Losing heat and throwing your money away?

 

Solid Platform Ltd – External Wall Insulation Experts,

Why should I bother

you may ask… the reason is to keep homes warm and cosy while wallets fuller – not stressing about a dreaded heating bill. A recent homes Energy Efficiency study showed that up to 35% of the heat is lost via walls that have not been Insulated. It is estimated that there are almost 7 million homes in the UK with Solid Walls and no cavities and those ones are very hard to heat. EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION or INSULATED RENDER applied to those walls:

1. cut heat loss
2. stop condensation and damp
3. weather-proof the house
4. reduce ever increasing utilities cost

How does it work?

External Wall InsulationExternal Wall Insulation

In order to appreciate fully how it works external wall insulation system or solid wall insulation system, it can be compared to a thermal flask – with an additional protective layer- it keeps our homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer, maintaining a microclimate inside of our homes and protecting us from the moody weather elements. It acts like a natural Air-Conditioning, but without any additional equipment or the electricity usage.

What does it involve?


Insulated Anti Crack Render and Mosaic Finish offers one of the most advanced and innovative approaches:

Step 1: The highest Quality Polystyrene Insulation Boards are applied to the outside of the building using a very powerful adhesive;

Step2: The boards are securely drilled and pinned onto the walls. The base line of the boards, held by a stainless steel or aluminium rails, is placed at the height of the Damp Proofing Course;

Step 3: A first layer of a specialist polymer Bonding Render is applied onto the boards;

Step 4: Reinforcement Fibre Mesh is applied next in a preparation for the final touches;

Step 5: Primer is applied evenly with a roller;

Step 6: The final Weather Proofing and Decorative Render is applied to give a light and slightly textured finish. The finishing layer comes in a range of 2000 colors! Something for everyone to choose from!

The Final Step: (where applicable) the pipes, windows sills (etc) are repositioned to accommodate for the extra depth created by the additional Insulation.

Please, note that only the Highest Quality Render is used: hard wearing, but Flexible and Breathable. The property then is safe from Cracks, costs of Maintenance or Decorating for approximately 20 years.

Can I afford it?

Help Available

1. VAT Subsidies

Now is the chance to take action – as the Government and Prime Minister, recognising the importance of cutting the energy use, are backing up EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION through grants and VAT subsidies. The Chancellor of the Exchequer levied a 5% VAT rate on EXTERNAL  WALL INSULATION SYSTEM, instead of current 20%. This subsidy brings a potential saving of £1200 – £1500 on an average 3-bedroom house.
Business premises are also considered for the scheme via Carbon Trust; however the terms and conditions are more stringent. It would be advisable to contact Carbon Trust directly for more information.

2. Energy Saving Trust

This very much under-used non profit making organisation should be one of the first port of call. It offers a wide range of Services and advice available nationwide; having the Government support means that the Trust has got an access to a vast amount of information and contacts, and is able to help with any energy related enquiries as well as point towards potential funding sources for any type of energy saving schemes, including EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION.

3. Carbon Emission Reduction Scheme C.E.R.T

Under that scheme, all Energy Companies have got a legal obligation to reduce carbon emissions and actively work towards saving the energy used within our homes. If they do not reach set out by the government goals they face major penalties, up to 10% of their global turnover. And therefore in order to hit their targets, the Energy Companies pay into a central fund that is being used for grants and that includes SOLID WALL INSULATION. The fund is, unfortunately, limited and mainly used within Social Housing Sector; however it is always worthwhile checking with the local Housing or Energy Officer at the council to see if there are any incentives being offered for INSULATION within the local area.

4. Greener Homes

The government report published in connection with the obligation under likes of the Kyoto Agreement on Climate Change, lays out future plans of action for cutting carbon emissions. What the report highlights is that EXTERNAL SOLID WALL INSULATION together with Solar Panels is the country top priority and is absolutely crucial if the UK is to reach assigned targets.

Unfortunately, currently, there are no plans for any grants for private homeowners.

What is being proposed:

a. The homeowners are being encouraged to take on ‘green mortgages’ towards Insulation to spread the cost; the annual repayment could be less that the Utilities Bills if Insulation was not present.

b. The Government instructed the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors -RICS- to design a new valuation system for properties with WALL INSULATION and Renewable Energy technology. The reason behind it is to reflect lower running costs in an increased valuation of the property – on average 5% premium.

Q & A

Q1. Do I need a planning permission?

No, however as it means an alteration to the external fixtures and fittings, a Building Notice is required under L1B of the Building Regulation*. In majority of cases only Council’s Building Control needs to be served; an inspector from Building Control will visit the site and meets the contractor to discuss the extend of work, then comes back again at the end to sign it off and produce an Approval Certificate.

Exceptions:

1.1. If the house boundary is in a very close proximity to a public pavement of a pathway, then it can be considered as an encroachment onto public space; a Planning Permission must be granted before work can commence.

