When the government instructed people to work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, the gym where Wirral-based personal trainer Megan Hewitt worked closed down. So, Megan and partner Dan decided to build a fitness studio in their garden to allow her to conduct video personal training sessions during lockdown. To ensure the 6m x 3m timber frame building would be suitable for use all year round, it was essential to insulate the roof and walls.
The couple researched various types of insulation online and narrowed it down to Mineral Wool because of its thermal performance and fire safety. They had three other considerations: it had to be good at blocking noise, have excellent sustainability credentials, and be easy to install, as they planned to fit it themselves.
Just one product for all applications
Their research showed that Knauf Insulation 50mm and 70mm OmniFit Slab ticked all the boxes. It is a multi-application slab, meaning the couple didn’t need to purchase separate products for the roof and walls. What’s more, it offers a higher level of thermal performance than alternative versatile slabs on the market.
It is manufactured from Glass Mineral Wool and is non-combustible with a Euroclass A1 Reaction to Fire Classification, meaning it will not add to the development or spread of a fire should it occur.
As any exercise fanatic knows, a good workout needs a strong soundtrack and Megan wanted to motivate clients without becoming a noisy neighbour. OmniFit Slab provides excellent levels of acoustic performance thanks to its open fibre structure that absorbs sound waves.
Insulation that doesn’t cost the earth
Sustainability was another important factor for the couple. Like all of Knauf Insulation’s Glass Mineral Wool insulation, it is manufactured from up to 80% recycled content, mostly used glass bottles and jars that would otherwise go to landfill.
It is also manufactured with ECOSE® Technology, Knauf Insulation’s unique bio-based binder, which contains no added formaldehyde or phenol. ECOSE® Technology is made from natural raw materials that are rapidly renewable and is 70% less energy-intensive to manufacture than traditional binders, so it is more environmentally-friendly.
Products made with ECOSE® Technology are soft to touch and easy to handle. They generate low levels of dust and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and have been awarded the Eurofins Indoor Air Comfort Gold Standard.
Its softness was a benefit that Megan noticed during installation. She said: “I remember helping my Dad with our ‘old-school’ Mineral Wool loft insulation when I was younger and it was horrible, it irritated my skin for 24 hours after. But the OmniFit was fine – there was no irritation whatsoever.”
Installation was no sweat
A tight fit between joints is essential to eliminate gaps that can reduce thermal and acoustic performance, but with some types of insulation it can be difficult to achieve the high quality installation required. OmniFit Slab is manufactured to provide friction fitting to ensure all joints are sealed correctly. Despite having no previous experience, Megan, Dan and a friend fitted the 40m2 OmniFit Slab themselves over the course of a day.
“Before fitting the insulation, we watched an installation video on YouTube,” said Megan. “We followed the techniques shown and it was really easy to install. We had no problems at all.”
“I’m delighted with the finished result. When the fitness studio was finished, we kept turning up the stereo to see whether the insulation really was soundproof – even at full blast, you couldn’t hear the music outside. It’s amazing.”
“Before we put the insulation in, I was exercising in winter gear with the radiator on full – now the studio is lovely and warm. I’m back in vests and I haven’t had to put the heating on at all.”
Thanks to Knauf Insulation OmniFit Slab, Megan and her clients can enjoy a high energy workout in a warm, safe environment – without disturbing her neighbours. What’s more, the insulation is sustainable and will ensure the studio’s energy consumption and carbon emissions are low over its lifetime.
Note: Megan, Dan and her friend maintained social distancing guidelines during the insulation install. Megan continues to follow government guidelines for the operation of gyms and exercise facilities, conducting her sessions online when in-person training is not possible.