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Balancing increased levels of insulation with traditional brick and block walls

25 Jul 2019


The challenge

We are now putting more insulation into our new buildings than ever before thanks to key Government targets chasing energy efficient homes and low heating bills. With ever-tightening limits in place that govern the amount of insulation in our floors, walls and roofs, it can be easy to get caught out, and if not realised early enough, you could end up with a non-compliant house.

Fortunately, that scenario was avoided when the Energist Technical Team were working on a residential development with Lyndon Brett Partnership. This chartered surveyor firm prides itself on being progressive with new technologies whilst not compromising the traditional values of construction. As such, when they were designing a large single dwelling close to the Severn Estuary, they were keen to keep to a traditional brick and block wall, without having to increase the width over 300mm.

Some developers opt for thicker walls so they can add higher levels of insulation, but as this leads to a reduction in floor-space, it isn’t everyone’s preferred route. Using conventional building materials with a 300mm traditional wall can often fall short of the heat loss targets required in current Regulations, which could have been the case here.

The solution

However, bringing the Energist team on board early meant the proposed wall specification was checked and was shown to be very slightly outside the current requirements. We were able to quickly recommend several better performing insulation materials long before any materials were purchased. Bringing the U-Value of the external wall down not only ensured the heat losses through the building fabric were acceptable, but also that the building comfortably passed the required carbon emission target.

The result

The speedy response provided by Energist has always been appreciated by Heather Broomfield: “I have always emailed Jake with any proposals. He always responds promptly with advice and quotes in a professional manner”

“Reports that are received are always in a easily understandable format that can be forwarded to clients effortlessly’.

The Energist Technical Team not only provide a speedy turnaround of queries while completing the Design Stage SAP Calculations, but are also on hand while you’re on site, constructing. So if you find your chosen insulation product is out of stock and you need to make a quick decision about alternative products without jeopardising your Part L compliance, remember to check in with our Technical Team before you start installing.