Each month we test a new product, or revisit an old one to see how well it is performing. The lunchtime debate has recently focussed on products that are needed for our social housing programme, finding high performance and cost effective solutions for our clients.
Our designers were challenged with finding a high performance, fire resistant insulation that could compete with the foamed products that had previously been specified. It also had to pass a stringent economic test and not overly impact upon internal floor areas. The brief was set following ongoing cost issues with SIPs framed schemes that required a new approach to be considered.
Perhaps surprisingly a low tech mineral wool slab from Knauf performed best overall, with a full fill cavity product delivering a U value of 0.18W/m2K in a similar wall thickness to the original SIPs panels. High tech nano insulants looked good on paper, but in our all round assessment were too expensive on schemes where we had capacity to increase wall thicknesses.