Minimum Insulation Requirements with the BCA
Building a home in Australia without house insulation is no longer an option like it was a few decades ago. The Building Code of Australia (BCA) sets out specific insulation standards for the construction of new homes. These vary from region to region, depending on the climate zone, and consider factors such as building materials used. These requirements, however, reflect the bare minimum and don’t necessarily leave you with a thermally comfortable home.
Customised Insulation Designs to Meet a Range of Budgets
At the other end of the spectrum you will find that sophisticated insulation design give home owners ultimate climate control throughout the house. In between these two extremes you will find a host of house insulation options. This is where home owners can take into account individual needs along with their budget to create their unique thermal and acoustic management plan. Some people choose to buy insulation online and others visit their local hardware store.
Creating Your Own Home Insulation Design
Bulk insulation is typically installed in ceilings, walls and sometimes the underfloor. Understanding how insulation works can help you decide which parts of the building to prioritise and maximise the benefits of insulation in your home. House insulation works by restricting heat transfer between the inside and outside of your home. Air is actually just about the best insulator there is. Glasswool and polyester insulation contains millions of air pockets within the batts.
Warmer in Winter and Cooler in Summer
During cold weather, bulk insulation ensures that the heat inside the home can’t just escape unchecked through the walls of the house and up into the roof cavity. Installing thicker insulation increases the level of thermal resistance, which means that even less heat will able to escape. Similarly, less heat from the sun will penetrate the home during the hotter summer months.
Is Reflective Insulation Still Necessary?
Reflective foil insulation addresses a slightly different issue; radiant heat. As the sun hits the bricks or roof tiles, these heat up and start to radiate heat towards the interior of the building. The reflective foil surface is able to block a lot of this heat, provided there is an air gap of 2-3cm between it and the exterior wall or roof. Wall wrap also helps to seal out wind and dust for the life of the home. It is important to installed wall wrap correctly, as a layer of dust or grime, for example, will significantly reduce the performance R-rating of the insulation.
Combining Bulk and Reflective Insulation
Reflective and bulk insulation can be installed in combination, and this can produce an excellent result. By installing bulk insulation in the external wall cavities and in between the ceiling joists, any heat that manages to penetrate the walls or roof, now meets an additional barrier.
Thermal Insulation in the Internal Walls
Even within a home, it can be desirable to heat some parts of the building and not others. For example, many people prefer to have warm living areas in winter, but somewhat cooler bedrooms. This is where internal wall insulation can help. Without any internal wall insulation, it can be difficult to contain the heat within the designated areas.