Ecological Building Systems launch Retro EcoWall for internal wall insulation
This article was originally published in issue 43 of Passive House Plus magazine. Want immediate access to all back issues and exclusive extra content? Click here to subscribe for as little as €15, or click here to receive the next issue free of charge
Retro EcoWall was officially launched at the RIAI Architecture & Building Expo in October 2022, where it was highly commended in the ‘Best Interior Product’ category of the Architect’s Choice Awards. The system combines the breathable, insulating and sustainability benefits of Diasen cork lime thermal plaster, Gutex high performance woodfibre insulation boards, and Lime Green Solo finishing plasters with Auro plastic free breathable natural paints.
A core element of the Irish government’s National Residential Retrofit Plan aims to achieve the equivalent of 500,000 homes retrofitted to a Building Energy Rating of B2 by 2030. Many of these buildings can be classified as traditional buildings, which require a more sensitive approach using compatible materials in terms of breathability and thermal performance. “It is positive to see that the retrofit plan also promotes the use of low carbon materials,” said Ecological’s Niall Crosson. “This recognises that the embodied emissions of materials, including thermal insulation, is now a priority.”
Crosson said that on hard-to-treat traditional walls, it is important to ensure the thermal solution is compatible with the existing wall, not only thermally, but also from a moisture management perspective. “Traditional walls are often uneven and require significant preparation to level prior to being internally insulated. This can lead to extended lead times and increased costs, along with the loss of precious internal space.
Retro EcoWall provides a comprehensive solution to this, by combining capillary active Diasen cork lime thermal plaster with a moisture open Gutex woodfibre board.” Remaining true to the ethos of achieving ‘better building’ by adopting a ‘fabric first’ approach to design, breathable lime plaster and natural paint are then applied to complete the system.
A key benefit of combining insulating plaster with woodfibre is that lower U-values can be attained with smaller thicknesses. “For example, combining just 20 mm of Diasen lime cork levelling plaster with 60 mm Gutex woodfibre, improves the U-value for a traditional wall from 2.19 W/m2K to just 0.39 W/m2K,” said Crosson.
The system, which uses natural insulating materials with Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), is designed to retain the breathability of traditional walls and protect against condensation, mould and building deterioration. The system’s ability to protect against interstitial condensation risk has been verified using WUFI hygrothermal modelling on numerous projects by independent consultants and Ecological Building Systems.
Further details can be viewed here: www.ecologicalbuildingsystems.com/solutions/renovation-retrofit