Insulation is the primary way of reducing heating bills, using less energy and an insulated garden office building will keep you warm and dry. This is a brief article to help you start to think about an insulated garden office and what’s involved in insulating effectively.
The dormouse builds its nest in thick bushes during the summer to raise it’s young – a nest that’s well insulated and air-conditioned. In winter dormice often nest at ground level, using thick layers of leaf litter to insulate them against the cold. You need to do the same, but possibly not using leaves.
How much insulation should you use?
The simple answer is as much as possible.
- 50mm of insulation will give you some protection from the cold, but you will use a noticable amount of electricity keeping the garden office warm in winter and cool in summer.
- 100mm of good quality insulation in floors wall and roof, combined with double glazing and a heavy, well fitting door will give you a well insulated garden office, as long as the windows aren’t too big. Lots of heat is lost through windows, French windows and patio doors in the winter and lots of heat comes in through the same windows in the summer.
- 200mm will give you a tremendously well insulated garden office and you will see the fuel bills drop.
One of the basics that you need to know is that some types of insulation insulate better than others. This in known as thermal conductivity or K value. There is an informative introductory article on K and U values here.
What type of insulation?
This depends upon how eco-friendly you want to be.
Sheepswool insulation has lots of advantages. It’s kind to the environment and hydroscopic. Hydroscopic insulation absorbs excess moisture in the air and uses the moisture to increase the efficiency of its insulation. This stops condensation. Correctly installed, you will get the best and most comfortable environment in an insulated garden office with a hydroscopic product, but they are also the most expensive. Other hydroscopic insulations are made from cellulose and from hemp.
Mineral wool insulation will also reduce condensation if it is installed with a breather membrane and if there enough space for air to circulate between the insulation and the back of the plasterboard in your garden office.
Rigid insulation blocks made from urethane can cause condensation inside the structure and rot timbers if used throughout a wooden building without correctly installed vapour barriers and breather papers.
SIP insulated panels can also cause condensation unless your building is ventilated properly.
Use a professional insulation installer
When insulating a garden office is it vital to use a building professional who understands how different types of insulation work and how to install them so that they improve your comfort rather than cause problems. Badly installed insulation can create damp problems and cause timber to rot. There is more to a well insulated garden office than meets the eye!
Check Installation Methods
All insulation manufacturers produce downloadable information and drawings about how to use their insulation. it is worth reading their information and familiarizing yourself with how insulation should be used. If you have no experience in construction or find technical matters daunting, find a trusted professional to help you.
You can find out more about different insulation materials and their k values here: –
Black Mountain sell sheepswool, hemp and wood fibre insulations www.blackmountaininsulation.com
Mineral Wool insulation is made in Wales by Rockwool www.rockwool.co.uk