Roger Bisby reports on a job where EcoTherm’s Ecoliner saved the day.
We hear a lot about reducing our carbon footprint, and saving money on fuel bills, but the most noticeable and immediate benefit of insulation is the increased comfort levels. Yes, it makes you feel instantly warmer – who knew?
The community hall in our case study had the reputation of being a chilly, unwelcoming place on a winter’s evening. The overhead gas fired radiant heaters were usually switched on just before the session began and switched off fairly rapidly thereafter. The heater would roast the top of your head nicely, but the ambient temperature in the cavernous hall was still low, and that chill was hard to overcome.
A quick survey with a thermal camera revealed that the roof was well insulated, and the top half of the building, which was tile hung timber frame, responded quickly to the heaters. This was due to the fact that it had a low thermal mass. The real cold spots were the floor, which would be very difficult to do anything about, and the dense concrete blocks, which formed the lower 2 metres of the structure.
The wall had 50mm cavity filled with Rockwool insulation bat, which did some good, but it was really the ability of that concrete to store cold during the long periods, when the hall was not in use, that made it feel like stepping into a fridge. People often commented that it was warmer outdoors than in.
The ladies yoga class, in particular, complained that it took them an hour to warm up, by which time the class was nearly over. The prime spots in the hall were in the middle, and late comers always found themselves next to an outside wall – of which there were three.
Several solutions were costed and put before the committee and the eventual winner was Ecoliner from EcoTherm. This thermal laminate board comes in various thicknesses and can be applied with dot and dab adhesive.
The tapered boards can be taped and filled by dry liners, but the plasterer was old school, and preferred to skim the lot with Thistle Board Finish. Apart from anything else it meant there would be no sanding, and the decorating would be more straightforward – they had been given a very narrow time window to be in and out.
There are two versions of the board available. The foil backed board is suitable for mechanical fix, and the glass fibre backing foil is suitable for dot and dab. EcoTherm recommends dot and dab board adhesive, but the builder persuaded the plasterer to give Fix a Foam a try on some of the boards where the walls were sufficiently true and plumb, which was by no means all of them.
The foam adhesive worked out to be quicker and cheaper than the drywall adhesive and it made less mess. Did that mean that the plasterer would abandon board adhesive and invest in a foam gun? Well you would have thought so, but old habits die hard and the building industry is notoriously slow to change.
It is almost as if plasterers don’t trust anything that isn’t applied with a hawk and trowel. Well, you can’t win ’em all but the Ecoliner worked a treat. The ladies Yoga class was full of praise and the Tuesday afternoon watercolour class were also able to take off a layer or two. I say, steady on!