Essex Disability Centre
The Essex Disability Adult Community College in Rochford is a pioneering eco- building built to the Passivhaus Standard, and predicted to operate using only approximately 5 per cent of a traditional building’s energy costs. As a result the project required stringent U-values and environmental standards.
Originally a competitor’s cellulose blown system was specified, but following a need to further reduce the heat losses from walls and roofs to keep the building safely within the parameters of the Passivhaus Standard, and without increasing the thickness of the walls, the specification was switched to Knauf Insulation’s unique and innovative offering - Perimeter Plus™. This system provided the excellent R values (thermal resistance values) required - 10.00m 2 K/W in the walls and 12.85m 2 K/W in the roof.
The BBA certified product was installed by Miller Pattison who regularly use Knauf Insulation’s products. The project required 240m 2 of Perimeter Plus blown into 350mm void areas between Larsen Truss Walls, which had previously been sheeted up as per the specification. In addition, 755m 2 of Perimeter Plus was blown into a 450mm void area between the roof’s I beams on the two blocks of the disability centre.
Richard Boyd, CEO at Essex Disability comments: “We wanted to ensure the building’s energy consumption was extremely low, wasting as little energy as possible. Utility and energy bills can be a drain on a charity’s resources, so we wanted to have a building that had minimal associated costs and created 95 per cent less CO2 than a similar ‘average UK stock’ building - performing at the top rating for the Code for Sustainable Homes.” The project also drew on strategic and detailed ‘CarbonLite’ guidance provided by the AECB – the Association for Environment Conscious Building.
Perimeter Plus is a patented, specialist, high performance loose glass mineral wool, that is designed to be blown into timber frame walls from the interior during construction. Perimeter Plus has optimal thermal properties and excellent coverage and blowing characteristics. The product is blown in behind translucent netting, which gives visual assurance of a quality installation in every area.
The advantage of Perimeter Plus is its ability to compress around pipes, wiring and other services and fittings, ensuring a complete fill, thereby maximising thermal and acoustic performance as well as fast installation of wide cavities. Unlike other blown insulation systems, Perimeter Plus does not require adhesives or additional moisture meaning that working even in a cluttered internal environment does not present a problem, and there is are no associated settlement problems. Plus, there is zero waste and no need to allow additional time for cleaning up of the working area.
The build for the charitable disability centre was for ‘Exceptional Energy Performance and Sustainability’, which required the building to be constructed using locally sourced and sustainable resources including recycled materials. In addition to the fundamental and more cost effective measures, such as dramatically minimised heat loss, high levels of passive solar gain and design to minimise overheating risks, the project also made use of of renewable energy, through the installation of a solar pholtaic system mounted on the large ‘solar pergola’ and solar thermal tubes on the building’s roof.
Images courtesy of Green Building Store