Actis has launched the latest in its series of in-depth how to guides, with the new addition aimed at helping architects and specifiers use the right products for their projects.
The 36-page Actis Reflective Insulation Guide covers the physical make up of the insulation, vapour control layer and breather membrane in its Hybrid range and the scientific principles behind using them. It looks at the factors involved in maximising thermal performance, explains the fabric first approach to construction, and examines how to avoid thermal bridging and ensure airtightness without encouraging condensation.
Actis UK Specification Manager Dan Anson Hart explained: “While U-value targets are very important, Actis products go much further than simply providing an excellent thermal performance. We also take into consideration airtightness, moisture control and how to reduce the effects of thermal bridging, all of which contribute to the overall energy efficiency of the building.
“Because the products are flexible and forgiving they can bend round corners, squash into gaps and create a continuous blanket which helps eliminate thermal bridging and ensure air tightness.
“Reflective insulation counteracts all means of heat transfer — radiation, convection and conduction — while the wadding and foam separators between the reflective foils create insulating air gaps, which are also barriers against conduction and work on the same principle as double glazing.
“The generally accepted ‘fabric first’ approach means the best way to create a thermally-efficient building focuses on reducing heat loss through the fabric elements in the first place. The average thermal efficiency of a building is made up of 45% thermal transmittance, or U- value, 30% air tightness and 25% thermal bridging. With those figures in mind it is clear that insulation should be prioritised before looking at using more sophisticated building services such as mechanical ventilation and heat recovery and renewable energy systems.”