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Xtratherm’s CavityTherm leads in AIMC4 ‘world-class’ energy efficient homes


Xtratherm’s innovative full fill built-in wall insulation CavityTherm has been installed in Code Level 4 homes as part of the £6.4m AIMC4 project. The project is funded by the Government backed Technology Strategy Board – the UK’s innovation agency – and five Consortium partners. The partners are Stewart Milne Group, Crest Nicholson Plc, Barratt Developments Plc, H+H UK Ltd, and the BRE.

The Consortium built 17 homes that meet the energy requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4. The new homes are a testing ground for investigating how a highly insulated envelope to Code Level 4 energy requirements can be achieved effectively and economically using a fabric-first approach. The homes vary in design and size, and with different fabric and product solutions.

Housebuilders Crest Nicholson and Barratt Homes each committed to building at least four of these ‘world-class’ energy efficient homes. Crest Nicholson has built five at its Noble Park development in Epsom and CavityTherm is installed in one of those units. Xtratherm also provided high performance insulation for one of the four homes built by Barratt at its Meridian Park development in Corby.

Xtratherm Sales & Marketing Manager Kerry Westlake says: “The AIMC4 Consortium is the driving force for developing and building the best energy efficient homes by utilising a fabric-first approach without the use of renewables. CavityTherm is the ideal wall insulation solution to meet Code Level 4 and key standards such as the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard and Zero Carbon, while retaining traditional methods of construction. It is a pioneering product with a unique profile facing that avoids thermal bridging, directing any moisture that might have penetrated the external wall down the protecting facing and back onto the external leaf. The high performance composite PIR board includes specifically designed rebated edge detailing on all four edges to allow the systems to tightly interlock when installed.

“This ground-breaking project aims to maximise air tightness of the building envelope, while maintaining good air quality, to make best use of its insulation performance,” continues Kerry. “CavityTherm not only achieves very good U-values but also excellent thermal bridging Y-values due to the close attention to detailing and engineered solutions such as pre-formed corner boards, insulated stepped cavity trays and insulated detailing around periscope floor vent points. Working closely with builders, training colleges, and developers, Xtratherm has pioneered the use of engineered products and better detailing to optimise the performance of PIR insulation in energy efficient homes.”