Headroom an issue? Concerned about the effect of heatwaves on buildings? Pressed for time? The Actis range of multifoils could be just the ticket.
At first glance the hottest year on record, a dearth of skilled tradespeople and property owners’ insatiable appetite for adding aesthetic oomph by converting an ancient building into a home may seem to have little in common.
But on closer inspection it seems that one, two or all three of these factors are behind the curiosity of many a builder to find out how multifoil insulation and membranes will either makes their lives easier, help them do their job more quickly or enable them to comply with changing building regulations.
So, if you are looking at taking on any extension or conversion work this year, you may want to find out what all the fuss is about.
First, let’s talk George Clarke, he of the prolific TV presence and passion for helping homeowners realise their dreams. In recent years no fewer than three of the projects featured in his Old House New Home and Remarkable Renovations series have been insulated with such materials. The most recent saw owners of an Edwardian semi in Hove convert their loft into a massive home cinema, bedroom and shower room, which they insulated with three products from the Actis Hybrid range – honeycomb style insulation Hybris, insulating vapour control layer H Control Hybrid and insulating breather membrane Boost R Hybrid – in order to vastly improve the home’s previous poor E-rated thermal performance.
Owner Jasmin Robertson said: “The Actis products were lightweight and easy to use. Due to being easy to cut to size and install, the contractors were able to get this part of the job done in really good time. We were working to a ridiculously tight timeline to fit with the filming schedule, so the elements that helped speed things up were massively appreciated! Now, having lived in the house for a couple of years, I can vouch for the fact that the Actis products do the job well. Even during the cold winter of 2020/21 we didn’t need to turn on the radiators in the loft.”
Coach house conversion
A coach house conversion in Staffordshire, which featured in George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations also received the Actis Hybrid treatment.
The project saw builders create a timber frame within the original shell of the building, both for structural reasons and to allow the installation of Hybris and H Control Hybrid. And they removed the original roof, installed new roof timbers, and insulated it with 75mm Actis Hybris, H Control Hybrid and Boost R Hybrid.
Another Remarkable Renovations star was a Northamptonshire village school converted by architectural designer Stuart Ellis and his wife Theresa with help from their builder son Jamie.
Around 370 sq m of 50mm and 33 sq m of 105mm Hybris, 180 sq m of H Control Hybrid and 225sq m of Boost R Hybrid Roof were used in the roof and walls of the existing property and the roof of the new build element. This achieved a U-value of 0.18 /m2K in both the extension and existing roof and 0.25/ /m2K in the walls of the original part of the property.
The Hybris range has also been used on many unusual projects, such as a Warwickshire water tower conversion which is now a popular Airbnb holiday rental.
More modest projects are also the beneficiaries of the Actis approach. One long-term Actis enthusiast, carpenter Chris Brooks, who has been working with the products for around two decades, used the Hybrid range when adding a kitchen extension on the back of his Northamptonshire cottage, for reroofing a house whose roof caught fire when a mouse nibbled through an electrical cable and in a stable conversion.
And a Cornish couple creating an extra floor in their former bungalow loved using the products so much they even made a YouTube video showing how to install Hybris and HControl Hybrid.
As well as the well-known Hybrid range, whose Hybris component is Cradle to Cradle Certified Bronze for its sustainability credentials, builders are also turning to Actis’ newest product Eolis HC. This has been designed to enable builders and roofers to reduce the number of steps required to achieve an impressive U-value as well as airtightness in roofs.
The revolutionary Triplex technology at its core ensures installation is not only twice as quick as traditional alternatives but is also aimed at transforming the loft and barn conversion sector where headroom is at a premium due to shallow rafters, not least because it doesn’t usually need the 25mm air gap required under BS 5250.
And, with Part O of the building regulations obliging architects to limit unwanted solar gains and provide a way to remove heat from residential dwellings, the Hybrid range and Eolis HC have an important role to play in helping buildings stay cool, with Eolis HC reflecting 95% of infrared radiation.
Watch a timed installation video of Eolis HC at EOLIS HC – Timed installation video (youtube.com).
For more information on one of the George Clarke projects that featured Actis Insulation visit News reader – ACTIS Insulation – Tomorrow’s insulation today (insulation-actis.com).