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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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    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2007
    OK maybe I can paste links now. Still not sure how I did it though
    • CommentAuthormoogaloo
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2007
    Times Website ExertEarlier this year Bob Stoker, 66, from Nottingham, became the first Briton to have his property insulated with aerogel. “The heating has improved significantly. I turned the thermostat down five degrees. It’s been a remarkable transformation,” he said.

    Why would insulating more mean he can turn his thermastat down? Surly it just means he can use less heat to get to the same temp?
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2007
    Moogaloo, that's exactly the point but many of the guys contributing to the comments missed it in a pedantic sort of fashion. He may not have been using the language of a heating engineer but it was pretty clear what he meant
      CommentAuthorKeith Hall
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2007
    Posted on behalf of David Olivier:

    These U-values quoted of 0.35, O.41 etc, are pretty pathetic.

    It's about where new buildings in Sweden and Denmark were in 1970 to -80. Since then, some of the rest of Europe has progressed to the point that a number of existing homes in Germany are now being improved to the Passivhaus Standard, with U values dropping to 0.10-0.12 or occasionally as high as 0.15.

    We have a climate change problem. That requires us to improve buildings to the point that we can be more comfortable for far less fuel, not more comfortable for the same fuel usage as before.
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2007
    Thanks Keith on behalf of David Olivier

    And your point is??

    You've missed it basically. We're all too well aware of what U values we can achieve and what we need to achieve. However in retrofit/upgrade situations its not always possible to install the required thickness of insulation. In that case we need to use the most effective thin insulation that impacts little on internal space but at the same time gives us the optimum energy saving and thermal comfort. If you've ever been in one of the dwelling types in the case studies you'd be only too well aware of the thickness limitations. An Aerogel laminate enables these solutions
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2007
    Internally, 75 sprayed limecrete; or if externally, multifoil. Or both. Beat that for thickness - and retaining benefit of heavyweight interior.
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2007
    Tom, even 30mm was too much in these cases. One was a park home (static caravan). Solution had to be thin external, avoiding additional work to windows and doors, it also had to be lightweight. The other was a small tenement. For the park home the typically elder tenants incur absolute minimum disruption. For both the park home and the tenement, job done in and out in 2 days.
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2007 edited
    Yes, that's extreme. Once patent systems have been released for fixing multifoils, to improve on counterbattening (they've ready to go, waiting only for the clouds to clear on accreditation), then a multifoil external cladding solution will be only 5-10mm more than the multifoil thickness (currently typically 30), plus the overcladding - thin self-finished board, or render on board or rendermesh, or boarding on battens. That will give whole-heating-season heat retention equivalent to 200-250 min wool or 160 Cellotex - however both the multifoil and the min wool/Cellotex (and Aerogel too) at a real-life heat-retention performance only 40% of what we've been led to expect by application of published steady-state k-values for min wool/Cellotex (and Aerogel).
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeNov 1st 2007
    Tom, Aerogel comes to the building industry with a pedigree of being used successfully in critical applications in aerospace, Oil and Gas, the military and industrial process control were the standards are far more exacting than in the construction industry. In those applications its performance as part of a system is often measured continually. The design of those systems has been based on Aerogel's published performance data. Had it not performed in line with that data then there would have been issues certainly of safety and possibly catastophic failure in some of the processes. That has never happened. You may want to take up the comments in your last paragraph with the scientists and R&D guys at Aspen?
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2007 edited
    The entire world has been content to accept the long pedigree of scrupulously controlled steady-state k-value tests, as the true measure of insulants - Aspen, NASA or whoever included, I'm sure. At the same time the whole world has been trying to explain the universally disappointing results for insulations tested over e.g. a whole heating-season, blaming poor installation, unpredictable clients opening windows etc. when they shouldn't. Only recently has the flaw been spotted - the careful establishment of steady-state conditions before taking test readings, has guaranteed that 50yrs of pukka building science has been barking up the wrong tree - steady-state doesn't exist in the real world. And only recently has the quite simple understanding emerged, as to why there's a huge difference between steady-state performance, and performance under dynamically-varying conditions.
    As a result (from http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=125&page=5 ):

