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Article Date: 9th July 2012

Dow Building Solutions - Accolade for STYROFOAM as Greening-the-Box retrofit Project Wins Gold

Insulation Products - External Insulation - Insulation Board - Polystyrene Foam

Dow House

A house in High Wycombe wrapped with STYROFOAM™ insulation has won Gold in the Built Environment category of the Green Organisation’s Green Apple Awards.

Designed in accordance with Greening-the-Box™ methods – simple but very effective building adaptation techniques that dramatically reduce CO2 emissions and eradicate almost all space heating demand– Greening-the-Box High Wycombe designs out reliance on fossil fuels and helps to mitigate energy price rises.

200mm thick STYROFOAM–A insulation was used as external insulation for outside walls and below a new in situ concrete ground floor slab, lowering the building’s average rate of heat loss to 0.35W/m2K: a very considerable 620% reduction compared with previous performance of 2.17W/m2K.

Residents of the 200 year old detached house have benefited from 80% reduction in running costs and a 100% reduction of fossil fuel use since adaptation. CO2 emissions have also been reduced by 18 tonnes per year thanks to a naturally heated environment enabled by passive solar design and high levels of insulation.

Dr Jerry Harrall, the architect behind the Greening-the-Box design concept, is thrilled that the project has received such high profile recognition.

“What has been created at Greening-the-Box High Wycombe is a perpetual environmental legacy, and we’ve been able to do that by employing simple design techniques and by using materials which are already widely available in the UK,” he said.

“I believe evidence based research, intelligent design solutions and a low tech approach can help achieve excellent building performance without a preoccupation with high tech equipment.

“What is particularly exciting about Greening-the-Box is that it offers a pragmatic, affordable and replicable solution which will no doubt be of great interest to those working hard to get the Green Deal out of policy papers and into our homes.”

Greening-the-Box is an initiative set up by SEArch (Sustainable Ecological Architecture Ltd) to support environmentally responsible adaptation of existing dwellings to standards fit for a low carbon future.

As well as an insulated envelope, the High Wycombe adaptation included making changes to fenestration to increase solar gain from the south and reduce heat transmittance to the north. 5.5 KWp of photovoltaic panels were also added to the property, generating 4,200 KWhrs and displacing 3,106 kg of CO2 in the first year.

“The remarkable energy and cost savings achieved on this award-winning project demonstrate that it is possible to make a real difference even on so-called hard to treat properties with solid walls,” added Jayne Law, UK and Ireland Sales Manager for Dow Building Solutions.

“We’re thrilled that the architect specified STYROFOAM in order to help achieve his aims and are looking forward to working with him and others on similar retrofit projects in the future as the UK strives to meet zero carbon goals.”

STYROFOAM–A is produced using carbon dioxide as a blowing agent which gives it a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of less than five. The material is ideal for external use where moisture resistance and strength are key. For more details on stockists of STYROFOAM-A and other insulation products, contact Dow Building Solutions by email below.

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