News & Insights

The Benefits of Airtightness and Synergie

Up to half of all heat loss in buildings can be due to uncontrolled ventilation and air leakage through the external fabric of the building envelope. Warm air can still leak out and cold air can still enter through the joints of the building fabric, despite increased insulation values. A well installed airtightness system can reduce air leakage in the building. The main air leakage points that attention should be paid to are:

  • Joints between walls, roofs and ceilings
  • Joints between foundation and wood structure in timberframe
  • Overlaps and interruption of membranes
  • Joints between walls and window/door frames
  • Penetrations in the external envelope – pipes, cables etc.
  • Unplastered blockwork, such as between intermediate timber floor joists

Due to air leakage, an average house needs to heat up to 4-5 times more air than is actually required to reach a comfortable living temperature. Proper insulation and an airtightness system reduces this heated air loss, saving energy and reducing heating bills.

Moisture in buildings arises from several sources: if it is not properly controlled it can lead to mould growth and condensation. There are well documented risks associated with the presence of mould in buildings. Fresh, clean air is always highly desirable. Condensation, if unchecked, can lead to damp and mould forming which can have an adverse affect on both the building’s and the occupants health. By following good “fabric first principles” and installing an airtightness system that minimises condensation risk, it will ensure there is no structural damage from moisture, mould and damp.

Heat that escapes from buildings carry a significant amount of moisture. As this warm, vapour-laden, air passes through insulation and can leave behind humidity, which will weaken the u-value or thermal performance of the insulation. If this moisture cannot dry out quickly, it could lead to further damage in the fabric of the building. By installing an airtight vapour layer, it protects the insulation, thus enhancing the thermal performance of the building.

As we build more airtight and thermally efficient buildings, the need for proper ventilation increases. A ventilation system can range from simple natural ventilation, right up to mechanical systems for low energy/passive standard house design. If a mechanical ventilation system is installed, the building must be particularly airtight in order for that system to work efficiently, and to enjoy healthy, comfortable buildings.

Houses are well insulated now, under building regulations, and must meet minimum U-value calculations. However, a badly fitted airtight layer, or unrepaired damage to the airtight layer will reduce the U-value calculation. On the other hand, a well installed airtightness system will ensure that the desired U-value is attained, and will lead to optimum building results for the lifetime of the Building Energy Rating.

The weak points of a building are not large surfaces but all the interruptions and openings in the roof or wall, such as conduits, waste and soil pipes and ducts, pipes for solar systems, window and door frames. The key is to totally seal these air leakage points. The Synergie Airtightness system can ensure this happens. Etag supply Synergie – a complete system including an airtight vapour control layer membrane and airtight tapes for achieving optimum airtightness.

The Synergie Sd2 vapour control layer is a two-layer, translucent airtight vapour control layer with an Sd value of 2m and is 100gramme/m2 in weight. It is manufactured as a combination of an upper protective layer of water-repellent, UV-stabilised, completely 100% airtight, polypropylene spunbound fleece and on the underside, the functional film, slightly diffusible (allowing slow vapour diffusion) polypropylene film. With its optimum fixed Sd value, Sd2m, this fully 100% airtight VCL is perfectly suitable for the underside of ceilings in most pitched roof applications.

The Synergie Multi Tape is available in 60mm and 100mm widths. It is a universal acrylic adhesive tape with mesh scrim reinforcement for both inside and outside use. It is slightly stretchable, making it perfect for use around small pipe and wiring penetrations. This ability to stretch is very useful where there is settlement in timber elements. It can be used for permanent sealing of Synergie breathable membranes, Synergie vapour control layers and barriers at the overlaps or directly onto the lateral surfaces of roof windows, vents etc. as well as sealing the joints in OSB boards/plywood. It is suitable for connections to metal surfaces, such as RSJs. timber and concrete. The innovative Synergie Multi Tape Easy Rip 60mm is a multifunctional, universal acrylic adhesive tape that is manually hand tearable for ease of application.

The Synergie Fassaden Tape is a professional, universal, UV-stabilised, polyethylene 60mm wide adhesive tape, with polyester reinforcing mesh with highly adhesive acrylic glue. It is black in colour. It is ideal for concealing overlap joints.

For more information on Synergie products, contact uksales@etagfixings.com today.

Fast Trak – The Complete Offsite Solution

ETAG GRIPPLE FAST TRAK

Fast Trak is a pre-fabricated bracket solution that has been designed for speed, flexibility and efficient use of space. It is widely used for the installation of electrical containment, pipework, ductwork and other mechanical containment and is up to 6 times faster than the traditional suspension systems.

The system can be stacked neatly on site to reduce storage requirements. Fast Trak itself is lightweight and virtually invisible. With a four sided bracket, it is versatile providing a suspension point on every face. It is ideal for the installation of combined bracketry and multi-tiered configuration to accommodate additional services.

It is a tool free installation. Brackets can be moved up and down with ease to accommodate changes during installation. No levelling tools are required as there are indicators on each bracket offering a measurement guide when marking fixed points on a ceiling, shortening the amount of time working at height. Safety locks ensure security once the brackets and tracks are in place.  

Fast Trak reduces health and safety risks on site. There is no need to cut threaded rod or channel on site as it is all prefabricated offsite. There are no hotworks or filing needed on site as the excess tracks can be snapped off or hidden once the bracket is levelled and secured.

Fast Trak increases environmental credentials on site. It is a zero waste solution as tracks can be bent and tidied away under the bracket. There is less packaging waste and increased CO2 savings due to less transportation needed. Complete traceability can be provided and is backed up by a 25 year product warranty.

Fire tested in line with BS EN 1363 – 1:2012, Fast Trak comes with fire test reports, product datasheets and CE markings. Etag supply and deliver Fast Trak on site partnering with Gripple, who provide a range of technical support at every stage of the project. Consider it done.

Introducing Etag i200

Etag i200 Vinylester Hybrid Resin

Etag i200 is a vinylester hybrid resin developed to anchor threaded rods and rebar into concrete. Efficient, versatile, the all-rounder.

i200 is ETA approved and suitable for use in in Seismic applications under C2.

  • Has fast working times for early loading in time sensitive applications 
  • For fixings in concrete, wood and other high strength materials  
  • For use in wet and flooded holes 
  • No styrene allows for use indoors and enclosed spaces 
  • No hazardous waste – the resin can be reused until empty

Chemical resins for construction, whether injected or in the form of a pre mixed capsule consist of three parts: the resin, hardener and aggregate. When mixed, resin is immensely strong and creates a superior performance of fixing threaded rods and reinforcement bar. Resin is so flexible in its use that it will always give the highest performance of any post installed fixing to concrete, block or stonework. They offer closer edge and spacing distances due to there being no expansion stresses on the concrete, unlike mechanical set anchors. With the addition of plastic/mesh sleeves, resins can be installed overhead and into voided/cracked base material. For this reason, resins are often deemed to be the “problem solver”.  

Find out more about Etag i200, contact uksales@etagfixings.com