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KNAUF INSULATION - The Great British Refurb At Work

As key sponsors of the Great British Refurb Campaign, Knauf Insulation has supplied its Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) system, Loft Roll 44 and Space Blanket as part of a low-carbon refurbishment of a Victorian house in Manchester.

The house was shortlisted for the refurbishment by Knauf Insulation and WWF-UK, to coincide with the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, to showcase the energy efficiency levels and reduction in carbon emissions that can be achieved. The home is expected to see reductions in CO2 of 1.15 tonnes per annum, and financial savings (through reduced energy bills) of around £170 per annum, if financed under a ‘Green Deal’ type scheme, proposed by the Conservative Party, without the financial outlay from the homeowner.

The house was selected due to the escaping heat from the hard to treat external solid walls, which were ideally suited to Knauf Insulation’s IWI system - a highly cost effective method for achieving increased energy efficiency for any type of property, whilst maintaining the exterior appearance of the building.

The innovative glass mineral wool system for internal insulation has been designed for upgrading existing solid external walls quickly and easily, with minimum disruption to occupants – a key benefit for this project. Dyson Insulation contractors installed the IWI system to the solid external wall in the kitchen and upstairs front bedroom. The system consists of composite thermally engineered studs and insulation slabs, which can be combined to provide greater depths of thermal insulation than achievable by using a single thickness. The simplicity of the IWI system allows a competent builder to install and finish the system using dry lining techniques or a traditional plaster skim finish.

To increase thermal efficiencies within the loft, 200mm Loft Roll 44 was installed to top up the existing 100mm insulation to recommended levels. The loft hatch also benefited from insulation as well as a seal around the hatch, eliminating any cold areas and draughts. Knauf Insulation’s Loft Roll 44 is a low density glass mineral wool roll, which is lightweight, flexible, resilient and non-combustible.

Knauf Insulation was also able to solve the problem of cold air seeping up from the cellar by supplying 200mm Space Blanket insulation, friction fitted between the floor joists. A plastic wire meshing was fixed under the insulation, to ensure a tight and secure fit, insulating the floor beneath the living room and the front hallway in the cellar. Space Blanket is a premium ‘encapsulated’ glass mineral wool product, containing a part metallised polythene film that reflects heat and makes it extra easy and comfortable to install – with minimal mess for the homeowner and installer.

In addition to the extra insulation, pipe lagging, draught proofing and low energy efficiency lighting, a remote thermostat to control the boiler was fitted into the property helping to control heat and gas usage and dramatically reduce the energy consumption.

Rebecca Williams, homeowner explains: “The refurbishment has been so successful in terms of being a quick and simple process – with minimal disruption to our daily lives, as well as helping to significantly reduce the heat that was previously escaping through the solid walls, the cold air coming up from the cellar and high energy bills.”

Phil Rigby at Knauf Insulation, comments: “There are plenty of simple steps that can be taken to improve energy efficiency levels and reduce carbon emissions, in any type of property. With the majority of a building’s heat escaping through the external fabric, it is imperative to have efficient insulation levels to maxmise energy efficiencies and reduce heating bills in the long run.”

Kevin McCloud, presenter for Channel 4’s Grand Designs is spearheading the Great British Refurb Campaign and since its launch in April this year, has already earned the support of leading Government figures and thousands of British homeowners. It is hoped the new plans unveiled by the Conservatives will tackle carbon emissions from properties and help homeowners reduce their energy bills. The Conservatives’ ‘Green Deal’ acknowledges the urgent need to reduce emissions from the housing sector, and will make low-carbon refurbishment more accessible for the majority of households.

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