Knauf Insulation’s ThermoShell® Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) system has been installed in an ambitious project to refurbish almost 600 social housing properties, across six tower blocks in north Glasgow.
The project is expected to make significant savings for residents in heating bills (the Energy Saving Trust advises that this can be up to £460 per year for solid wall insulation), in an area that is heavily affected by fuel poverty.
Robert Tamburrini, CEO of NG Homes comments: “NG Homes has a proven track record of investing in our property and this insulation will make an appreciable difference for our residents. It will improve the energy efficiency of the homes, make them warmer and reduce fuel bills.
“With so much invested in the project, we wanted to be sure that we were choosing the most suitable system – Knauf Insulation is a strong brand with an excellent reputation for high performance insulation solutions and this was a key factor in the decision making process.”
Following close consultation with contractors City Technical Services (UK) Ltd, Knauf Insulation’s ThermoShell IWI system was specified for use across the project. The challenges of such an extensive installation were many – for example, the installation faced restrictions created by the enclosed working space of a 24 storey tower block, in which resident access must be maintained at all times.
Kenny Henderson, Managing Director of City Technical Services (UK) Ltd, comments: “There were 586 properties to be tackled on this phase of the project, with the aim of completing as many of those as possible by the CERT cut off date of 31st March. Therefore, we needed a system that was simple and quick to install – whilst delivering reliable thermal performance. The Knauf Insulation ThermoShell system is such an easy system to use that it was the natural choice – and it has really helped make the project a success.”
Knauf Insulation’s ThermoShell IWI system has been developed specifically to be the most effective solution to ‘whole house – low energy’ refurbishments, delivering exceptional thermal performance and comfort through a very straightforward and easy to use installation process.
The simplicity of the ThermoShell IWI system allows a competent tradesman to become an approved installer, and to install and finish the system using a traditional plaster skim finish or dry lining techniques. No scaffolding is required and the system can be installed on a room-by-room basis, or as part of a whole house refurbishment plan.
The use of thermally engineered insulated studs (EcoStud) eliminates the thermal bridging issue associated with traditional systems incorporating timber and metal studs. The extruded polystyrene content (XPS) of EcoStuds provide a high level of thermal and moisture resistance, as well as offering a high level of compressive strength.
The system incorporates Earthwool® EcoBatts, high performance, water repellent glass mineral wool slabs, that are friction fitted between the EcoStuds to completely fill the available space and deliver benefits over other systems that use rigid insulation boards, which have the potential to cause air leakage if they are not cut accurately to fill the inter stud space. Overall, the ThermoShell IWI system is almost 13 per cent more thermally efficient than a timber stud system of the same thickness.
The system is only available to approved installers that have completed the ThermoShell IWI training course. Training is available at Knauf Insulation’s dedicated ThermoShell training academy in Birmingham. Knauf Insulation offers a 25-year guarantee on the system – a key requirement under the new Green Deal legislation. This new scheme provides a funding mechanism for energy efficiency retrofits, with a particular emphasis on upgrading the thermal performance of solid wall properties – making the ThermoShell IWI system and ideal solution.
Having decided that the ThermoShell IWI system was the most appropriate solution for the NG Homes project, all of City Technical Services (UK) Ltd’s engineers, including Managing Director Kenny Henderson, completed the training.
“For us, the biggest challenge was the fact that we had never done anything like this before and so the training was quite intense – but I think that speaks volumes for the simplicity of the Knauf Insulation system, as we’ve been able to go on and master the system with excellent results,” Kenny concluded.
Robert Tamburrini continues: “Fuel poverty is a big issue in Glasgow and in Scotland as a whole, and this system has made an appreciable difference to our residents. Their houses are warmer, their fuel bills are lower and I think their general quality of life has improved.
“We know already from the information that we’re getting back from tenants that it’s made a vast difference from day one of the installation. Several residents have commented that they are setting their heating to a much lower level and some have even switched it off completely. Others have commented on the difference it has made to the acoustics, stating that noise from neighbours and the road outside has also been greatly reduced.
“The project has been so successful in fact that residents that were initially resistant to the installation are now coming forward to have it installed – which is a fantastic endorsement of both the Knauf Insulation ThermoShell IWI System and the installation by City Technical Services (UK) Ltd.”