Membranes deliver thermal efficiency

WITH the need to build more housing to meet Government targets alongside the increased requirement for energy efficient homes, modern methods of offsite construction (MMC) are being seen as key ways to address the housing shortage.

Protect Membranes, a division of Building Product Design Ltd alongside its sister company Glidevale, is a UK producer of construction membranes and products designed for use in offsite construction, whether residential or commercial.

Using reflective membrane technology, Protect’s VC Foil Ultra and TF200 Thermo products are specifically designed to enhance the thermal performance and airtightness of a timber frame panelled wall construction, which the firm said delivers low emissivity and ensures radiant heat is reflected back into the structure to minimise absorption and energy transfer. Both products are independently certified by BM TRADA through their Q Mark certification scheme and form part of Protect’s range of membranes for the construction and roofing markets.

Protect Membranes claim that when installed together in a cavity wall with a still airspace, VC Foil
Ultra and TF200 Thermo provide a cost effective solution to enhance the thermal efficiency of a building by up to 25%. This is based on the equivalent of up to 60mm of 0.035W/mK insulation to the wall U-value without adding to its overall thickness, thereby maximising the available internal floor area.

As well as contributing to the house structure in terms of meeting demanding U-value specifications, the firm said combining products can deliver significant cost savings on the wall build. Both membranes feature a colour coding system to guide customers on correct installation: red print on VC Foil Ultra, the air and vapour control layer (AVCL) for use on the warm side of the insulation and blue print on TF200 Thermo, a breather membrane to be formed on the sheathing board on the outside/cold side of the insulation.

Traditional masonry construction can also use Protect VC Foil Ultra and a service void to give an improvement on the U-value result, with no need to parge coat the blockwork.

The Protect membrane solution is complemented by a range of high tack, untearable adhesive tapes. The ‘lap and seal’ range ensures that junctions between walls and floors/ceilings are fully sealed.

John Mellor, product manager for Protect said, “Based on our technical calculations, using Protect VC Foil Ultra and TF200 Thermo together within a timber frame construction in a still airspace cavity could provide a saving of over £750 per average two-bed property, whilst still achieving a low U-value of 0.21, when compared to a standard vapour control layer and breather membrane.

“This represents a tremendous potential for modular build manufacturers to present a complete solution to their housebuilder and housing association clients with a focus on reduced build costs and thermal efficiency.”

Protect was recently awarded the highest level of membership accreditation to the STA Assure scheme after assessment by the Structural Timber Association (STA). Achieving Gold Level status, this recognises the range of internal quality standards, management systems and external product performance certification a company holds to provide customer assurance in the construction, offsite build and timber frame sectors.

John Mellor said, “As a proud member of the STA, we are delighted to be awarded the STA Assure Gold Accreditation, the highest accolade that is achievable.  Meeting this accreditation criteria gives us a platform to offer added reassurance to our customers.”