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Choosing The Right Thermal Insulation

Severe weather can have a huge impact on buildings and it is crucial to ensure that your home or office is structured to be able to handle intense weather conditions, with proper insulation to provide a protective barrier from the temperature outside. While planning to insulate a building, it is important to understand the different types of insulation and the effects that conduction and convection have on the building’s energy efficiency and comfort.

There are five major forms of insulation; foam, fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool and polyisocyanurate.

Foam insulation comes in two forms, injection and spray which can be either open-cell spray or closed-cell spray. Open-cell is a lighter, more pliable material and closed-cell is a heavier, denser structure that is more resilient to harsher weather conditions. Foam spray is used in new construction to spray in an open cavity in a liquid state and then expands to fill every gap and crevice while injection foam is pumped into walls and ceilings with existing cavities.

Fiberglass is a batt of material made from extremely fine glass fibres that can be inserted between studs, joists and beams, trapping pockets of air and keeping the room warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Cellulose is made up of roughly 75% recycled paper, usually post-consumer waste newsprint, while the other 15% is fire retardant such as ammonium sulfate. This material can either be blown in with a machine or spray applied and helps to increase heat retention as well as dampening the noise levels.

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Mineral Wool is a fibre material that is spun from molten minerals and can be supplied in sheets or rolls in various widths and lengths. This wool’s open-cell structure is ideal for preventing convection through the entrapment of air. Mineral wool is reliable, cost-effective and holds a key part in the industry’s progress to better sustainability.

Polyisocyanurate (polyiso) is typically a foam board used as rigid insulation, acting as a core that is placed between two durable aluminium sheets to create a tough, lightweight insulation board. In addition to this, during the board’s lifetime, it will save 80 times more energy than what was needed to produce it.

Today’s construction workers are pressured to be greener and to engineer a lower carbon environment to progress towards greater sustainability and some of the larger insulation manufacturers have already made steps to reduce packaging, energy waste during transportation and to recycle pre and post-manufacture. Insulation can be proposed as sustainable through the idea that the products will save more energy/carbon over the installation lifetime than the cost of manufacture.

Having insulation in your property provides many benefits, however the number of financial benefits can vary depending on the circumstances for example, the state of your property and the type of insulation.

The scale of insulation material starts from the basic mineral wools and climbs to polyiso, with the costs varying from £2 per m2 and gradually increasing to around £20 per m2 for the best-performing options.

When looking for insulation, it is necessary to determine the factors that will affect your building costs and structure and as a key element to any building structure, insulation deserves the right amount of consideration to make sure that your home will hold a comfortable temperature throughout every season. Make sure that you approach this task, fully informed and with a vast understanding of the insulation that you need to install in your building.


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