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Anyone considering building a new home quickly realises three things:
The amout of internal floor area you build into your home is critical to its finished value. There are other considerations but the more usable space there is, the more it will be worth.
Given that a typical build cost can start from £1400 per m², it's easy to see how simply building bigger will inflate your budget.
Thankfully, there are ways to maximise floor space in a self-build project without breaking the bank. One smart way to do this is to use technology and advances structural systems to release extra space within the overall house plan.
By using a market leading insulation like Kingspan’s Kooltherm within a timber structural wall we can deliver high thermal performance in a slim wall build up - delivering more internal space!
When choosing a build system many ignore thickness and performance, with cost alone being used as the main criterion for selection. There are many systems to choose from, and building to reasonable levels of thermal efficiency isn’t difficult. However, if that performance is delivered without the benefit of high-performing insulation materials it’s almost certain that the overall wall will be thicker. This means less living space for a given external envelope.
By using a market leading insulation like Kingspan’s Kooltherm within a timber structural wall, we can deliver high thermal performance in a slim wall build up. This really can pay lifelong dividends.
To illustrate the point let’s look at some typical walls. Based on a brick external skin with a cavity let’s compare some systems that provide a U-value of 0.17 W/m2K inclusive of service zones and internal finishes where applicable.
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You can see that both structural material and insulation type have a very significant impact on finished wall thickness. For those seeking minimalist energy bills, the Kingspan ULTIMA system can deliver 0.13 W/m2K in the wall above at only 337mm!
So choosing a high-performing insulation could yield between 68mm and 139mm of additional space around the entire perimeter. On an 8m x 10m two-storey house, that means an internal floor area ranging from 129m2 to 138m2 with Kingspan’s Kooltherm-based system. What could you do with 9 square metres of “extra” space?
The above examples deliberately simplify the description of thermal performance to a single characteristic, a “U-value” to avoid overly complex comparisons.
There are lots of paths that heat can escape along. To allow us to design out these paths, we use three energy performance measures: U-value, Psi Value and Air tightness.