bre certification and is relatively expensive.

    6. DOW
    Styrafoam LBX is suiatable for exterior use see , however the conductivity is not as good as the Phenolics
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2008
    1 there is a danger of condensation on it -- a vapour barrier should go on the warm side of the insulation

    2 from in to out -- your wall, sheet (or slab) insulation as thick as possible, breather layer (old newspaper), mesh, lime render.

    4 do not form vapour impermeable or resistant layers on the outside if you want moisture to be able to escape that way.

    6 as 2

    7 most ideas are ineffective as the cavity cools the house in winter

    8 plaster is ok look after it carefully.

    9 dream on!

    10 air-tightness measures become ever mote important as insulation levels increase -- you should consider a whole house heat recovery ventilation system (helps 4)
    • CommentAuthormike7
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2008
    Posted By: tony

    7 most ideas are ineffective as the cavity cools the house in winter

    Hi Tony - I didn't understand this bit - can you explain a bit more? Thanks
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2008
    Try this
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2008
    Oops sorry

    "2. from in to out -- your wall, sheet (or slab) insulation as thick as possible, breather layer (old newspaper), mesh, lime render."

    what sheet/slab insulation is there that is breathable and effective?
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2009
    BRE certificate for Spacetherm is now available http://www.spacetherm.com/pdf/Spacetherm%20BRE%20Certification.pdf
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