There are building regulations to adhere to with regard to the passage of sound between walls and indeed floors on apartment buildings. There are regulations regarding party walls between townhouses and semidetached houses.
These regulations work and can only be improved but it would seem to be that we forget about acoustics within buildings and rooms in houses comprising single family occupancy.
With the advent of modern styling incorporating hard surfaces on walls and floors the reverberative (echo) element within these rooms is high, bathrooms have always been renowned for being highly reverberative which is why our singing sounds so much better in that particular room!!!! However these rooms with hard surfaces are not good for conversation when there are more than 2 people in the room.
Children’s bedrooms cause problems with footfall and general banging noise transferring through to lounge and dining areas.
There are various simple measures that can be taken to improve acoustics within the dwelling.
In bathrooms a favourite picture or mural can be printed or laminated to an acoustic panel offering an absorptive element to the room thus shortening the sound waves and reducing the echo.
Acoustic coving can be fitted to rooms to add absorbency. Rooms where loud music is listened to can be transformed by the addition of bass traps and acoustic tiles, these can be shaped or profiled to add design and colour to the room.
Footfall noise is particularly annoying and would seem that the person making the noise is doing a clog dance instead of just walking to the bathroom. Modern wooden floors or tiles have a thin layer of foam placed underneath, but by investing in a better grade foam underlay or a laminate of foam and polymeric barrier a drastic improvement can be achieved.
In apartments the use of a washing machine and subsequent vibration when on the spin cycle is on can cause noise pollution to the occupants below and also vibration transmission via connecting cupboards causes undue noise within the same dwelling. This can easily be reduced by the use of a kit comprising special pads under the machine and a thin self-adhesive foam pad between the machine and the cupboard can make a significant reduction in the generated vibratory noise.
Internal acoustic treatment can radically improve the comfort levels within a dwelling and also reduce nuisance noise to neighbours. The introduction of acoustically efficient elements within a dwelling can enhance and incorporate modern design to the room.
We would be delighted to offer any advice on acoustics. Please contact us for further information or visit our website at www.acoustafoam.com. All of our products are manufactured in the UK to the highest standards – Sandra fixter
Though each home needs, and likely has, insulation, consumers should learn as much as they can about insulation and insulation products.
Insulation can save you money
Most homes within the UK do not have the necessary amount of insulation built in – this means that just over 25% of heat loss escapes through the roof and walls.
By simply having the suitable amount of insulation in your loft could save you up to £180 per year. This means that by installing insulation – it is the fastest payback solution available to us. When the correct type and size of insulation is installed, it typically takes less than 3 years to get your money back.
- Loft insulation costs £300 to install properly and could see homeowners £180 a year better off through their energy bills.
- Floor Insulation costs £300 to install completely however could potentially save homeowners £50 a year.
- Solid Wall Insulation costs the most to put in at £7,000 however the money back each year is approximately £460 – yet think how much warmer your home would be.
- Cavity Wall Insulation is the second most expensive to install at around £450 however the payback period is shorter – with energy savings of around £140 per year.
Source: Energy Saving Trust
Insulation makes your home more comfortable
By allowing heat to stay in the home, and not escape through the walls and roof – it enables the heat to flow through the home more evenly – giving an overall uniform temperature. The uniform temperature allows for the tenants to move around the house without walking into cold spots.
Insulation can increase the value of the home
Insulated homes are much more popular than homes that still need to be insulated. This is because the home which retains the heat better will have a better R-Value and energy efficiency rating – which will see lower energy bills. Home buyers will pay more money for the house which saves them more in the long run.
Insulation can decrease noise levels
Insulation is a good sound barrier. Insulation can keep the noise from room-to-room down, offering good privacy for each resident and neighbouring house.
Insulation can help to keep down moisture
Condensation can be a huge problem with some homes, and home insulation can be used to resolve the problem. This is because it helps control airflow and stops the build-up of moisture in the air.
Insulation can cut down CO2 emissions
- Roof insulation can save around 1 tonne of CO2 emissions
- Cavity Wall Insulation saves 800kg
- Solid Wall Insulation saves 2.3 tonnes
- Loft Insulation around 730kg
- Floor insulation saves the least at 240kg
Insulation saves the environment
Insulation is an acknowledged way to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels which add to the greenhouse effect.
“And Yet Nearly 60% of Our Houses Don’t Have Good Enough Ceiling And Underfloor Insulation”
Source: Energy Wise
270mm is the recommended thickness for insulation – however this can vary depending upon product and specification.
For more information go to: Energy.gov
‘Solid’ means that there is no cavity inside of them. Solid walls were construction intil the 30’s in most regions of the UK. If you are not sure whether you have a solid wall – then simply look at the brick pattern which is very recognisable. The pattern includes lots of end bricks, which look very much like half-length bricks within the middle of the walls. The reason for this, is because they run from the front of the wall to the back and not length ways.
