Within homes and buildings throughout the UK, and the wider world, consumers are ever conscious of the need to be energy efficient, and the possibility of damp, mould and draughts which may occur within a building, ultimately affecting the suitability and structure.
In 2006 Pro Clima identified this challenge within the construction industry, and in their research, they found that moisture could appear due to leaks, damp building materials installed or diffusion through adjoining structural elements which ultimately could lead to long term airtightness issues and mould within a building.
As leaders within their field, Pro Clima decided to take on the challenge of solving this problem.
With their extensive experience in the area of development and production of intelligent vapour checks for thermal insulation, they created Pro Clima Intello Plus, an intelligent vapour check and airtightness membrane that can be used for all external diffusion-open structures.
However, they found that as a relatively new technological advancement within the UK, many Building Authorities and potential clients were reluctant accept Intello Plus without independent 3rd party verification from the BBA.
In order to provide reassurance to these bodies, Pro Clima approached the BBA to get their innovative technology certified and approved as fit-for-purpose.
With other products in their product range already certified by the BBA, including their Solitex Plus system, Pro Clima understood and appreciated the benefit of having their system Certified by the BBA stating that “the BBA is such a strong brand and immediately recognised in the construction industry, it was imperative that we used this resource”. (Michael Förster, Head of Application Technology - Pro Clima.)
As Pro Clima had pre-existing test data relating to the water vapour permeability of the product under different humidity conditions, the BBA needed to assess their dynamic modelling simulations of moisture movement within a range of UK constructions and environmental conditions.
In addition to this, the BBA also undertook physical testing of the products vapour permeability at different humidity’s and temperatures, to determine the durability to endorse Pro Clima’s performance claims.
To determine this, all BBA Test Services assessed the Intello Plus to EN 13984: 2004 in relation to:
- Mass per unit area
- Tensile strength and elongation
- Nail Tear
- Water vapour transmission properties
- Water vapour transmission properties after ageing
- Reaction to fire
- Air permeability
Once these tests were done, they undertook factory and manufacturing assessments by BBA Audit and Inspection’s Manufacturing System Assessors (MSA) before Pro Clima received their BBA Certification for Intello Plus.
Once Intello Plus received its BBA Agrément Certificate 14/5155, Pro Clima were able to approach a range of potential clients, including architect Stephen McPhail who utilised the system within the “Snug Within” project for Passivhaus Associates Director; Graham Drummond.
Drummond required an airtight, single storey home to be built for his son Robbie who suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a rare neurological condition. He enlisted the help of Chris Morgan of Locate Architects to develop the design for what was to be an ultra-energy efficient home.
Built from a timber-framed i-stud (walls and roof) the house was then filled with a flexible fibrous insulation and clad externally with a timber sarking board before the application of a Gutex breathable woodfibre insulation board and a vapour open racking ELKA Strong Board for the internal frame was applied.
To finish the build-up and to ensure high-performance airtight vapour and a fully breathable wall build up, Pro Clima Intello Plus was installed allowing the building to become virtually airtight and free of condensation.
This was combined with a clean filter supply via a MVHR system to enhance the overall indoor air quality and comfort of the home.
The completed timber structure has now become one of the highest performing buildings in the UK with an airtightness result of 0.1 ach@50pa.
Find out more about the Pro Clima Intello Plus airtightness system and how the BBA can help in creating new standards for the construction industry.
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