With the plan to reduce heating bills and cut energy use, Manor Farm
House, in Binsey, a run-down 200-year-old residential property
belonging to Christ Church, Oxford, was recently the subject of
extensive refurbishment. As a period property, the task of
insulating the building required specialist products and expertise;
this is where leading insulation supplier, Knauf Insulation was able
The building required new roof coverings, damp proofing, replacement windows and doors, rewiring, plumbing and heating as well as wall and loft insulation. With so much needing to be done, Project Manager, Tony Morris, Clerk of the Works for Christ Church and Oxford Cathedral, decided it was an ideal time to incorporate as much in the way of energy saving technology as possible.
Firstly, the overall energy efficiency of the building envelope had to be improved and getting the insulation right was key. A beautiful period property built within a conservation area, Manor Farm had solid walls, so there was no possibility of using cavity wall insulation. External wall insulation, too, was unsuitable, as any insulation solution would have to be installed without compromising the aesthetics of the farmhouse. When discussing the requirements with Knauf Insulation, the technical advisory team recommended an internal wall insulation, or IWI system, which delivers the required thermal and energy efficiencies, whilst maintaining the exterior appearance.
Providing an efficient thermal upgrade, Knauf Insulation’s Internal Wall Insulation System (IWI) system consists of thermally engineered insulated EcoStuds mechanically fixed to the inside of the external wall. High performance water repellent glass mineral wool EcoBatts are then friction fitted in-between. This is then finished with a vapour check plasterboard and all edges and joints sealed for air-tightness. The system has been designed to simplify the process of upgrading solid masonry walls, while delivering high levels of thermal performance and can be installed by any competent builder. Although the IWI system is applied internally, to achieve current building regulations only 75mm of insulation is required, so very little space is lost – a small price to pay considering the long-term thermal payback.
As well providing an effective energy consumption solution, the IWI system benefits from unparalleled environmental credentials in its own right. Part of Knauf Insulation’s Earthwool range of glass mineral wool products, it is made using ECOSE Technology – a groundbreaking formaldehyde-free binding process, derived from rapidly renewable, bio based materials instead of traditional petro-based chemicals.
David Sherlock, Divisional Head for Solid Wall Insulation for installers, Mark Group, comments: “Ecostud and Earthwool Ecobatt provided a quick and easy to install option.” With that in place, the walls were finished off using Polyfoam Linerboard and multi purpose sealant.
For the loft space meanwhile, Knauf Insulation’s Earthwool Loft Roll was specified. Compression packed for convenience, this expands on opening and can be layered to the desired thickness for a really effective thermal solution.
With the correct insulation in place, Christ Church was then able to harness the full potential of ground source heat pumps and solar water heating technology, and retain the benefits of using such renewables. Christ Church is now eligible to a funding grant from the Energy Savings Trust’s Green Communities programme.
Tony Morris reflects: “The whole project has been highly successful, and the Knauf Insulation IWI system was a key component in this success. We have new tenants in now, and though we have just gone through one of the longest and hardest winters for some time, they have indicated the property is very comfortable to live in.”
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