Home Owners

Click here for information about
insulating your home

 

Contractors’ Information

Click here to apply to become
an official ThermaBead
insulation technician

 

Join Our Network

Click here to find out how easy it
is to Join Our Network

Introduction

This page will give you a brief insight to how ThermaBead is made, and how you can benefit by using it to insulate your new homes.

ThermaBead is an EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) system which is injected through the inner leaf once the building is water tight. ThermaBead offers the best thermal performance of all EPS systems in the UK offering a Lambda value of just λ 0.032. This ensures you can meet tougher targets set under new Part LA1 2014 changes.

We manufacture and install ThermaBead meaning costs are minimal. You no longer need to buy your insulation and then pay builders or contractors to install it. All installation work is carried out by an approved ThermaBead technician. This ensures ThermaBead is installed correctly to BBA and NHBC specification and give you assurance that every new home you build is 100% filled.

Full-fill cavities is becoming more popular with lower U value targets set. We are currently filling recently built properties (1998 onwards) with ThermaBead which have cavity batts in. You can use the 100% fill as a selling point to potential customers, showing them you have considered their long term energy costs.

Most importantly using ThermaBead will save you time and money, please read the benefits on this page to explain in further detail how we can save you time on builds and reduce your costs. The management system of ThermaBead has been assessed and registered as meeting the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001:2008 by SGS (UK) Ltd (Certificate GB97/9923).

 

Durability

The thermal insulation properties of ThermaBead will remain effective for the life of the building. The insulation will not crack nor settle. It is a dimensionally stable, chemically inert product, which is resistant to attack from bacteria, moulds and fungi, and will not provide nutrient value for insects or vermin. It is also non-toxic and non-irritant during the lifetime of ThermaBead.

 

What is ThermaBead?

You can use ThermaBead to assist you in meeting new lower expectations within the 2014 versions of Part L1A (conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings). One of the changes is the introduction of the “notional dwelling specification“. In essence, you can use ThermaBead to achieve great U values in walls to save money on other areas (i.e. roof, windows) for the dwelling to comply with the fabric energy efficiency and carbon emission requirements of Part L1A.

 

ThermaBead Case Study

The following shows difference in prices and U values of houses built with different insulation methods.

Prices are for insulation and internal blocks, not including bricks and plasterboard as these would be identical in both builds (50 homes @ 120m² each would need 6000m² of blocks and insulation):

Build 1 – Brick outer leaf
50mm Celotex Board
Celcon Block 3.6N 600kg/m³
Dot and Dab Inner

Celotex Boards
Celecon Block 3.6N

£3.35 per board covering 0.54m²
£9.95m²
Total

£37,222
£59,700
£96,922

The total cost does not include the extra wall ties and fittings for the cavity boards. Also does not account for any damage/ waste for board cutting/shaping.

U Value for Build 1 is 0.29

Build 2 – Brick outer leaf
100mm ThermaBead Diamond Bead
Dense concrete block 7.3n
Dot and Dab Inner

ThermaBead Diamond Bead
Dense Concrete Block 7.3N

£7.94m²
£4.70m²
Total

£47,652
£28,200
£75,852

U Value for Build 1 is 0.29
Saving on materials would be £21,070 or 21% for this project, while getting a better thermal performance.

How can ThermaBead save homebuilders money?

ThermaBead is the most cost effective way of insulating walls. There is no wastage, no storage or need for bricklayers to fit time consuming cavity boards. Insulating peaks is not needed so a saving of 10-15% is possible if there is no living accommodation behind the peak.

Thermabead can reduce build costs in several ways:
•  No storage of boards so no space used and eliminating theft issues.
•  Bricklaying efficiency increased by 6-12% (Should obtain cheaper bricklaying costs).
•  No need to fill gable peaks saving 10-15% material.
•  No wastage of insulation as we install ThermaBead - also eliminating damage to stored materials.
•  Use ThermaBead U values in “notional dwelling specification”. Save money in other parts of build.
•  Improve Cash flow- we can install when you require, no need to pay for installing cavity boards during build.
•  Building larger cavities can reduce in costs- expensive AAC insulating blocks are not always needed when using ThermaBead Building 120-150mm cavities filled with ThermaBead means builders can use cheaper dense concrete blocks on all builds. U value targets are getting harder to achieve meaning thicker expensive insulating blocks are being used, simply use a wider cavity to easily reach these targets.
•  Many home with cavity boards are now being ‘topped up’ with more insulation like ThermaBead. Fill your cavities 100% and use this as a selling point to your customers.

 

Why change from using cavity boards?

ThermaBead is certified by the same organisation as all insulation products - the BBA. The BBA is the UK’s major authority offering approval and certification services to manufacturers and installers supplying the construction industry. BBA Approval is recognised by building control, government departments, architects, local authorities, specifiers, and industry insurers like the NHBC.

ThermaBead has been through the same rigorous testing as all insulation products to gain its BBA certificate. ThermaBead has been installed into 100,000’s of homes in the UK saving homeowners money and reducing CO² emissions. Installing bonded bead such as ThermaBead is common practice in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

Cavity boards are often fitted poorly and not to correct specification. This can result in inspections waiving rules. Leaving an empty cavity to be installed with ThermaBead eliminates this and ensures the cavity is cleaner. While the cavity is empty the wall has more time to dry out as well. Boards must also be cut and shaped which takes time and causes waste, again ThermaBead avoids any of this. Boards do not fill around window and door lintels and often do not go all the way down to DPC at floor level. This means the cavity is not 100% full. On a large semi detached there will be large voids where heat can escape. ThermaBead gives a 100% guaranteed fill so no gaps or voids are left resulting in a consistent layer of insulation in the walls.

