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Steel framed apartment block under wraps with Icynene insulation


External view of the 5 story, 32 apartment building.


Contractors chose high performance spray foam system from Icynene to solve a tricky insulation challenge in a five-story steel framed apartment building in South West London.


For a solution, Devcon brought in specialist insulation contractors Ecosprayfoam Systems who recommended the use of a spray applied insulation from Icynene.


Comprising 32, two and three-bedroom apartments, the building’s internal structure is a complex lattice-work or galvanised C-section steel framing. Whilst quick to design and construct, installing the required thermal insulation and preventing air leakage in the finished building proved a headache for Property Development and Construction contractors, Devcon.


“Fitting conventional rigid board or mineral wool insulation into the steel framing was pretty much impossible”, explained Devcon Construction Director, David Butler. “There would have been too many fiddly cuts and small fillets. We would never have made it work to a high enough standard”, he added.


DIFFICULT TO INSULATE EFFECTIVELY


Steel frames buildings are generally more difficult to insulate than comparable masonry or timber framed structures. Steel conducts heat 300-400 times faster than timber and can reduce the efficiency of wall insulation by as much as 60% because of thermal bridging - heat taking the most conductive path to dissipate, with steel being an excellent conductor of heat.


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Icynene is a breathable, open-cell spray foam insulation which is applied using a pressurised gun system. It is applied as a two-component mixture that come together at the tip of a gun forming a foam that expands 100-fold within seconds of application, sealing all gaps, service holes and hard to reach spaces, virtually eliminating cold bridging and air leakage.


Icynene foam is an incredibly ‘searching’ material that gets into and seals tiny voids that would otherwise allow air leakage through the structure, and with it, heat.


FIRST CHOICE INSULATION SOLUTION


According to Muhamet Sylejmani of Ecosprayfoam Systems, Icynene is the first-choice solution for steel framed buildings of this type. “Icynene is compatible with light gauge steel structures. The foam does not retain moisture and there is no risk of degradation of the galvanic coating. It’s also completely inert and will not create any chemical reaction with either the steel or the coating”, he explained.


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