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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorskywalker
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2007
    Has anyone got real experience of using this stuff in construction. How much it costs, how easy to use, what is the embodied energy compared to other stuff etc. etc.

    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2007
    I think www.proctorgroup.com are the sole suppliers in the uk at the mo, I have emailed them about prices etc.
    I'll let you know how I get on.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2007
    Proctor Group kindly sent me some samples of their aerogel blanket 'Spacetherm'. It has, they say, a thermal conductivity of 0.013W/mK, which makes it a much better insulator than anything else in the builders' universe.

    Spacetherm comes in thicknesses of 3, 5 and 10mm, indicative prices about £12, £16 and £19.50 respectively per square metre.

    Stock rolls are 1210mm x 50m long and there are also sheets of 2400mm x 1200mm x 10mm

    My interest in the stuff would be as a sandwiched layer between two timber layers for a door panel. According to my arithmetic such a panel might have a U-value below 1.
    That message above by 'Guest' was me. My computer seems to have forgotten me!
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2007 edited
    You would need 30mm of aerogel to make a meaningful difference to the u value of a solid wall- about 0.37.

    At a cost 58.50 per sq m thats quite expensive. Sounds worthwhile for a door though.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2007
    The correct website for Spacetherm / Aerogel is www.spacetherm.co.uk

    The product has a thermal conductivity of 0.013W/mK as tested to BS8990 Hot Box method.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2007
    Interestingly the Proctor Group also sell the Triso Super foil insulation stuff - nuff said!
    • CommentAuthorbiffvernon
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2007
    Yes, but I think they've been careful not to make false claims about it.
    Just to refresh this thread as I am interested to hear if anyone out there has used aerogel yet? Also are there any suppliers in South Wales?
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2007
    Hi Mike
    Two in-situ trials have just been completed with full thermographic scans performed on behalf of the respective clients.

    The first trial was on a ground floor apartment for a Scottish Council.
    It was of a traditional masonry cavity wall construction that had been cavity filled several years ago. There was a problem of water ingress into the cavity and this combined with a poorly executed cavity fill had led to longterm complaints of damp and cold. The internal dry lining was ripped out and replaced with, on some walls 9.5mm plasterboard bonded to 18mm Aerogel fleece and on others 10mm Fermacell again bonded to 18mm (2x9mm) Aerogel fleece. The original internal dry lining system was 30mm thick and this was replaced with an Aerogel composite of less than 30mm so there was no loss of internal space. The resultant improvement as measured in the in-situ test was from an existing average U value of 0.65W/m2K down to 0.35W/m2K.

    The second trial was an overcladding of a static mobile home (Park Home) for an East Midlands council.
    Here the target was to significantly increase the comfort level and minimise fuel costs which are substantial on these types of buildings especially in this case one that was constructed in the mid 80's. The other considerations were obviously minimal disruption to the tenant and a thin lightweight solution that is easy and fast to install.
    The solution was a 13mm sandwich panel comprising a 9mm Aerogel fleece core with two 2mm skins of a plastic based composite. The panels were installed to the external faces in just over two days.The tenant remained in residence without disruption.
    The thinness of the panels meant there was little additional work around window reveals and door openings other than additional trim and of course
    no impact on the roof overhang.
    Again the thermographic scan showed significant improvement from an original average U Value of 0.98W/m2K down to 0.41W/m2K.
    This was due of course mainly to the high performance of the thermal insulation but also the control of air infiltration. The tenant has reported a marked reduction in heating reqired and has lowered his heating thermostat setting by 5 degrees.
    An additional benefit in this trial has also been a noticeable increase in acoustic performance which will also soon be subject to an in-situ test.

    Full reports on these trials will be available shortly from the associated suppliers
    I have been looking at Aerogel. I asked a few questions about it to Proctor, here's how they replied...

    Thanks for your interest. The aerogel insulation used in the Spacetherm boards has a k-factor of 0.013, this compares to around 0.023 for most types of polyurethane/polyisocyanurate boards, and around 0.030 for extruded polystyrene. Each layer of aerogel is 9mm thick, so insulation thicknesses work in multiples of nine.

    In the case of Thermaline super, a 50mm board has an R-Value of 1.79, to achieve a similar performance with Spacetherm would require either 2 layer board (30.5mm, R=1.445) or three layer (39.5mm R=2.137). These R-Values are based on 12.5mm plasterboard.

