Insulation for Between Rafters
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The benefits of insulating a building around the outside, protecting the structure and effectively creating a ‘tea cosy’ effect, are well publicised. When it comes to pitched roofs, however, adding a thick layer of insulation to the rafters can result in a depth of roof construction that may not suit every site, meaning over-rafter insulation (sarking) only is not a viable option. Internal restrictions, like maintaining sufficient head height, can mean that fixing the insulation between and under the rafters is not an option either.
So whether it's a new-build project or if you're creating a habitable area when renovating an existing loft space, the insulation line will need to be within the pitched (sloped) part of the roof – so insulation will need to be installed between the timber rafters to provide protection to the newly-created habitable area from external temperature fluctuations.
Rigid polyisocyanurate (PIR) foam insulation boards (such as Celotex GA4000 and XR4000) are easy to cut and handle. Once up at roof level, the between-rafter boards can be cut accurately to fit the rafter spacings. Being lightweight, they do not impose significant additional loads on existing structures. Where the insulation does not fill the total rafter depth, the low-emissivity foil facings can gain additional thermal benefit from the air spaces they face into.
ISOVER glass mineral wool (GMW) is another option for the between-rafter insulation either as a roll or batt. The flexible nature of GMW means that the roll or batts can be accurately-cut and friction-fitted between the rafters – thereby minimising air gaps and maximising thermal performance. In addition to this, GMW (such as ISOVER Metac) also has inherent acoustic benefits. The underside of the rafters will need to be finished with a suitable vapour control layer (VCL) and plasterboard to provide a suitable internal finish to the roof.
When using Celotex or ISOVER products, you need to satisfy yourself that use of the product meets all relevant national Building Regulations and guidance as well as local, national and other applicable standards relevant for your construction or application, including requirements in relation to fire and applicable height restrictions. In addition to the product datasheet, please refer to the following product documents:
- BBA certificates - where applicable to the application
- Declarations of Performance
- Health & safety datasheets
The building detail is for illustrative purposes only. It does not constitute advice and should not be relied upon.
|Product Name||Thickness Range||Sizes||Lambda|
|ISOVER Metac||50-200mm||Width 1.2m, Length 3.2 - 9.3m||0.034|
|Celotex GA4000||50-100mm||Width 1200mm, Length 2400mm||0.022|
|Celotex XR4000||110-200mm||Width 1200mm, Length 2400mm||0.022|