A free online simulator which enables users to estimate the U-value of a project within seconds and offers a follow up comprehensive, tailored report for inclusion in a planning application, has been devised by innovative insulation manufacturer Actis.
The tool was launched in conjunction with the firms new range of dual tested mix and match products whose real life thermal performance matches their declared performance, thus helping reduce the DECC recognised performance gap.
The three products in the HYBRID range have been fully certified in the UK and Europe by accredited bodies and are suitable for use in new build and refurbishment projects, following both lab testing and on site verification.
The tool, found at http://hybrid.insulation-actis.com/, enables builders and architects to select a cocktail of ingredients in each of four scenarios to estimate the U-value to be achieved, for example, in both in a standard 89mm timber frame wall and in a thicker wall for even lower U-values.
Even by using two of the three products the vapour control layer, HControl Hybrid, and breather membrane, BoostR Hybrid - the U-value is shown to be lower than current building regulations dictate. With the addition of the new honeycomb structure insulation, Hybris, the simulator shows that U-values within standard thickness walls reach 0.16.
The exercise can be repeated in timber and masonry walls, pitched roofs and ceilings, enabling the specifier to estimate the materials required to achieve the desired U-value for an entire project within minutes.
The findings can be saved as a pdf or emailed to one of the technical team at Actis who can use the figures to prepare a comprehensive and tailored report to be included in a planning application thus eliminating a good deal of time, research and effort.
The tools designers are keen to point out that while the simulator is a helpful guide to final U-values, a project specific calculation can only be achieved after consultation with the companys technical team.