Housing Specification Blog

How to achieve maximum building performance…

October 26, 2012 Alexandra Blakeman Housing Issues

Today’s guest blogger is Kevin Hall, Senior Trainer at the Saint-Gobain Technical Academy. He talks to HS about installation techniques and getting the best out of your building solutions.

As one of Saint-Gobain’s Technical Academy trainers, I’ve seen numerous techniques used to install essential building components, such as insulation and plasterboard, over the years. However, as systems and products have evolved, so has the need to adjust installation techniques in order to get the most out of a solution.

Students get to work at the Technical Academy

Whether you’re a contractor, specifier or work for a housing association, it’s important you have a clear understanding of the best techniques to use when installing any product to ensure it is done correctly. Having a clear understanding of how products and systems should be installed enables you to advise clients on why you have chosen that particular solution, making sure it performs to its full potential giving a maximum return on investment.

Here are just a few of the best practice installation techniques we recommend to our trainees that are simple to do, yet have maximum impact on the thermal performance of a building.

Preventing air gaps – fitting insulation without air gaps may sound obvious but you’ll be surprised how easy it is to get this wrong. A simple adjustment to the positioning of two adjoining pieces of insulation prevents this break from occurring, creating a clean air tight seal around the structure.

More than a dot and a dab – for over 60 years the dot and dab technique has been the preferred method for fixing boards to a wall. However, just because it’s been around for a long while doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best. For optimal performance, we always recommend a complete ribbon of adhesive is used instead of dot and dab. This way, you can be sure there is a complete seal around windows and doors.

Only use what you need – the old saying less is more may not always be the case, but when it comes to insulation fittings this is definitely true. Using too many fixings can cause unnecessary cold bridging so it’s important that you only use the recommended amount of fixings as this will ensure the insulation is held in place without causing any performance issues.

Keep on learning

Continual learning is a vital part of any job and positions within the construction industry are no different. By adapting your skill set you can continue to produce high quality structures which meet the needs of today and the future.

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