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Monday, February 27, 2012

INSULATING THE COUNTRY'S PAST?

Inside the massive outer wall structure of the Castle of Good Hope, there has been for many years a workplace environmental problem. Highly thermal conductive dark coloured roof material with very poor insulative properties covering high thermal mass structure = a cooking pot of alarming efficiency. This means unproductive heat in the office through summer and chilly winters once the inside walls had cooled to ambient. Some years back planners addressed the problem by adding resin-bonded fibre insulation faced with foil under cement tiles. Indeed this brought a measure of relief to building occupants. However some 20 years on the glass fibre based material installed had collapsed, material density went up and R-values went down.



The formula that governs the relationship between R-value, material type and density is complex, but in essence, a material's thermal conductivity (the inverse of R-value) is proportional to its density. Therefore high density = good thermal conductor = poor insulator. This is why dormant air is a superb insulator and the best insulating materials are low density substances that entrap a large volume of dormant air.
 
A professional assessment of the situation quickly identified that the problem was all in the roof and with the existing insulation that no longer met mimimum standard R-values hence presenting a problem. Richard Ellis, the principal agent in the CT Eco-Insulation franchise recommended Eco-Insulation be pumped to the maximum possible depth of 110 mm provided the existing collapsed insulating product be removed. This was agreed, and the company asked to purge the old foil faced glass wool insulation from inside the roof space. The ceiling is a vaulted style therefore sloping at an angle.
 
The result is a much cooler building that affords maximum protection against the ingress of the summer heat.
 
The tricky job of removing old, collapsed glass wool insulation is not one to be relished. The Eco-Insulation team has developed safe and effective methodologies for removal and disposal. Call us for details.
 
 
 
 
 
 Removing old non-performing glass wool. Notice, it was the foil-face variety, but nonetheless non-performing.