The finished refurbishment and the original brick bungalow before external wall insulation.
The installation of external wall insulation (EWI) using preformed panels of ‘airpop - engineered air’ - the new name adopted by the European expanded polystyrene (EPS) industry – could solve the issue of ‘fuel-poor’ families that cannot benefit from cavity wall insulation.
According to the British Plastics Federation’s EPS Group, millions of homes across the UK have little or no insulation – affecting both the cost of energy bills as well as the property’s sale or rental value.
The solution being provided by the airpop panels, which have reportedly already been proven in thousands of house refurbishment projects, is ready-to-install EWI solutions, which can be applied to virtually any property.
The panels don’t require access or intervention to the inside of the property and they are easy to install by qualified contractors. What they do bring is major benefits in energy conservation, reduced fuel bills and significant visual improvements to homes whether in the public or private sector.
One such installation, using Mapei external wall insulation products and carried out by UK-based Harbour Render Systems, transformed the energy efficiency and exterior appeal of a bungalow in Cheltenham in around three weeks from start to completion.
“[With] the dramatic benefits in reduced energy bills, combined with the significant improvements in external appeal in projects like this, I’m surprised that more home owners, local authorities and housing associations don’t adopt this highly-effective, non-intrusive solution which transforms the efficiency and value of a property,” commented Managing Director of Harbour Render Systems, Phil Bailey.
The Cheltenham project used Mapetherm EPS Plus insulation finished with Silancolor Tonachino silicone resin topcoat. EWI Technical Manager for Mapei in the UK, Adrian Jones, commented: “There are millions of UK homes and commercial premises which could benefit from external wall insulation and products like these are proven across the globe in both residential and commercial projects. EWI is a proven solution and cost effective system for home owners and landlords who want to benefit from energy savings and get the bonus of a total transformation of the building exterior”.
Chairman of the EPS Group of the British Plastics Federation, David Emes also pointed to the environmental advantages of airpop. “As well as high impact strength, light weight and design versatility, airpop also offers outstanding environmental credentials. It is 98 percent air bound in a polymer matrix. It’s recyclable at the end of its life and scores the highest A+ summary rating in the BRE Global Green Guide to Specification. This is supported by at least eight ‘straight As’ in each of the separate environmental impact ratings for each airpop density. The results show that, in every density measured, it (EPS) had a summary result of A+ - the highest BRE rating meaning the lowest environmental impact.”