The heat efficiency of a Victorian mid terraced house in south-east London has been dramatically improved thanks in part to the introduction of Spacetherm® WL insulation.
The challenge of dealing with heating inefficiencies, major heat loss and high heating costs are a common problem with many Victorian buildings and solid wall dwellings.
Property owner Gustaaf Houtman explains, “previously, heat loss and maintaining comfortable levels of heat throughout the individual rooms of the property were a real challenge, adding significant costs to our energy bills. For example, in the mornings, the kitchen would require a long time to improve the heat level, and would often be around 16/17°C. Following the introduction of the improvements, it is now possible to achieve a much more comfortable level of 19-21°C very quickly and to maintain this as required. The front rooms too were very cold and yet now easily be brought to levels of 23-26°C and beyond even when outside temperature is sub-zero.”
“The approach taken to achieve the improvements was threefold: first, depending on requirement, either Spacetherm WL (Wall Liner) or Spacetherm Directfix were fitted to the internal surfaces of the external walls of all rooms. In some areas, insulation was placed with the floors enabling the ground floor heating to become more efficient, and finally, new, more efficient radiators were fitted to each room. In combination with Genius Hub, the automated heating system that adjusts heat delivery to usage patterns, the improvements in heat performance have been amazing, and provide clear evidence that it is possible to transform a Victorian building into a very effective heat efficient property.”
Spacetherm WL (Wall Liner) is a high-performance laminate specifically designed to be fixed to the internal surfaces of existing solid walls without the need for mechanical fixings. Spacetherm WL consists of Spacetherm aerogel insulation blanket bonded to 3mm Magnesium Oxide Board (MgO), for use in applications where improved thermal performance is required with limited space.
All Spacetherm WL insulation for the project was supplied through Passivhaus Homes, a specialist in Passivhaus housing and solutions. At just 13mm thick, the use of Spacetherm WL meant there was little negative impact, given the already existing limited floor space, and making it ideal for refurbishment projects in London and major cities where space is at a premium.
Typically, a solid wall will have a U value of around 2.1 W/m2K. Following the application of Spacetherm WL, this can be reduced to around 0.8 W/m2K, dependent on the wall structure.
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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.