As well as building regulation compliance, builders are looking for added bonuses when they specify insulation – such as increased useable footprint, lower initial outlay, reduced energy bills and ease, speed and cleanliness of installation.
You can get them all with the CE marked NHBC and LABC compliant Actis Hybrid range.
The “must haves”
Overall thermal efficiency – depending on the combination of products used and the thickness of the insulation element, Hybrid U-values can reach 0.09 – although currently such a value is not required. The Hybrid range - honeycomb design Hybris insulation, vapour control layer HControl Hybrid and breather membrane Boost ‘R Hybrid - installed in a standard timber framed wall can offer a U-value of 0.17 on an 89mm stud with 45mm Hybris.
Thermal bridging – revised part L regulations require avoidance of thermal bridging through reasonably continuous insulation. Compressible, flexible insulation is much more forgiving. There are no gaps as there could be if cutting a solid piece of insulation to fit an awkward shape. All three Actis Hybrid products combine both insulation and air tightness properties.
The “good to haves”
Footprint – traditionally it was believed that to achieve greater thermal performance construction depths have to increase – which meant useable footprints were smaller. Thinner Actis Hybrid insulation means this is no longer the case, allowing builders to maximise their square footage.
The “would be nice to haves”
Cleanliness - dust and fibres can be a problem with some forms of insulation. With the Actis Hybrid range none are produced which means there’s no need for protective clothing.
Ease of installation – Is your chosen insulation easy to cut with standard tools? And how much ‘R-value’ can you fit on a lorry or over your shoulder while climbing up and down a ladder? One self-builder described using the Actis Hybrid range as “rolling it out and sticking it in!” It’s really easy to cut and fit – you can squash it into gaps which means absolute precision in cutting isn’t essential. It’s light to carry and you can pack plenty of it in a van.
A range of how to video installation guides are available on the Actis website http://hybrid.insulation-actis.com/cutting-hcontrol-hybrid/ - and You Tube channel - http://bit.ly/1Ie3Lt6 . There’s also a step-by-step photo guide on the website.
In addition, there’s an online U-value simulator - http://hybrid.insulation-actis.com.
Speed of installation - Builders have reported labour savings of around 25% when using Actis Hybrid products and even more in some cases compared with traditional methods.
Cost – reducing man-hours by using quicker to install products is an obvious way to cut costs. Builders report labour savings of around 25% and minimal wastage when using Actis Hybrid. Additionally and perhaps surprisingly, the materials themselves are around 16% cheaper than many traditional alternatives.
Actis provides U-value calculations and condensation risk analyses, thermal modelling of junctions, 2D U-value calculations, an architect’s manual comprising common build-ups, site visits for self-builders.
What Actis customers have to say
* Canterbury builder Simon Day built a three storey house to rent out as an investment and wanted maximum energy efficiency to attract tenants as well as requiring materials which were quick, easy and clean to install.
“I was stunned at just how quickly the property warms up and how well the heat was retained. The ease of installing the products meant my labour was reduced by around 25% compared to installing traditional insulation materials.
“There are no fibres and no dust is created when you cut it, which means I didn't need a respiratory mask or any special clothes – I was almost as clean when I got home as when I started the job.
“The material costs were approximately three quarters of what I would have spent if I’d used traditional insulation materials to achieve the same thermal performance.”
* Lincoln builder Brian Goodwin who built an energy efficient dormer bungalow to maximise his rental returns as he was charging an all inclusive rent said: “I have no doubt that this type of insulation is the way forward. It is so much easier to install. I am sure the number of new builds using this type of insulation will increase rapidly based on its performance and ease of use.
* Happy self-builder Phil Clabburn who bought Hybrid via Jewson IOW said: “The insulation is phenomenal , We still have no heating and the bedrooms lose less than one degree overnight, spot on!”