Icynene spray foam insulation
Traditional stone buildings make up a large proportion of the UK’s building stock, and so it is important to focus on improving the energy efficiency of these buildings. The challenge is to make improvements that do not alter the external appearance or compromise valuable period features.
Icynene spray foam insulation was identified as the most suitable product for the traditional market. Its unique open cell and vapour permeable nature ensures no build-up of moisture. An added benefit is that this smart, environmentally responsible alternative to standard chemically-based products is water-blown and contains no HFCs or CFCs.
The initial trial involved one room of a large house. Skirting boards were removed intact to ensure the void between the lath and plaster linings and the solid stone masonry wall was clear of debris. Subsequently, 10mm pipes were inserted into the void from the attic space above and the insulation was injected down the pipes to fill the void. The delivery of the insulation was measured and distributed evenly over the area of the wall. Careful attention was paid to ensuring that no pressure was exerted on the lath and plaster lining to avoid causing any damage.
Separate research which involved monitoring and simulating alternative solutions further improved the process, after which, insulation was successfully installed throughout the entire property.
Acknowledgement to all academics and industrial partners: Mr and Mrs Gibbon-Wood – the owners of the building, Dr M. Abdel-Wahab, Dr A. Owen, Dr N. Turner, C. Levi, D. Chouman, D. Herrera, J. Hood, S. Faulkner-Lee, G. Sheridan, and R. Gilmore.
This innovation was winner of the Highly Commended award, Innovation Achiever's Award, in the 2014 CIOB International Innovation & Research Award.
The judges said, "The innovation shows a non-intrusive method of improving insulation in historic buildings where interior walls are in a delicate condition. The judging panel was attracted to the idea of applying an existing insulation material by means of a new method of application. The innovation is made all the more convincing as a result of the thought given to the skills development required for replicating this method across the sector.”
Featured articles and news
There were over 1,400 new articles added to Designing Buildings Wiki in 2016. Here are the top 15 most popular.
MVRDV reveal designs for a strange holiday villa in Taiwan.
New milestone achieved with launch of new safety lanyard for working from height.
A quick introductory article about preliminaries in construction.
Brandenburg Gate - an historic structure that went from symbolising German partition to European unity.
A discussion between construction key players and leading insurers on the future outlook for construction insurance.
New guide from BSRIA on building performance evaluation in domestic buildings.
Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners complete new trio of towers at Sydney Harbour.
With a new government consultation underway, ICE look at creating a smarter, more flexible energy system.
British Antarctic Survey announces research station is to relocate 23km due to growing crack in the ice shelf.
A great example of mimetic architecture with the Fish Building of India.