Practical guide: How to prevent energy loss at design stage
Building owners and landlords are increasingly looking for a property that is cheap to run as well as comfortable to live or work in. It’s a great way of protecting against the future.
Below is the guide to prevent energy loss at the design stage
1. Right calculations
Good design detail starts with the energy loss calculation, considering thermal bridges as well as plane elements of the construction. These take the form of repeating bridges, such as mortar joints and timber studs, and nonrepeating bridges such as junctions with walls and the roof, floors and windows.
2. Effective barriers
Once the scale of the challenge is established, tackling energy loss is not just a matter of insulation quality. It’s about creating complete air barriers.
Heat travels through walls, ceilings and floors, so properly insulating floors over unheated areas is absolutely crucial. To do the job properly, insulating the room below is in some cases not adequate – insulation has to touch the floor of the room above.
When it comes to walls, if both sheathing and cavity insulation are specified, they need to be used together as a system.
3. Heat without moisture
Improving thermal performance is not without its potential pitfalls, which must be avoided if the industry is to deliver future-proof buildings. Condensation and mould can be unfortunate side-effects of insulation jobs – but they can be tackled at the design stage with the proper attention to detail.
Minding the gaps should be the first thing to concentrate on. You should minimise thermal bridging at junctions and openings to prevent localised condensation. Look for the ‘linear thermal transmittance value’ or psi value when planning a project.
“Once the scale of the challenge is established, tackling energy loss is not just a matter of insulation quality.”
4. The right materials for the job
Even though getting the installation right is paramount, quality materials still count, and specifying the right quantities of the right product at the earliest possible instance will both deliver prime performance, and minimise the costs of doing so.
The best insulation products are those which reduce energy loss and gain while stopping air flow. We use Greenstuf and Bradford Gold insulation product range to provide a range of options for roofs, walls and floors, from residential, rentals & commercial property insulation.
5. Consult the tried and tested
While there are a number of aspects to consider in creating building air-tightness and thermal performance that avoids possible knock-on effects, complexity can be minimised.
Overall energy loss is the total amount of linear thermal bridging, as well as depending on the construction type and insulation performance – the R-value. Keeping these factors in mind should always form the basis of the work to come. Then, to create designs that be easily applied on site, it’s important to consult proprietary manufacturer construction details.
6. Don’t underestimate the impact of design aspects
Matching a building’s characteristics with the products that will provide practical thermal solutions is the next step.
For example, the material being used for the building’s frames is a key factor. Much more heat flows through metal studs and joists than wood, so creating a continuous sheath outside the wall frame, between the metal framing pieces and exterior siding, may well be required.
From design through to completion, keeping heat in is indisputably something of a numbers game, but it’s more than that. It’s about matching a basic understanding of a building, with the practical tools to build insulation barriers that will last.
7. So why to wait? Can we help you to save energy?
To do this, you have got to cut heat loss, and the best place to start is at the design stage.
If you’re looking to ensure minimum energy loss, the importance of getting the details right at the start of a project cannot be understated.
Talk to our insulation experts to help you to design energy efficient and comfortable place. Call us on 0800111785