Tackling heat loss

Researchers at Napier University have developed a new product that can significantly improve the thermal efficiency of new homes.


Researchers at Napier University have developed a product that can significantly improve the thermal efficiency of new homes.


The product will be manufactured through a licence deal with Icopal, one of the world’s largest specialist construction membrane manufacturers.


Called ‘Wall Cap’, the product tackles the heat loss that occurs in attached houses and flats, which make up 75 per cent of the UK new housing market. The product is also designed to achieve enhanced sound insulation and reduce air leakage in buildings.


The development of the Wall Cap was spearheaded by Sean Smith, professor of construction innovation within Napier’s Building Performance Centre, through the Proof of Concept Programme, managed by Scottish Enterprise.


Significant heat loss can occur in attached homes at the cavity party walls. But Prof Smith’s 3mm membrane, which will include proprietary Icopal technology, prevents the cavity convection and can be incorporated into new-build designs without changing the original design storey height.


At present, cavity convected heat is not included within new-build regulations but is a major source of heat loss.


The sound insulation benefits for flats and apartments will also allow builders to achieve more credits for the Code for Sustainable Homes, which operates in England.


Icopal, which has UK offices in Cumbernauld, Belfast, Crawley, and Manchester, is also partnering with Cullen Building Products in Fife to supply the innovative metal connectors that accompany the membrane.