London based housing association, Guinness South – part of The Guinness Partnership, embarked on an ambitious energy refurbishment program across 80 of its Victorian street properties to improve the thermal performance, using Knauf Insulation’s ThermoShell® Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) system.
As one of the largest affordable housing and care providers in the country, Guinness South looked to upgrade its tenants’ kitchens and bathrooms on the Mortlake Estate, in West London to provide them with modern facilities and warmer homes.
Rolston Dennis, Planned Maintenance Surveyor for Guinness South said: “Although our initial plan was to install new bathroom suites and kitchen units, we recognised the need to upgrade the energy performance overall and thought this was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of reducing our residents’ energy consumption across the board.
“We needed to ensure that the suppliers we used to upgrade the thermal efficiencies of our housing stock would be technically robust enough to support the project, from delivery and installation, through to technical support and system flexibility – should we need to either upscale or downscale accordingly,” explains Rolston. “Therefore it was a last minute risk-managed decision by the principal main contractor to bring Knauf Insulation on board as a supplier that would be able to deliver and supply on all these counts.
“Knauf Insulation gave the comfort and reassurance that the system was not just for sale; that it was proven to work, they had the technical expertise to support this and they were able to effectively train the main contractor to install the product, thereby underwriting the credibility of the product and not compromising on the warranty.
“There were also more practical considerations when it came to choosing the right system as with all our properties occupied by tenants, we had to explore a range of insulation systems to find one that would minimise disturbance for residents. Knauf Insulation’s ThermoShell IWI system was perfect for this project as it is simple to install and could be fitted on a room-by-room basis. Furthermore, the ThermoShell IWI system is very flexible and has allowed for plumbing, heating, electrical and carpentry contractors to work around each other. As all contractors have been able to coordinate with one another on the project, it has meant that the works carried out have not affected our residents’ wellbeing and living space – a very important aspect for us.”
Specifically designed for upgrading solid wall properties, Knauf Insulation’s ThermoShell IWI system is BBA certified and provides the most effective solution to ‘whole house-low energy’ refurbishments, by delivering outstanding 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 and installed accurately. Overall, the ThermoShell IWI system is almost 13 per cent more thermally efficient than a timber stud system of the same thickness.
Rolston continued: “The materials used in the Knauf Insulation ThermoShell IWI system are of a very high quality and strength. For example, the EcoStuds are able to hold weights of up to 200kg, which is exactly what we required when we were fixing kitchen cupboards to the walls that would be filled with tenants’ groceries.
“Overall, Knauf Insulation’s expert technical support and accredited products give us great confidence that our customers will be able to benefit from warmer homes for years to come and ultimately have lower energy bills.”