Actis Hybrid Insulation

Northamptonshire builder insulates his own washhouse extension with ‘clean and easy’ Actis

A Northamptonshire builder who loves the cleanliness and ease of use of Actis Hybrid has just completed a conversion and extension at his own home using two products from the insulation system.

Chris Brooks, who has been using Actis for client projects for the past 17 years, has tripled the size of his once bijou two-bedroom cottage – which now has four bedrooms, a large living room and an enormous kitchen dining room.

He has just put the finishing touches to the second stage of his extension project – the 45 sq m kitchen, created by painstakingly taking down an old washhouse behind his home stone by stone and rebuilding it using some of the original materials.

The building had subsided by around 10cm and removing it at the start of the programme provided access for Chris to bring in the steels for the section immediately behind the existing house. Chris then rebuilt the washhouse with the original stones, complete with cavity walls and proper foundations, and attached it to the original cottage via the steel framed link section.

As well as looking forward to being warm when the winter arrives he is enjoying the cool offered by the reflective nature of the Actis Hybrid system during the hot summer months.

He has insulated the pitched roof with 125mm honeycomb style insulation Hybris and insulating vapour control layer HControl Hybrid, which means the roof will benefit from a U-value of 0.17.

“I bought the cottage because of its location. Its EPC said it was 70 sq m. Now I’ve finished these two extensions it’s 210 sq m. I initially added two bedrooms on the side plus a living room of 6m by 5m before moving onto the second stage – the kitchen.

“I love using Actis Hybrid. In fact, I’ve been using it for the past 17 years or so. It’s so easy to use and incredibly clean. With the Hybris, you can cut it with a proper saw. Easy. And if it’s a bit too big it doesn’t matter at all. You just push it in. And there’s no dust.

“I always love it when an architect specifies Actis. And in fact, if they specified PIR board instead I’d encourage them to look at the benefits of Actis. It’s not just that it’s so much nicer to use when you’re installing it. Although it is of course. The result is amazing thermally.

“Plus there’s a very important bonus which perhaps people don’t think about until we have a heatwave and that’s the fact that as it’s reflective it keeps the house cool in summer. This is really important too, not only because it’s uncomfortable being too hot, but as overheating can be a killer.

“Some people try to get round the fact that their house is too hot by using air-conditioning. This not only costs money to run, but it’s also not doing the planet any favours. I love using Actis and can only think that the reason someone doesn’t use it is because they haven’t yet learned how brilliant it is.”

Watch the build in action here, here, here and here.