Matlock County Hall: a building with a 'thermal' history

Matlock County Hall: a building with a 'thermal' history

AKA 'Smedley's Hydro' with its 'water cure'

The East Wing of Matlock County Hall, a Grade II Listed building, is quite plain compared with the rest of the building, but the surprising feature of a chimney at one end indicates its unusual history. Dating from 1853, for over 100 years it was known as Smedley’s Hydro, where the rich and famous came to take the ‘water cure’ of various types of spa bath.

tlx gold used as a single layer to achieve U-0.69w/mkFrom chimney warmth to insulating warmth

The chimney is above the former boiler house that produced the gallons of hot water needed for up to 400 occupants to have daily spa baths. Today, the aim is to keep the occupants warm at the least cost, and to make use of the roof spaces under the gabled ceilings for office accommodation. The re-roofing of the building offered an opportunity to rethink how this might be better achieved. The roof is quite a complex construction, with many valleys and rooflights. The existing interior insulation was insignificant.



The Problem: The roof height could not be raised, the numerous junctions are sites for thermal bridging, the rafters are only 70mm deep, and the interior needed to have minimal disturbance. How could heat loss be minimised given these constraints?

The Solution: TLX Gold, which provided a significant improvement in insulation – from an estimated U=2.5 down to 0.66. Fitted by draping over the rafters, it reduces radiation heat loss across the air space underneath, and conductive losses
TLX Gold draped u value 0.69
through thermal bridging are minimised because a continuous insulation layer can be achieved. Since the product is fully vapour-permeable – the only product of this type with full LABC Registered Details - there is no risk of condensation. The days when a guest had to pay two shillings per day to have a fire in the room are long gone!


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