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friendly. However, SWI installation in construction will have to increase dramatically if the government is to hit its target by 2020. More and more developers and housebuilders are now starting to recognise the advantages of SWI and there are many cost-effective solutions available.

THE SOLUTIONS Solid walls can be insulated with either External Wall Insulation (EWI) or Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) and either option will greatly increase comfort, while also reducing energy bills and the associated environmental impact. IWI typically consists of either

dry lining in the form of flexible thermal linings (commonly known as thermal wallpaper), laminated insulating plasterboard (known as thermal board) or a built-up system using fibrous insulation such as mineral wool held in place using a studwork frame. Flexible thermal linings come

on a roll and are applied like wallpaper and, with some at only 10mm thick, will not cause significant disruption during development construction. These products can be applied

not actually correct. They are not hard to treat, just more expensive to insulate compared to cavity wall insulation and loft insulation. However, the subsequent energy savings are significantly higher. It is therefore a good idea to have SWI installed at the point of construction. Therefore, improving the

thermal efficiency of solid wall properties is an area which has massive potential for the future; particularly as little work has been carried out to date. Around 25,000 properties a year currently receive solid wall insulation (SWI) and the government’s new ‘Green Deal scheme’ announced in June last year due late 2012 will focus on whole houses becoming eco-

to ceilings as well as walls and provide a solution for those developments without a loft space as well as those with solid walls. It can also be applied to the underside of floorboards in a cellar/basement. It is applied using a special adhesive using a roller or a brush and can be easily cut to size using wallpaper shears or scissors. Once the product has been applied it can be painted, papered or even tiled, and can then be re- decorated by the buyer if they wish to do so. These products are only applied to the exterior facing interior walls of the property. Another solution is laminated

insulated plasterboard which normally replaces existing lath and plaster and is fixed directly to the existing brick. Depending on the system, thermal boards can either be screwed or glued using a dry wall adhesive directly onto the brick work just like standard plaster board. It has the advantage that it can be installed room by room, meaning little disruption during construction. It increases internal surface temperature | British Builder & Developer | 21

within a room and also improves response to heating input when heated intermittently. It has the lowest thermal conductivity available and allows installation on damp surfaces without drying periods because it’s hydrophobic. EWI, meanwhile, comprises of

an insulation layer fixed to the existing wall, with a protective render or decorative finish. Dry cladding offers a wide range of finishes such as timber panels, stone or clay tiles, brick slips (brick effect finish) or aluminium panels. EWI increases the thermal quality of the building – particularly relevant when building non-traditional housing. It also overcomes moisture and condensation issues, protects the building envelope and can reduce heating bills by up to 25 per cent, which an eco-conscious buyer will be pleased to hear. Also, EWI greatly enhances a building’s appearance. There are many benefits of

EWI including the fact that no living space is lost. There is minimum disruption for the development as the work can be carried out while work continues

Having the correct insulation installed will not only benefit the developer, but it will make a plot more desirable to a potential buyer

and there is no risk of condensation within the property as it is moved to the outside of the system that is being put in place. Also there is minimal maintenance for the buyer once it has been installed.

THE NEXT STEP A large proportion of householders are unsure if they have insulation measures already installed in their home or whether it reaches the recommended standards. Approved installers provide free home surveys and are experienced to recommend the most suitable and practical insulation options. They also have access to information regarding grants and subsidies to help make the cost of insulating homes even more affordable and accessible to all. Housebuilders and developers

have a responsibility to make sure their developments are using insulation to head towards a eco-conscious home. It may be a while off before we are all producing zero carbon homes, but surely insulation is a easy and necessary step of getting

there? 

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