Insulate


(James Higginson) #1



Building a new home is the perfect opportunity to install really effective insulation. Spending time and money on insulating your property during the construction stage, will reap dividends in the longer term. The property will be more comfortable to live in and heating bills will be far lower. A really well insulated and designed property may even negate the need for a heating system altogether!
All new constructions need to undergo a diagnostic de performance energetique to ensure that they comply with the reglementation thermique (RT). New builds are also subject to the nouvelle reglementation acoustique (NRA), which specifies acceptable noise levels. When building from scratch, the extra cost of doubling or even tripling ‘normal’ insulation levels, is minimal, just extra materials and labour. Even if you are not particularly skilled when it comes to DIY, installing insulation is one job that most people can tackle, thus cutting costs even further.
Different parts of the property will have different insulative requirements, in terms of heat, sound or both. There is a vast and ever changing range of products available with most of the big DIY stores carrying a good selection. You could opt for traditional ‘rockwool’ or laine minerale, choose high tech multi-foil or go green with hemp -chanvre. However, even among similar types of product, there can be big variations in price and performance so research is essential!
Whatever type of insulation you choose, make sure you tackle thermal bridges, which are places where heat can escape and condensation can form. They are found where there is a break in the insulation such as un-insulated joists or in corners around doors and windows. Eliminate them by being careful to insulate joists, around pipes and add extra insulation in corners and at the base of external walls.