Roofshield, the unique vapour and air permeable pitched roof underlay has been specified as part of an exciting new project to demonstrate how the UK’s vast stock of 1960’s housing can be renovated, retrofitted and fully upgraded to become energy efficient, healthy, high quality homes of the future.
The West Wittering Beach House, near Chichester in West Sussex is an exciting new project by 50 Degrees North Architects based in London. The beach house is a typical 1960’s brick and block building, and will be completely renovated and upgraded to vastly improve the property’s energy efficiency, and reduce CO2 emissions. The property’s owner Leigh Bowen, founder and director of 50 Degrees North Architects, will lead the project.
Commenting on the need for retrofitting as opposed to rebuilding, Leigh Bowen says: “Reassessing our built environment is vital in the fight against climate change as about 45% of CO2 emissions in the UK come from energy used in our homes and buildings. It is essential that we seek to reduce these emissions. 1960’s housing is typically poorly constructed with no insulation. It is vital that we seriously look at how Britain can reduce these emissions from our 1960’s housing stock. The project at West Wittering is about energy efficiency, but it’s also about creating high quality, healthy places to live.”
Roofshield has long been recognised as one of the highest performing roofing membrane solutions, and has become the preferred choice of architects, developers and contractors. Leigh explains his reasons for the specification. “As we look to create buildings which are better insulated, more airtight and more energy efficient, taking the management of moisture into account in the design process becomes more critical. I chose Roofshield because of the superior quality and breathability. It has a extremely high degree of vapour permeability, as well as air permeability, so will still perform in conditions in which air tight alternatives will not.”
The majority of vapour permeable underlays use an airtight VP film layer to achieve their performance, whilst Roofshield’s patented SMS (Spunbond, Meltblown, Spunbond) structure allows high levels of airflow, in addition to the transport of moisture vapour, making the formation of condensation in the roof space virtually impossible. It has long been recognised that the correct management of moisture vapour within buildings is an important aspect of ensuring the longevity of not only the building fabric, but also the health of the occupants.
In addition to Roofshield, contractor Bartos Building installed Procheck 500, a strong reinforced, polyethylene, vapour control layer. Procheck 500 is a highly effective vapour control layer, for use within roof and wall constructions to prevent warm, moist air escaping from inside the building and condensing within the insulation and also creates an airtight seal.
The use of Procheck 500 reduces the risks of condensation, maintaining the highest level of moisture resistance throughout the house, providing protection for many years to come. Additional materials built into the energy effi cient design included high quality insulation, double glazed windows, low energy lighting, intelligent heating controls, solar PV panels to trickle charge the hot water heating system, and even an electric vehicle charge point.
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For any building to have an energy efficient, healthy, moisture free building envelope there is a clear need to manage the balance of Heat, Air and Moisture movement (HAMM) throughout the building’s life cycle from design, construction, completion and use.