Is your Insulation meeting your needs?

March 12 2019

Having the correct insulation is paramount to providing a pleasant environment for the occupants of your building, helping to reduce significant temperature variations and lower energy bills.  A well-insulated building can help cool a building in the summer and keep the heat in during the colder winter months.

Ensuring adequate insulation is a major cause of concern for all types of buildings, from office spaces, factories, retail, commercial premises and of course residential dwellings.  There are many insulation options available which provide a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss, lower energy bills and in some cases help with the building’s acoustic impact.

What are the options available?

There are many options of insulation available and it is important to take into consideration the whole life costs, as opposed to the initial outlay of installing the insulation. It has been widely recorded that a building with sufficient insulation can have the energy costs reduced by up to 40% in comparison to a building with inadequate insulation. 

There are several types of insulation available – not all are suitable for all buildings, here we look at some of the common insulation types and explain a little about them.

Cavity Wall Insulation

According to the Energy Saving Trust, cavity wall insulation can reduce carbon emissions significantly.  With external walls accounting for up to 35% of heat loss in a building, this quick, easy and mess-free method of insulation can have a significant impact.  If there is a suitable gap between the inner and outer walls the method of blowing insulation through holes in the wall can be used. The insulation is water repellent and vapour permeable – allowing the building to breathe.  Not only does it provide a building with insulation – it can help reduce the risk of condensation, is non-combustible and has zero wastage.

Loft/Roof Insulation

Depending on the type of building being occupied, loft insulation provides a barrier, which helps prevent heat loss from the lower levels of the building, and can stop up to 25 per cent of the heat generated in your building being lost through the loft space.

If you have an easily accessible loft space – with regular joists then rolls of mineral fibre insulation can be used. Depending on whether this space is to be accessed or not there could be a requirement to raise the floor to ensure the insulation has enough space. If you have an inaccessible loft space then there is a method of blowing insulation into the area. Specialist equipment is used to blow loose, fire retardant insulation into the space.

Polyurethane insulation

This is either sprayed or injected and is a foam system which provides very high insulation standard, moulding to a buildings contours and sealing gaps. It can also provide significant structural strength and creates its own vapour control layer.

Polyurethane insulation is suitable for use on the underside of aluminium, tile, slate, steel and asbestos roofs as an alternative to re-roofing. Other applications include the use in loft spaces to prevent condensation and to help prevent the risk of pipes or tanks freezing.

What next?

In addition to looking at insulation, it is important to look at other means of making sure your building is as energy efficient as possible – making sure windows and doors are correctly fitted and where possible double or triple glazed.

If you would like more information on insulation types for either new-build or retrofit purposes check out our Insulation pages on our website.