Knauf Insulation helps crown the Crow’s Nest

Knauf Insulation has helped give Rothesay on the Isle of Bute something to really ‘crow’ about! A’Chrannag, Fyne Homes’ dramatic new housing development, uses Crown® SupafilTM Cavity Wall Insulation to make it one of Europe’s most energy efficient housing projects. Designed by architect Gökay Deveci, A’Chrannag (Gaelic for ‘crow’s nest’) is based on a traditional Scottish tower and was selected by the town’s residents from three alternative design concepts. The spectacular white tower has won a clutch of awards for design innovation and energy efficiency.

A’Chrannag was one of just three buildings in Scotland to receive a RIBA Award this year and was consequently included in the shortlist for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize. It won the Scottish Design Award’s Best Affordable Housing Design, was runner-up in the RIAS’s (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) Best Building In Scotland award (but won the independent vote conducted by the BBC) and was one of the ten buildings to feature in the RIAS’s ’10-out-of-10: Buildings That Made A Difference’ exhibition held in Edinburgh during the summer.

With the highest thermal insulation performance in the UK, A’Chrannag is one of Europe’s most energy efficient social housing projects; its radical design has reduced heating requirements within each of the 14 flats to just 1.5 KW and CO2 emissions by a staggering 70 per cent! In fact, a combination of high-performance insulation, triple-glazing, airtight construction and a heat recovery system has eliminated the need for a dedicated heating system within the flats. Although a combined electric storage and panel heater is provided in the living rooms for ‘backup use’, no heating is needed in the bedrooms – incredible for a building located in a ‘high exposure zone’!

The thermal performance of a building’s external walls is fundamental in the quest for maximum energy efficiency. A’Chrannag’s walls are 600 mm thick and their construction – a plasterboard lined 140 mm block inner leaf, 300 mm wide cavity with full-fill insulation and a 100 mm dense concrete block outer leaf finished with a 20 mm thick acrylic render – results in an Elemental U-value of just 0.10 W/m2K!

“Selecting an insulation material that would support our stated objective of significantly reducing energy use – but without compromising the building’s aesthetic design – seemed quite a challenge!” said Gökay Deveci. “Apart from having a 300 mm wide cavity, the wall is also curved which makes it difficult to install slab or board insulation effectively. Crown® SupafilTM Cavity Wall Insulation has proved an ideal solution and fully satisfies both requirements.”

Crown® SupafilTM Cavity Wall Insulation is a loose glass mineral wool insulation material that is injected into the wall’s cavity through 25 mm diameter holes drilled through either the inner or outer leaf. Once installed, the material neither deteriorates or settles with age and, of course, being glass mineral wool, also provides both acoustic and fire insulation. Crown® SupafilTM Cavity Wall Insulation is covered by BBA Agrément Certificate 88/2033

Frequently associated with retro-installation (homeowners are being offered Government subsidies to have cavity wall insulation installed) Crown® SupafilTM Cavity Wall Insulation also offers designers of new-build projects an alternative method of achieving very high levels of thermal insulation. Crown® SupafilTM Cavity Wall Insulation is only available from specialist installation companies that are both fully trained and approved by Knauf Insulation and approved and monitored by the British Board of Agrément.

For further information, please visit Knauf Insulation’s website at or call the enquiries hotline on 01270 824024 quoting CR 429 05.

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