Cavity walls are very different with a gap in between the bricks – and depending upon the era that it was built, will either have ties made from plastic or metal which effectively hold the two walls together. The pattern will show very few half-length bricks in contract to solid walls.
Internal wall insulation is carried out by placing rigid insulation boards on to the wall, or by building a stud wall filled in with mineral wool fibre.
External wall insulation differs of course, and involves applying a layer of insulation material to the wall, and then coving it with a render or cladding to keep it in place. There are many difference finishes including smooth, textured, painted, tiled, and many more.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of insulation:
Internal wall insulation:
- is generally cheaper to install than external wall insulation
- will slightly reduce the floor area of any rooms in which it is applied (the thickness of the insulation is around 100mm)
- is disruptive, but can be done room by room
- requires skirting boards, door frames and external fittings to be removed and reattached
- can make it hard to fix heavy items to inside walls – although special fixings are available
- needs any problems with penetrating or rising damp to be fixed first.
External wall insulation:
- can be applied without disruption to the household
- does not reduce the floor area of your home
- renews the appearance of outer walls
- improves weatherproofing and sound resistance.
- fills cracks and gaps in the brickwork, which will reduce draughts
- increases the life of your walls by protecting the brickwork
- reduces condensation on internal walls and can help prevent damp (but will not solve rising or penetration damp)
- is best installed at the same time as external refurbishment work to reduce the cost
- may need planning permission – check with your local council
- requires good access to the outer walls
- is not recommended if the outer walls are structurally unsound and cannot be repaired
Source: Energy Saving Trust
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Energy bills continue to rise and, although summer is rapidly approaching, it’s never too early to begin preparing for next year’s winter. In fact, insulating your home can save you money during the summer also by keeping your cooling costs down. Why not look into insulated plasterboard or other types of insulation for use in your home?
With the help of the Green Deal, you can borrow money to add insulation to the home and to make other energy efficient improvements, ones which will save you money over the long run. The money is then paid back over time through your energy bills. Experts estimate the monthly cost of the improvements should be offset by the energy savings achieved through the improvements. With green deal products, such as external wall insulation, you can make your home more comfortable all year long.
Insulated plasterboard is designed to keep the cold out during the winter and the heat out during the summer to ensure the temperature inside the home stays more comfortable. The plasterboard provides a barrier so heat isn’t conducted in either direction. Solid walls tend to have higher rates of conduction. When the insulated plasterboard is installed in the interior of the home, heat becomes trapped within the home’s cavity and stays within the home.
The United Kingdom has come to the realization that it needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as they are harmful to the environment. As approximately one quarter of carbon emissions come from homes, the government created the Green Deal to help those in need of assistance make their homes more energy affordable. Many home owners find they are unable to make energy efficient improvements due to the cost associated with these improvements, including external wall insulation and double glazing.
With the help of the Green Deal, low-income and vulnerable households can receive financial assistance to make these improvements. The same is true of those who live in properties which are harder to treat, such as those with solid walls. This program differs from the RHPP and the RHI in that money does not have to be obtained up front to make energy efficient improvements. As the home owner pays for the improvements over time, they don’t see a noticeable difference in their overall budget. When this is the case, everyone wins.
With energy efficiency targets being set up by the Government, large quantities of insulation are needed to reduce both heating bills and carbon footprints.
There are many areas in which heat is lost; however which areas are likely to impact your heating bills?
- Roofs lose approximately 26% of heat
- Walls lose the most heat at 33%
- Windows lose 18% – but this can be reduced if triple or double glazing is used
- Floors lose 8% of heat
- Door only lose 3% of heat
- And finally draughts lose 12%
Do you know what the required thickness of insulation is? 270mm is the building standard, however more can be added depending upon the amount of space you have and what u-values you need to meet.
Amazingly not all homes have 270mm and for that reason are losing a great deal of money, heating the home. There are many reasons why homeowners do not top up their insulation to reach the requirement. Mainly it is because the amount of money they need to spend – yet they should really be looking at it as an investment.
So what is the payback period for each type of insulation?
- Roof Insulation – Around two years.
However by topping your roof insulation up you will get savings of around £205 per year alone. Which means you will be saving a staggering 1 tonne of CO2 by simply meeting requirements.
- Cavity wall Insulation – Around two years
You could see cost savings of around £160 by topping up cavity wall insulation, which will save 800kg or CO2.
- Loft Insulation – Around 2 years
Loft insulation will provide you with £180 cost savings each year and save roughly 730kg of CO2.
- Floor Insulation – Around 9 years
However if you were to install the floor insulation yourself this could dramatically drop. You could cave roughly £60 per year by installing floor insulation.
So what if you’re a bit tight on money?