1.2. If the house is a listed property in an Area of Outstanding Beauty or Conservation Area, it is necessary to apply for a Planning Permission before can start.

Q2. Why do I need L1B of the Building Regulation Notice?

The Building Regulation Part L1B applies to any Internal Wall Renovation or External Rendering of the walls; states that homeowners cannot replace or add a wall covering (apart from paint) to any Solid Wall without incorporating Insulation to save energy and cut heating bills.

Q3. Will it drastically change the appearance of my home?

No, the External Wall Insulation only adds another layer, increasing the depth of the wall by approx. 2-3 inches. It can actually offer a stunning visual improvement.

Q4. Does it mean I will lose period features or will they be preserved?

Any period features, like window or door headers and cills will be preserved in its original style.

Q5. How effective is EXTERNAL SOLID WALL INSULATION?

All depends of variable thickness of the external wall insulation and materials used; however on average the Insulation achieves 75% reduction in Heat Loss through the walls.

Q6. Is EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION more or less effective than Internal Insulation?

Absolutely no doubts that the EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION SYSTEM is more effective than internal one, so called ‘dry lining’. The main reason is that the EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION uses the thickness of the Solid Wall as additional Insulation – approximately 9 inches of brick material, while the Internal Insulation leaves the External Solid Wall still open to weather elements and winds.

Q7. How is the efficiency being measured?

It is measured with the use of ‘U’ value, which is given to the THERMAL INSULATION QUALITIES, and the lower the figure the better. It measures how quickly the heat escapes through the wall, adding to carbon emissions. The Building Regulations state that all walls with worse than 0.7 U Value must be fitted with Insulation. The acceptable target is lower than 0.3, but it would be an acceptable level if not achievable due to the property features.
Just as an example, Well Insulated home would show a figure of 0.25, but current UK solid wall homes show figure of 2.10! If reduced down to 0.25-0.35, it offers an improvement in thermal efficiency of around 80%.

Q8. How do I choose which one is better for me?

It is of course up to all individual homeowners to decide what is best for them. However the comparison table, as below, gives a quick preview of the key issues that must be considered:

Internal Insulation

External Insulation

Reduces the size of rooms Yes No
Causes major disruptions to home
and lifestyle while being worked
on
Yes No
Protects the surface of the building No Yes
Prolongs the life of the building No Yes
Improves the Quality of living
conditions
No Yes
Releases damp and condensation No Yes
Uses a Solid Wall as an additional
layer of Insulation
No Yes
Potential Additional Premium
Value added to the property
No Yes

Q9. How much can I expect to save in heating bills?

All homeowners heat their homes in a different way, at various heating levels, however The Energy Saving Trust calculated that a heating bill for a 3 bedroom semi would be approximately £400 lower per annum, if premises had an EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION SYSTEM fitted.

Conclusion!

Constructing or remodeling a home often does not involve only building up the walls and filling up the interior. There are many steps in between often neglected in order of minimizing the construction costs. However, people tend to loose sight on some issues that can save them much trouble later on. One such issue that should never be left behind is proper external wall insulation system. Namely, unlike cavity walls that have some space between the inner and outer leaf of the wall, being able to preserve some of the heat trying to escape the interior, homes (especially older ones) that have solid walls built are much more subject to heat loss through the wall structure, why they need additional protection found in external wall insulation.

Namely, since external wall insulation often involves serious reconstruction work (such as water pipes, window and doors repositioning. local permits etc), it is best performed in the very construction phase or during some heavy repair or remodeling work. It is somewhat more complicated and demanding when compared to the alternative internal wall insulation, but also more energy and cost efficient on the long term. It involves adding a few separate, yet connected, layer to the exterior surface of the wall in order of creating a proper barrier that will decrease the heat loss and gain, while minimizing the risk of thermal bridges occurring within the wall structure.

What is of particular importance here is the fact that exterior wall insulation may require not only prescribed permits from the local authorities but also it needs to comply with the applicable regulation. Basically, what relevant regulation in this area does is prescribe the values that installed external wall insulation system must meet in order of satisfying the set insulation standards. If your household is located in England and Whales, you will have to consult Building Regulations and comply with the prescribed U values, showing the ability of the external wall insulation material to allow the heat to pass through the wall. Consequently, you will have to meet U values of no more than 0.30 W/m2K which can be achieved with 60mm to 120mm thickness, depending on the particular material installed.

If you are still having second thoughts on adding external wall insulation systems, here is what you can get:

  • improved thermal and sound resistance;
  • reduced draughts through the gaps and cracks in the wall;
  • reduced condensation and damp on internal walls;
  • increased life span of the walls;
  • renewed appearance of the external wall construction;
  • improved energy efficiency shown through significant money savings and lower carbon footprint.

If all the above got you convinced that we will dedicate all our skills, knowledge, experience and time into your home construction or external wall insulation systems, all you have to do is contact us your builders & external wall insulation installers then watch your wildest dreams become reality.

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