Specified: Insulation Sep/Oct 2013

Editor's assortment of insulations products to suit ever need

1. Acoustic panels, Soundtect

If you’re sinking beneath a deluge of noise then waves might, strangely enough, be what you need more of. Soundtect’s acoustic A Wave panel will reduce sound levels with some style and, with an eye on saving the planet, is made of recycled plastic bottles to keep a high sustainability rating. Each panel can be painted any colour to suit the user, mixing practicality with a completely flexible aesthetic. So when sound levels rise, customers should find themselves not drowning but Waving.


2. Energy saving rooflights, Brett Martin

Rooflights can alleviate the difficulties of bringing light into wide-span buildings such as factories, warehouses or recreation centres, and Brett Martin Daylight Systems feels it has the perfect answer. Its Energysaver composite panel rooflights sit flush with the roof profile and deliver a consistent diffused daylight to the activities below. With a nice neat internal finish, they should achieve the ideal balance of enabling building users to see what they’re doing without ever noticing the reason why.


3. Acoustic plaster, CMS Danskin Acoustics

CMS Danskin Acoustics probably wants to shout about its imaginative sound-reduction work in Liverpool’s Picton Reading Room, but since it’s a library they’ll just have to make do with a penetrating whisper. Cutting noise levels in a domed 19th century room lined with bookshelves was never going to be achieved using the usual methods, so the firm sprayed its Fellert ‘Even Better’ acoustic plaster into the soffits beneath the balconies of the upper shelving areas. Just the subtle sort of approach that a library needs.


4. Blade panels, Spectral

With a bit of vertical thinking Spectral has produced a different type of sound-absorbing baffle with double the benefit. The firm’s Blade panels hang vertically from the school, college or office ceiling, handily incorporating a light fitting on the underside. The panels are particularly aimed at noise-generating bare concrete interiors, matching the stripped-back aesthetic with their own simplicity. From a performance point of view it’s less ‘son’ and more ‘lumiere’.


5. Translucent cladding, Rodeca

It’s glass Jim, but not as we know it... Magdalen College School’s new multi-function Studio – for sports, dance and other potentially spectated activities – is clad in Rodeca Kristall panels punctuated with feature windows in coloured glass. The 50mm thick translucent panels admit up to 65% light while guarding against heat and sound transmission, allowing the activity inside to be comfortably delivered only to its chosen audience, unhampered by the rest of the school running riot outside.


6. External wall protection, Rockwool

2013 meets 1968 with Rockwool’s energy-efficient REDart, an external wall insulation that gives acoustic as well as thermal protection, and has a truly flamboyant decorative finish. Drab concrete or brick buildings can burst into life during their retrofits, as finishes of flowers, pop art or psychedelic patterns and colours rekindle the hippy atmosphere of flower power and the Summer of Love. So turn on, tune in, light your pipe and get in the green groove.


7. Multifoil insulation, Actis

Self-builder Daniel Sowerby is sleeping easy whatever the weather, having used Actis Triso Super 10 to insulate the roof and walls of his new home. He says his winter heating bill (gas and electric combined) is down to £320 while the loft room stays cool when it’s sunny, giving him a satisfying ‘win, win, win: well insulated, no draughts and no solar over-heating’. But although he’s justifiably delighted with the impact of all that multifoil at Chez Sowerby, let’s hope he’s going to do a bit of decorating before he moves the family in.


8. Tapered roof boards, Kingspan

You have to take your hat off to the Jerwood Gallery, which has lifted the unassuming seaside town of Hastings out of the cultural backwaters and plopped it down in the middle of fine art’s super highway. But it’s not just its award winning aesthetic: Kingspan’s Thermataper TT47 LPC/FM insulation makes the building cool too, so it’s both energy efficient and protected from anything that the coastal climate, fishermen or holidaymakers that share its beach location might throw at it.