Upgrading social housing insulation to the Gold standard

25/08/2021

  • Older housing stock can present challenges when upgrading to modern building standards
  • Upgrading insulation is a very effective way of increasing the energy efficiency of older properties
  • Ever more stringent U Value requirements need to be met

In recent years, owing to ever-tightening U value requirements coupled with the considerable amount of aging housing stock in the UK (all with limited insulation), there has never been a greater need for a more open dialogue among councils regarding the sub-standard state of UK housing stock. As a result, more authorities are considering upgrades to increase thermal energy efficiency, and in doing so, improve the health and wellbeing of their tenants.

tlx gold boarded roof projectInsulation is one of the easiest ways to increase the energy efficiency of our housing stock, especially in older buildings where insulation may not have featured in the original build. It also has numerous benefits including the reduction of damp, the elimination of condensation risk and an increase to the EPC rating of the building.

Although older buildings greatly benefit from the addition of insulation, they tend to be among the hardest to insulate owing to their various methods of construction. As was the case for social housing in the London Borough of Southwark. This area is home to some of the wealthiest businesses in London, alongside world renowned landmarks such as the Shard and the Tate Modern; however, it also has the highest proportion of social housing in the county. So, when the local council were tasked with the upgrade of pre-WW2 social houses to make ‘every home warm, dry and safe’ they were keen to address the lack of insulation. And this was a considerable challenge, as the upper flats were extremely cold with boarded roof constructions. Unable to work from the inside, the council needed a fix which would cause the least amount of disruption for the tenants whilst providing the greatest thermal benefit.

With prospective restrictions in terms of access, the main contractor needed a workable solution. So in conjunction with our technical department and the local branch of Minster, a non-invasive, and therefore satisfactory solution was agreed.

Upgrading to the Gold standard:tlx gold used in keepmoat estate renovations

tlx gold boarded roof detailSince the roof could be raised, it was possible to fit a 50mm counter-batten above the board, applying TLX Gold 2-in-1 insulating breathable membrane above. The use of TLX Gold significantly reduces the thickness of PIR board required to meet building standards, since it has a shiny Gold under surface that reflects heat and improves the R value of the unventilated air layer underneath it. Since internal access was limited, no additional insulation could be used, so with a single layer of TLX Gold combining a breathable membrane with insulating properties, achieving a U value of 0.69w/m2k was a substantial improvement.

Ease of Installation:

With the use of integrated tape on the overlap flap, two sections of TLX Gold can be joined together with ease, making for a quick and simple installation and minimal disruption to inhabitants in the process.  

Preventing Condensation:

TLX Gold insulating breathable membrane occupies the coldest part of the roof profile, therefore, since it is fully breathable, any water vapour traveling into the roof space from the inside can escape through its various layers. This solution gives no risk of condensation, even without the use of a vapour barrier.  

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Read the full case study here