The UK Government have recently introduced the Green Deal.
The idea behind the Green Deal is simple, the UK government has made commitments to cutting CO2 emissions by 2020. One of the ways to do this is to get more properties properly insulated they, in turn, will not require as much energy to heat.
Insulation and energy control are going to be the corner stones of how the government is going to reach their targets. The Government has decided to switch tactic in recent months and focus on Insulation properties before funding is released for power generation or ‘energy out’ measures.
How much will the green deal save me?
Properties will be rigorously evaluated by accredited Green Deal accessors before any Green Deal funding can be allocated. This ensures that only properties which will benefit financially from Green Deal will be allowed to participate. This protects the property owner and ensures that the cost of repayments will be no more than the original energy bill.
It is estimated that the Government are allocating between £6,500 – £10,000 per property.
How do I apply for the Green Deal?
The government aims to make the Green Deal available nationwide and easily accessible to all users. The Green Deal is open to both homeowner/tenants and business owners.
There won’t be one place to apply for the Green Deal, it will be more of a choice of where you apply. You can either apply through a Green Deal Provider or through a Green Deal Assessor.
Insulation can save homeowners a great deal of money on their heating bills and significantly reduce their CO2 emissions – however when the insulation is squashed, can it impact the cost of heating, and will it possess the same benefits as insulation which isn’t squashed?
A research into the thermal resistance of loft insulation when compressed was carried out by National Physical Laboratory (NPL) -and an NPL Technology Innovation Fund project was set up for this work.
The recommended thickness of insulation is 270mm, therefore the research tested the thermal resistance of loft insulation at this recommended thickness, and then also looked into the thermal resistance of insulation at a thickness of 100mm – these were then compared. Whilst the thermal resistance of insulation at the recommended thickness was a good 6.11 m2.K/W, insulation at a compressed 100mm was half that at 3.09 m2.K/W.
NPL’s Ray Williams, who worked on the project, said: “There are rigorous requirements for manufacturers of insulation to quote performance values based on accredited measurements, but further measurements have shown that achieving this in practise requires correct installation.”
The Carbon Trust recently sponsored a survery which has shown that 82% of households utilise their lofts for things such as storage, and so were squashing the insulation by either placing boards over the top, or were simply placing items directly on to the insulation itself.
Amazingly only 26% of homeowners knew that my compressing insulation, it is significantly less effective – which shows there is a communication issue between the manufacturers and homeowners. This essentially means that a great deal of homeowners are reducing the effectiveness of their insulation without even realising it.
What homeowners really need to do, if they are considering using their loft for storage or other usses, it to protect their insulation first.
BRE said the study would seek to better understand energy use and heat loss in the nearly eight million UK homes with solid walls, examining how well solid walls retain heat before and after insulation and testing the accuracy of measurement techniques for heat loss from solid wall insulation. Crucially, the study will take into account the energy use behaviour of the home’s occupants.
Solid wall homes make up nearly 30 per cent of all the UK’s existing housing stock, yet only two per cent of these homes have solid wall insulation, according to Government figures. Continue reading →
As we become more environmentally friendly we must take into consideration our homes and how we can make them eco-friendly as we move into the future. One of the ways that we can do this is by improving our insulation in our living environment. By upgrading our insulation we can reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses that escape our homes. This can be an overwhelming task but first you need to determine what type of walls that your dwelling has. There are a few kinds that they can be and this really depends on what year your home was built. For example, most homes that were completed before the year 1920 is most likely to have solid walls and dwellings that were built after are typically cavity type walls. Determining what type of walls you have is the first step to improving your insulation. Continue reading →
While there are tangible energy-saving benefits to be made by installing more efficient appliances, the benefits are not as good as insulating your home adequately and removing air leaks.
Electricity, gas and oil cost more than in the past, so intelligent energy management has never been more critical than today. Yet what does energy efficiency actually mean? What are the amazing benefits – for the environment and our own bank accounts? Must we accept radical limitations in an effort to use significantly less energy?
Properties make up forty per-cent of Europe’s energy use and 33 % of its green house gas emissions. To change our society into an energy-efficient and decarbonised one, energy-intelligent buildings will need to play a crucial role. Most new construction proposals include the provision of energy efficient solutions like solar thermal heating systems, combined heat and power (CHP), heat pumps and thermal energy storage. All of these solutions are commercially available at present. There is yet another, cost-effective solution available however: eco friendly insulating material. Continue reading →
Just how did you do this wintertime? If you’re a home owner in a cold environment, the level of insulation in your household could have made a massive difference in your comfort as well as in your wallet these past few months. If you found your home seemed too cold and you broke into a sweat every time you had to deal with yet another heating bill, consider making a huge improvement by adding insulation.
Below are great tips on how to continue:
Think grants or loans and incentives
Continue reading →