Even small thermal bridges can cause disproportionate performance penalties on the entire layer of insulation around a home. Since heat rises, it is obvious that a look up at the ceiling should be the first direction of view. Sometimes the impairment caused by an inadequately insulated loft hatch can even be heard not only seen – on a windy day, the hatch can actually rattle as warm air is vented out of the building, encouraged by the chimney effect if the hatch is located on top of the hallway / stairwell.
There is mounting (air) pressure to address the “performance gap”, that is the often astounding difference between the modelled performance that a refurbished home should have, and what is measured in reality after the works have been done. (See this LinkedIn discussion for more detail and resources on the building energy performance gap.) Insulating your loft hatch properly could be the most sensible first step, achieving a noticeable reduction in internal draughts, increased comfort and a distinctly lower heating bill.
Igloo have embarked on an extensive trial of the HatchThatch product to gather feedback. There are currently around 15 (and counting) housing associations and local authorities taking part, including:
- Orbit Heart of England,
- Sovereign Housing Group,
- Great Places Housing Group,
- Your Homes Newcastle
- Symphony Housing Group,
- Portsmouth City Council
Samples plus installation are being offered free of charge to social landlords and local councils, with an aim to benefit tenants first who are vulnerable and in fuel poverty. The installation is so simple that facilities managers, caretakers or even householders themselves could do it, but Igloo has in interest in seeing the range of situations where HatchThatch is deployable and to find the odd quirky hatch where a HatchThatch will not fit, to develop a product variant that will if necessary. Generally though, the product will squeeze into most hatches, even above ladders.
The trials and some early testimonials were covered in the Sustainable Homes Blog in March. The testimonials, as the vast majority of all feedback collected so far, are very positive.
Please contact us if you are interested in taking part in the trial.