Space saving insulation

27% of the UK’s total carbon emissions are from residential buildings. This means there is a great incentive to improve existing housing stock to meet government target reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.

Designed to encourage innovative plans for retrofitting existing social housing, the Retrofit for the Future Competition aims to devise a blueprint for low carbon social housing refits. It is being delivered by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), a government-backed organisation that invests in technological innovation.

Following submission of A Whole House Low Carbon Solution for Everyday Living, Gifford’s Building Sustainability team, led by Director Glen Irwin, was selected by TSB to apply its ecoretrofit proposals to 11 Tintagel Drive.

11 Tintagel Drive, a 1960’s 3 bedroom semi-detached house in the London borough of Harrow, is typical of the social housing abundant in the borough and representative of the majority of local authority owned property in the UK.

The engineer at Gifford first contacted the A. Proctor Group’s technical department providing their target u-values for the eco retrofit project, and requested input on what type of insulation they could use to reach the targets. Also a concern was the thermal bridging in vital junctions, and requested a solution for doing this detailing.

With this information, the A. Proctor Group’s technical department were able to provide floor and wall u-value calculations and a condensation risk analysis with options of either insulation between the joists or over the existing floor.

To achieve a u-value of 1.12 W/m2K, the A. Proctor Group supplied Spacetherm PP.

Spacetherm is one of the world’s best performing insulation materials, with a class leading thermal conductivity of 0.013 W/mK. It is moisture and mould resistant and there is no decrease in thermal performance over 50 years. Its ultra-thin insulation saves valuable space without altering the exterior fabric of the building. Spacetherm PP is insulation bonded to a Plywood reinforced Plasterboard for internal refurbishment of exterior walls. The plywood reinforcement allows for a direct shot fire fixing to be used making the installation quicker and simpler.

This project is already demonstrating that energy saving measures such as innovative retrofit insulation can dramatically reduce carbon emissions in existing housing stock.

The techniques and improvements applied at 11 Tintagel Drive will be monitored by TSB for 2 years to establish whether they are viable, practical and create a comfortable living environment for residents. Ultimately, these could be refined and rolled out across the country in a cost effective “kit of solutions” to help the UK meet its 80% carbon reduction targets by 2050.

For further information related to the A. Proctor Group’s range of thermal insulation, or any of their other product ranges, please visit

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