    At this stage Spacetherm is very much a bespoke solution so there isn't really such a thing as a standard board, typically though panel sizes would follow standard wallboard sizes (i.e. 2400x1200). Also, the facings on the boards do not necessarily have to be plasterboard/chipboard/ply, and if you would prefer specialist boards (such as cement fibre or Fermacell) we could certainly accommodate that.

    With the above in mind, there is at this stage no such thing as a price list for these boards, the cost will depend on what exactly you want in terms of facings and performance. To give you an idea though, a two layer board with a standard plasterboard finish comes in at around £80/sq.m, which might sound like a lot, but under certain circumstance can compare pretty favourably with the alternatives, specifically external insulation systems which may be required in refurb projects with severely limited internal space. Similarly, in loft conversions, it can allow adequate headroom to be maintained without the need to re-slate roofs to incorporate a breather membrane and full-fill rafter insulation. This is particularly relevant on projects affected by the Decent Homes standard in England/Wales (or the SHQS in Scotland).
    Thanks both,

    Seems like South Wales is a non-starter if there isn't a local supplier.
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2007

    Proctor, aka APG are the national distributor for Aerogel into building and construction. They can supply the material either in its original roll format or bonded to a variety of substrates. www.proctorgroup.com
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2007

    Proctor distribute it under the brand name Spacetherm.

    • CommentAuthorbiffvernon
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2007
    South Wales a non-starter? Proctor's deliver - they have a van!
    Yes- but how far and for how much? Do we not think sourcing local materials is an issue?
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2007
    They're national but HQ'd in Scotland. They have other depots/stocking points.
    Aerogel is however at this point in time made only in the US and comes in by sea that is until Europe gets a plant
    Thanks Saint, Just as a matter oof interest does anyone know what aerogel is made from?
    • CommentAuthorbiffvernon
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2007 edited
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2007
    Here's a little light reading for you...http://www.aerogel.com/features/morphology.html. I understand the embodied energy, carbon balance data will be avaiiable soon
    Hi Folks,
    Cards on the table, I work as a tech researcher for the Proctorgroup (Keith Barbers reply above was from me). Don't worry though, i'm not a salesman! Biff, you're right, we do indeed have a van. And for the record, "Guest's" comment is a little unfair. We are distributors for the Triso-Super 10, but testing, certification and performance verification are the responsibility of the manufacturer (i.e. Actis). Thanks for the defence biff, we're due you a pint!
    Hi Saint, there is something wrong woth your link
    Please ignore the last post, I have found the webpage now.
    • CommentAuthorbiffvernon
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2007
    Thanks Graeme, I'll call in for the pint next time I'm in Scotland.

    You and your firm may be amused by the use to which I've put the sample of Spacetherm your firm kindly sent me. I have a Yurt (see http://www.biffvernon.freeserve.co.uk/the_yurt.htm ) and wanted something to go between the hot flue pipe of the woodstove and the not very fireproof willow frame and canvas covering. So I made a sleeve of aerogel sandwiched between aluminium sheeting. I shall be watching carefully to see whether it insulates effectively of just bursts into flame.

    What do you know about the effects of a lot of heat on Spacetherm?
    Aerogel in it's raw form is pretty heat resistant, but the spacetherm flavour aerogel (A.K.A Spaceloft) uses a polyester mat as a base, giving it it's flexibility at the expense of some high temperature performance. It will happily go up to 200 deg C however. There's also a high temperature variant (Pyrogel) which goes to around 385 deg C. I'm not 100% sure what would happen if it goes over temp, you don't normally get up to 200 degrees in the sort of construction apps we usually deal with! I'll look into it and let you know ASAP.

    Nice yurt, by the way. I'll need to remember that if i'm after a place to stay down your way. any plans to offer camel tours around lincolnshire?
    • CommentAuthorbiffvernon
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2007
    Ah, the polyester part explains the reaction I got when I tried a bit with a blow torch. I thought there must be something in it other than silica.
    Maybe I need to blag a sample of Pyrogel :)
    Hi . Ive been wondering if I should use Spacetherm to internally lag a kitchen solid wall, brick 1890 terrace on areas that do not have units attached. I was thinking I could clad it with wood sheeting .25 inch or so.

    do you think it would be cost effective

    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd 2007
    Hi Solar Bore,

    Ask Proctors to laminate Space Loft (Aerogel fleece) to 6mm ply for you. As for its cost effectiveness they will have some recent case studies and also carbon data/energy saving data for you.
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2007
    The latest: (Still can't paste links!!!)


    Beware; some of the comments are enough to make you despair!
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