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Insulation, Energy Efficiency, Eco and Green Issues

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Insulation materials fall into two main categories:

The Element Method

These are the materials that are designed to keep your new home warm and to minimise any heat loss and they come in many different forms. Mineral wool or fibreglass can be used in suspended ground and first floors, in walls and in roofs and ceilings. Rigid foam boards made from expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene and polyurethane can be used above and below solid ground and first floors, in cavity walls and in pitched and flat roof situations. Cellulose fibre made from recycled newspaper and sheep's wool can also be utilised, especially blown
into cavities. Radiant heat barriers, a blanket of mineral wool within shiny, reflective outer sheets can also be used in wall and roof situations. There are also many products on the market to prevent ‘cold bridging' and to close and insulate cavities
around windows and door openings.

Acoustic Insulation

New regulations require minimum acoustic performance for both walls and floors. There is a wide variety of rigid foam, mineral wool and laminated products used either in combination with or bonded to flooring materials and walling materials such as plasterboard or gypsum fibreboard.

Green Ideas

You do not have to have an unusually designed house to incorporate green ideas as many of the features can be incorporated into a conventional house. You can decide just how many eco options you are going to incorporate into your new home and weigh up the cost of the option against the time it will take to recoup your initial outlay. Timber frame is often chosen for energy efficiency with thick walls filled with cellulose based insulation and timber external cladding. However, cavity walls and concrete blocks are also used because of their energy efficiency. But it is not just about packing lots of insulation into external walls.

For Best Results

To get the best results you need integration of the roof, windows, floors and doors as well as heating, lighting and ventilation. You also need to look at the location of your property on the site to make sure that you are taking full advantage of available sunlight and shelter.

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