Welcome to ECOHomes Store!
Air and Wind Tightness Building Supplier in Northern Ireland
ECOHomes Store is based in Ballymena, supplying the whole of Northern Ireland with Air and Wind tightness products to enhance the sustainability of your home or Self Build project. We are not just suppliers we can advise you on the best materials to suit your home or Self Build including the installation process. Our staff have took part in passive / Low energy detailing training programs to enhance our knowledge and expertise in Air tight materials, thermal bridging and air tight membranes that you could install in your building project. Check out our training here: https://ecohomesstore.co.uk/thirst-knowledge We are passionate about the supply and use of high performance products for the construction market. The products available include Partel Air and Wind-tightness range which can dramatically enhance the performance of the building and therefore reduce energy use. Contact us today for a chat about your project for advice on product selection or a quotation from your current plans.
Super Insulation is one of the crucial aspects of Passive House Design. In a standard build the levels of insulation are only the minimum levels required by Building Control and are not sufficient to satisfy the Passive Standard of between 0.10 - 0.15 W/m2K (also known as ‘U’ Values).
Another issue in a standard build is that there is a discontinuity of the levels of insulation resulting in a high level of thermal bridging and air leakage throughout the structure which is not feasible when trying to obtain the passive standard of 15 kWh/m2 per year for energy demand.
The insulation levels and resulting ‘U’ values are the starting point of the envelope to for the building performance but is heavily reliant on the other principles to perform correctly.
• A Thermal Bridge is created when materials that are poorer insulators (e.g. concrete sills or blocks) than surrounding materials come in contact, allowing heat to flow through the path created. In passive and low energy construction the building is super insulated and thermal bridging is eliminated by careful detailing to prevent heat loss; ensuring the standard is met.
• An example of thermal bridging is in the window sill detail. This can be easily seen in the thermal modelling images completed by our in-house team, and shows the dramatic difference in the heat flow between the basic, most common detail on the left and the FmK Thermal Bridge Free detail on the right.
• Although by itself, this may not seem a lot, but when multiplied to all the sills in a building along with all the other thermal bridges, this becomes very significant. Another major effect that thermal bridges have is that they cause the surface area at the affected area to be significantly less which promotes mild growth when coupled with high moisture levels inside. Therefore careful detailing is essential but not overly difficult to achieve on site.
Airtightness is the control of airflow within a building. This means there is no unexpected air leakage (losing warm air) or no cold air infiltration from the exterior, especially in windy conditions.
In design and construction terms, this means that the external envelope is made airtight with the use of airtight membranes, tapes and liquid membranes along with careful detailing to ensure all areas are treated. The main benefit of airtight construction are:
Reduced heat loss.
• Reduced energy costs
• More even temperatures within the building (i.e. no draghts)
• Reduces risk of interstitial condensation within the external envelope
The Passive House Standard for an air test result is 0.6 Air Changes Per Hour@50Pa air pressure. Compared to the current Building Control requirement of less than 5 Air Changes Per Hour, you can see the enormous difference in air leakage from a Passive House construction and standard construction.
This test is carried out with a large fan system and is called the ‘Blower Door Test’. At FmK we offer our clients an intermediate blower door test with our own equipment at the time of applying the air tightness products so that any small leaks can be found and rectified at this time. This is much easier at this stage than trying to find leaks when everything is covered up. Making the house air tight is probably one of the more important and difficult parts of the build but with proper details and training, this is made easier.