LoftZone allows architects and builders to meet new Building Regulations, and to provide safe access in domestic and commercial properties
- CDM requires safe raised access in the loft space
- Part L requires deep insulation
- Part P requires cables to be raised above the insulation
- Homebuyers want to use the loft for storage
- There is only one solution for all of these
The only way to fully comply with building regulations
Until now, it has been impossible for architects, specifiers and builders to meet the requirements of conflicting regulations that require low U-values in the loft (Part L), minimal cold bridging (Part L) and safe maintenance access to equipment in the loft (Working at Heights and CDM) . LoftZone StoreFloor is the only solution to all of these regulations and, for the first time, a product can now be specified that offers total compliance rather than just partial compliance.
It has long been a legal requirement for architects, specifiers and builders to provide safe access pathways to equipment in the loft that will need maintenance, for example mechanical ventilation units and solar inverters, and recently this requirement has been strengthened with the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015, which states that “designers must consider their designs and any potential risks which may affect those who may maintain or clean the building once it is built”. At the same time, the loft must be insulated to at least 0.13 U-value and it is against Part L1A of the English 2013 Building Regulations to use raised timber battens to raise the safe access path above the insulation, without taking account for the cold bridging through the wood which changes the SAP score for the roof. This poses a major challenge to housing professionals, since using raised timber battens was hitherto the standard industry practice.
LoftZone StoreFloor uniquely solves this problem. The product forms a safe structure for a storage or access deck above up to 350mm of insulation that does not cause cold bridging, whilst being cheaper and faster to install than timber. LoftZone StoreFloor has passed all required industry tests and is the only raised loft floor system that is BBA certified.
According to Britain’s largest ever survey of how people use their lofts, carried out by the Carbon Trust, 82% of people living in UK private and social houses use their loft for storage. Of these, 78% said their loft was “more than half full” and 65% had boarded their loft already. Of the total population, 76% said that using the loft for storage was either “very important” or “essential”. This has a massive implication on the real-life U-value of the loft in use. Tests by the National Physical Laboratory showed that compressing insulation from 270mm to joist height reduces its thermal resistance by 50-60%, thereby at least doubling the heat lost. In fact, compressed loft insulation accounts for a 28% In-Use Reduction factor in the U-value for deep loft insulation across the whole UK housing stock. You can read the academic analysis review of this here
Anyone in the industry that specifies or installs loft insulation that is of greater depth than the joists should be aware that the insulation will in 82% of cases be compressed in use, and that this at least doubles the U-value. Moreover, if anything in the loft requires maintenance access, then the specifier and installer will be contravening the CDM 2015 Regulations.
Architects and builders can find full technical documentation on LoftZone at SpecifiedBy
Watch a short video about why squashed insulation is a major problem