Styrofoam in first Passivhaus certified rural affordable housing scheme
Dow Building Solutionscontact supplier
Floormate, a Styrofoam insulation product from Dow Building Solutions, used at Ravenscroft in Wimbish, Essex in the first UK rural affordable housing scheme to gain Passivhaus certification.
Floormate™ 300-A is produced at Dow’s facility at King’s Lynn and was installed below the concrete floor slabs of the 14 dwelling development.
The Hastoe Housing Association development provides affordable homes for a rural community - whilst at the same time achieving high levels of sustainability.
The houses, a mixture of homes for rent and for shared ownership, are designed to be super energy efficient, and not only comply with Passivhaus principles but also meet the demands of Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
According to Hastoe
- buildings use around a 10th of the energy used by a typical UK house
- average gas bills in the summer of 2011 were £12/quarter, inclusive of all heating and hot water
Passivhaus standard buildings
- retain heat from passive solar gain
- eliminate the need for central heating and reducing fuel costs
- standard requires very high levels of insulation
- makes the most of solar energy and superb sealing throughout
Chris Parsons of Parsons & Whittley architects, the Norfolk-based designers of the scheme, explains, ’As well as air tightness we needed to achieve U-values below 0.1 W/m2K for the walls, roof and floor in order to meet Passivhaus standards - which meant specifying effective insulation throughout.
’Installing insulation below the slab helps create an ‘envelope’ of continuous insulation which minimises heat loss, requiring a material which can maintain strength and good thermal performance, even when used externally’.
Floormate 300-A is highly durable with excellent moisture-resistance and compressive strength, enabling the insulation to perform outside the waterproofing envelope.
’We’re continuing to see interest from architects and developers in building methods such as Passivhaus, but it requires a different way of thinking when it comes to maximizing the thermal performance of the building fabric,’ said Matthew Dyke, Account Manager for Dow Building Solutions.
’Installing insulation below the slab helps to avoid thermal bridges at floor and wall junctions and makes the most of precious internal space, which is why it’s becoming recognised as a more effective way of insulating new buildings’.
Parsons & Whittley’s design for the development, which was built by Bramall Construction and assessed against Passivhaus standards by specialist consultancy Inbuilt, was based on
- Floormate 300-A insulation running below the entire floor slab
- solid aircrete external walls wrapped in over 250mm of foam insulation
- conventional insulated ceilings
Floormate 300-A is available in thicknesses ranging from 50mm to 200mm, and has a design load of 130 kN/m2.
The material is manufactured using CO2 as a blowing agent in order to create insulation foam with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of less than five.
To find out more about the Wimbish Passivhaus development visit the microsite at www.wimbishpassivhaus.com .For more details on stockists of Floormate 300-A and other insulation products, contact Dow Building Solutions by email on FKLMAIL@dow.com and one of the account managers will be in touch, or visit www.styrofoam.co.uk .
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