    "17 European companies manufacture multifoils and, having just now reached agreement on protocol, the testing houses of 7 European countries are begining construction of between 13 and 20 very expensive test rigs. US, Canada, Australia have agreed to sit back and watch, for the time being. Multifoils will be tested against conventional insulants, Cellotex etc as well as mineral wool. Each rig has dozens of thermocouples recording at frequent time intervals, the 'like real life' dynamically varying test cycles will run over months, or a year. Under investigation will be actual energy loss, and old-fashioned slide-rule-era concepts like R- (or k-) value won't get a look in. The huge data sets will be number-crunched to reveal the hidden patterns and the key determinant criteria, chaos-theory-style. Each insulant's performance will be shown to vary considerably, depending on the prevailing conditions. The days of single R-value rating for a given insulant are numbered; in future the expected heat-retention performance of any given insulant will be modelled, with local weather data, plugging in the key operative criteria that they're about to start deriving empirically. There will be big winners and embarassing big losers."
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2007
    Tom, the tests done on the Aerogel composites case studies in Forfar and Nottingham were dynamic tests, check out the Aspen website
    A specialist company monitored the changing U values of the construction with an in situ device over a period of time where it recorded the effects of all sorts of "outside influences" ( such as solar-gain / air infiltration etc ).
    I understand the test was indeed relatively expensive although very worthwhile.
    On another issue would you really recommend a multifoil in an EIFS external insulation system on a wall when the mutltifoil manufacturers do not as far as I'm aware promote it into that application?
    Surely there is also then a question of fire rating with anything but a heavyweight finish?
    • CommentAuthorsuecar
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2007
    Aerogel is a nanotechnology I think and there are a lot of concerns about the safety of nanoparticles. Has any body looked at it from this angle?
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2007
    Hi suecar,
    Yes sure, the nano in Aerogel relates only to the cell sizes i.e. the voids and not to any particulate. Check out the info on the Aspen Aerogel website
    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008 edited
    Just to resurect this one - Anyone know how thick aerogel can be applied? Is there a limit?
    • CommentAuthorbiffvernon
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
    Just the limit of your purse.
    Thanks Biff, but I meant technical limitations not financial ones
    • CommentAuthorbiffvernon
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
    I've only seen it in the form of Spacetherm. It comes in various thicknesses but there's no technical reason why you couldn't have lots of hayers. Diminishing returns on money spent would kick in pretty quickly though.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2008 edited
    Just to say, I just used Proctor's online technical support [chat] . Very helpful indeed
    • CommentAuthorBrianR
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2008
    I have used aerogel from Proctors (via their distributor Travis Perkins). This was in the bottom panel of a back door. One tip is to get Proctors to cut the aerogel panel into six pieces if you do not need a large size. This drastically saves on transportation costs (which otherwise would have been more than the aerogel).
    • CommentAuthorJackyR
    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2008
    Brian, I'm very interested. Could you post a pic or describe exactly what you've done with the door - I've been trying to sort out my front door over on this thread:http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=2509&page=2#Item_2

    Of particular interest: a) what finish did you employ, and b) do you really think it's worth the cost of aerogel given the bridged/uninsulated areas of the door?

    Most grateful to hear your ideas/experience!
    • CommentAuthorBrianR
    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2008
    The back door has two large panels. The top panel had a single panel of glass and this was replaced with a double glazed panel with low-e reflex glass plus argon.

    The bottom panel of 23 X 21 inches had the aerogel from Proctors added. The bottom recessed panel is typical of an English door and is made of a single layer of plywood. I just filled in this recess with aerogel and added another wooden panel on top. The new panel went flush with the surrounding frame of the door. Aerogel is good in this application because it gives decent insulation in a thin layer.

    I think this was worth doing. Probably in comfort terms more than anything. The payback in fuel savings could be quite long - maybe ten years. But heck the missus is happier.

    I have a front door I need to fix also. This has too many panels, the seal is bad, and the door has warped. Plus the top panel is stained glass which is falling apart. So I think it may be a replacement door in this case with the stain glass inside a double glazed panel (if that is possible).
    • CommentAuthorJackyR
    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2008
    Single plywood - ouch!

    Thanks very much for that. Difficult to get figures for the improvement, of course. Much pondering still required here...
    • CommentAuthorskywalker
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2008
    I posted this question in another thread but it was during a 'testy' bit so may have been missed.

    Anyone who has played with aerogel (saint tends to hold the candle but there must be more of you out there) care to comment on what it would be like if used as an over wooden (floorboard) floor insulation with a vapourcheck on top.
    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2008 edited
    The conventional view would surely be that it would work fine. It would be the same principle as if it were used in a cold [but sloping] roof. Just upside down. Sub-floor ventilation would of course be critical and may need to be increased to a level which is synonymous with the roof application, ie. equal to a continual, uninterrupted, and side to side, 50mm air gap
    • CommentAuthorjoe.e
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2008
    Posted By: BrianRI have a front door I need to fix also. This has too many panels, the seal is bad, and the door has warped. Plus the top panel is stained glass which is falling apart. So I think it may be a replacement door in this case with the stain glass inside a double glazed panel (if that is possible).

    Yes, it is possible - easy, really. The stained glass artist needs to make up the panel with a Y-section lead around the edge; this fits into a slot on the inside of a DG spacer. The stained glass person needs to speak to the DG manufacturers to make sure that the panel is made exactly the right size to go into the unit - when I was doing this I needed to make up the stained glass panels with the shoulder of the Y-lead 15mm in from the finished size of the DG unit, but obviously it depends on the profile of the spacer and ahould be checked.
    The finished panels - triple glazed with leaded glass in the middle - have very good soundproofing properties, and are very heavy!
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2008

    Yes I'd agree with Mike. Its thinness makes it ideal for renovation, how about the advantage for retofit UFH systems?
    Gives you some reasonable added acoustic performance too.
    All we need to do now is get Proctor to halve the price:bigsmile:
    so I want to use it under a screed to retrofit UFH without braking and relaying the slab , the customer doesn't want to lose any height
    Where can I get it and what does it cost m2 for 30mm and would 30mm do the job
    did some one say Travis?

    cheers Jim
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2008
    Check with Proctor 01250 872261 for thickness and pricing. As for any insulation sensible to balance cost against return but at 30mm you'd be a salesman's dream. Some of the UFH supplier's insulation recommendations are way over the top, some leave it up to you.....chance for added value (margin) or ignorance? Either way best advice: Talk to someone in the insulation business
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