NZEB Home brings family in from the cold
An uncompromised approach to thermal performance led self-builder Arthur Lambert to choose a range of Unilin Insulation products that helped his family home achieve a primary energy score of 28.01 kWh/m2 per year – an impressive high A2 rating. Previous poor experiences with thermal inefficient properties had placed thermal performance high on the agenda for this self-build project. The fundamental goal was to achieve a warm, efficient family home.
Building type: Detached House
Location: Co Meath
Client: Arthur and Aoife Lambert
Contractor: Self Build
Architect: Ronan O’Halloran, Mullingar
Completion date: 2020
Roof: XT/PR Pitched Roofs 75mm
Cavity closers: SAFE-R CLOSE-R
Walls: CT/PIR Built-in Full Fill Wall 150mm
Floors: XT/UF Under Floor
Unilin Insulation Expertise
Key to achieving the warm, efficient home this client desired was early engagement with Unilin Insulation’s senior technical team lead, Mark Magennis. From the ground up, Mark advised on the most suitable products at every stage, helping resolve some difficult decisions along the way.
This support also included a range of technical resources. A combination of installation videos and follow-up toolbox talks ensured the block layers were comfortable with how the product should be installed and led to correct detailing – all part of the UNILIN service to ensure as-built performance.
UNILIN’s 150mm Thin-R Hyfloor tongue and groove insulation proved an unmitigated success, delivering a U-Value of 0.12 W/m2K.
Cavity wall construction was chosen for the walls, insulated with UNILIN’s CavityTherm 150mm full fill boards, resulting in a U-Value of 0.13 W/m2K. CavityTherm detailing accessories were also used including pre-formed corner boards to ensure continuity of insulation and achieve a highly impressive Y-value of 0.021. L-shaped Safe-R cavity closers ensured continuous insulation all the way up to the window unit itself.
On top of the walls sits a pitched roof, insulated with 150mm Unilin XO/PR pitched roof insulation between the rafters, allowing a 50mm gap above for the windtight membrane and roof tiles. A 75mm Unilin XO/PR board follows below, directly screwed onto the rafters. The combination results in a U-Value of 0.11 W/m2K. 50mm of Unilin insulation is applied on the hollowcore first floor structure – enabling a consistent approach to heating upstairs and downstairs.
Arthur’s uncompromising approach to thermal performance is reflected in its results in DEAP, the software tool used to generate Building Energy Ratings and determine compliance with Part L of the building regulations. The home achieved a high A2 rating, with its primary energy score of 28.01 kWh/m2/yr coming within a whisker of an A1 rating. Meanwhile the house achieved an energy performance co-efficient (EPC) of 0.217 and a carbon performance co-efficient (CPC) of 0.201 – indicating that the house should require 78.3% less energy and emit 79.9% less carbon emissions than the same house design built to the 2005 regulations. Even though the house was built before the requirement for nearly zero energy building standard had kicked in, it surpasses the NZEB targets of 70% energy reductions and 65% carbon reductions.
Results on a spreadsheet are one thing, but the proof is in the lived reality and for Arthur and Aoife, the house performs like a dream. Arthur’s experience with Unilin Insulation was a very positive one throughout the process: ‘I found Mark Magennis to be very professional and super on performance, constituents and materials. He spent a lot of time considering my drawings and was a great help at every stage. I’m delighted to have used Unilin Insulation across the build and would recommend their product range and technical support to any self-builders embarking on the journey.’
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