We work with architects and developers every day to help them save money, or improve the energy performance of their designs using our products. One particular house we’ve been asked to look at is a typical A3 rated, semi-detached house. The house is part of a large development of around 300 houses, so there’s potential to save about €360,000 on this project, and that’s the kind of figure no developer or architect can ignore!
We’ve provided three different options for the architect, all of which will reduce building costs substantially, and one of which will also improve the energy rating of the building from an A3 to an A2 rated house.
The table in Fig. 1 shows how the performance varies in the different options, and below in Fig. 2, there is a summary of the changes made and the cost savings in each scenario.
|Option 1||Option 2||Option 3 *A2*|
|110mm PIR – 110mm EPS||110mm PIR – 110mm EPS||110mm PIR – 110mm EPS|
|45mm less PIR in Walls||25mm less PIR in Walls||1 less PV Panel|
|100mm Less Quilt in Roof||1 less PV Panel|
|Circa €1,200 Savings||Circa €1,200 Savings||Circa €700 Savings|
One of the simplest changes we made in every scenario was to change the floor insulation, and this is something we’ve been recommending to a lot of clients recently, given the current shortage of PIR insulation in the market. This one change saved almost €400 in this house, and we’re seeing similar savings in a lot of the houses we’ve looked at, so it’s certainly a change everyone should consider.
By switching the PIR floor insulation to Quinn EPS Pearl insulation, there’s no requirement to increase the thickness of insulation used when we’re using Quinn Lite blocks, so this is a straight swap, and an instant saving.
In all cases, we’ve used Quinn Lite thermal blocks in key junctions to combat thermal bridging, which has improved the thermal performance of the building. Quinn Lite blocks can vastly improve the Psi values at key junctions, by as much as 750%, as this recent thermal bridging comparison study shows, and with strengths of up to 7.5N/mm2, the blocks perfectly combine strength and thermal performance.
The addition of the Quinn Lite blocks then allows us to change the spec in other areas, and this is where the rest of the cost savings are made. For example, we can reduce the wall and/or roof insulation, or remove a PV panel to make significant savings.
With the increasing demand for more energy efficient homes, and near zero energy building (nZEB) regulations coming into effect in Ireland, we’ve also provided an option which improves the thermal performance of the house, and still saves money.
With Quinn Lite blocks in place and Quinn EPS Pearl insulation in the floor, the architect can afford to remove one of the PV panels and still see a change from an A3 to an A2 rated house. What’s more, the developer will achieve a €700 saving per house in this case also. Proof that better performance doesn’t have to cost more!
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