 

ThermaBead Diamond Bead

Brick Outer Dense Block Inner with Dot and Dab

ThermaBead Diamond Bead

Wall build (Internal to External: 12.5mm plasterboard λ 0.210, 15mm airspace/plaster dabs R 0.170,
100mm concrete dense block λ 1.130, ThermaBead Diamond λ 0.032, 105mm brick outer leaf λ 0.770.
Assumes fixings correction for fully penetrating stainless steel fixing (50 W m -1 K-1) at 2.5 per m² with
cross sectional area of 12.5mm² nominal U value and 105mm thick brick outer leaf)

 

ThermaBead Diamond Bead

Brick Outer Light Block Inner with Dot and Dab

Chart 2

Wall build (Internal to External: 12.5mm plasterboard λ 0.210, 15mm airspace/plaster dabs R 0.170,
115mm AAC block(450kg/m³) λ 1.110, ThermaBead Diamond λ 0.032, 105mm brick outer leaf λ 0.770.
Assumes fixings correction for fully penetrating stainless steel fixing (50 W m -1 K-1) at 2.5 per m² with
cross sectional area of 12.5mm² nominal U value and 105mm thick brick outer leaf)

 

ThermaBead Diamond Bead

Brick Outer Medium Block Inner with Dense Plaster

Chart 3

Wall build (Internal to External: 13mm gypsum plaster (1300kg/m³) λ 0.570, 100mm AAC block
(600kg/m³) λ 1.180, ThermaBead Diamond λ 0.032, 105mm brick outer leaf λ 0.770.
Assumes fixings correction for fully penetrating stainless steel fixing (50 W m -1 K-1) at 2.5 per m²
with cross sectional area of 12.5mm² nominal U value and 105mm thick brick outer leaf)

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does ThermaBead perform?
ThermaBead offers improved insulation performance over conventional insulation. Inbuilt infrared reflectors virtually eliminate the effect of heat radiation. With a λ lambda value of 0.032 W/mK, U values of 0.17 can be achieved (Dependent on construction type). ThermaBead ensures 100% cavity fill with no wastage. ThermaBead eliminates cold spots above doors & windows where DPC prevent boards being fitted. There is no reduction in performance from moisture retention as in many existing systems.


How can ThermaBead save homebuilders money?

ThermaBead is the most cost effective way of insulating walls. There is no wastage, no storage or need for bricklayers to fit time consuming cavity boards. Insulating peaks is not needed so a saving of 10-15% is possible if there is no living accommodation behind the peak. Thermabead can reduce build costs in several ways:

Examples of Build type and U value for 100mm Cavity:

  Brick, ThermaBead Diamond Bead, Dense Block, Dab & Plasterboard

  Brick, ThermaBead Diamond Bead, Medium Block, Dab & Plasterboard

  Render, Medium Block, ThermaBead Diamond Bead, Medium Block, Dab & Plasterboard

  Brick, ThermaBead Diamond Bead, Light Block, Plaster

0.27

0.24

0.22

0.23

 

Will ThermaBead bridge the cavity or retain water?

ThermaBead will not allow water to cross the wall construction. ThermaBead allows safe dispersal of any water. The gaps that naturally occur between the spherical beads allow any water to drain down freely to the ground, rather than across to create damp problems on inside walls. The structure of the installed ThermaBead allows the cavity to retain the ability to breathe as intended with the cavity wall insulation in place. This allows ThermaBead to be used in any exposure zone. However, the use of ThermaBead does not preclude the need to apply an external render coat or other suitable finish in severe or very severe exposure zones where such application would be normal practice.

 

Does the NHBC accept the use of ThermaBead?

NHBC accepts the use of ThermaBead, ThermaBead Carbon Saver and ThermaBead Diamond Bead cavity wall insulation provided they are installed as per BBA certificate 06/4300.

 

Part L Changes

(From 6th April 2014 Part L 2013 superseded Part L 2010)

What does this mean for you?
The changes to Part L of the Building Regulations have resulted in a requirement for a further 9% reduction (aggregate) in carbon dioxide emissions in order to achieve Part L compliance, and therefore increase construction cost.

The 9% improvement applies to England only. Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland will be issuing their own versions of Building Regulations over the coming months.

In Wales the new target is a 20% improvement over 2010 which came. In addition to this there will be TPEC (Target Primary Energy Consumption) measured in kWh/m². Also the 1000m² threshold for consequential improvements to energy performance has been removed for extensions (applies to buildings in Wales).

 

Key changes to the notional building are:

•  Air permeability now varies for building size but is as low as 3m³/hr per m² at 50 Pa
•  U values are improved
•  Boiler heating efficiencies have improved
•  Additional ventilation controls have been included

The new system uses limiting U values based on a new recipe of U values, being:
•  0.13 for floors
•  0.18 for walls
•  0.13 for roofs

The backstop values for flexing remain effectively unchanged from the 2010 edition. This means U values of:
•  0.25 for floors
•  0.30 for walls
•  0.00 for party walls
•  0.20 for roofs