Full Fill Built-in Insulation System Continuous wall insulation system that delivers ultimate thermal performance with the added assurance of protection from wind driven rain.

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Xtratherm offer an extensive range of technically enhanced rigid insulation products for commercial and industrial projects

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Tapered Roofing System
The XtraFall system provides a high performance precision solution to thermal insulation and water drainage on at roofs.

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The Xtratherm range of high performance insulation boards provides the ideal technically advanced solution for flat roof projects.

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PLATINUM SERVICE for Developers

PLATINUM SERVICE for Developers

Developers and their design and certification team can rely on the expertise and professional support of the whole Xtratherm Team - it is not just about buying insulation products.

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PLATINUM SERVICE for Self Builders

PLATINUM SERVICE for Self Builders

Our Platinum Service offers full technical support and advice, helping you to achieve a cost effective, passive
standard new home.

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Full Fill Built-in Insulation System

Continuous wall insulation system that delivers ultimate thermal performance
with the added assurance of protection from wind driven rain.

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High Performance rigid extruded polystryrene

XPS

Xtratherm offers a cost effective solution for builders and specifiers for the closing of cavities around window and door openings, preventing cold bridging, damp penetration, air infiltration and condensation.

CavityTherm Accessories

detailing accessories


When Self Build
Becomes a
Team Effort

Xtratherm’s Technical Team is now offering Free, Friendly 1-2-1 advice for Self Builders.

Our Technical Team have been involved in Self Build for over 30 years and have discussed every issue that you are now asking yourself.

Why self build? Which insulation is best? Passive House vs NZEB? What are the benefits of installing a Passive Foundation? How Airtight should my house be? What is the best renewable energy source for my home? Can I have a stove? Can I add a cat flap?

We’ll look at your plans, do the calcs, and complete a DEAP Energy calculation for you as guidance. Then in your time, by phone or online, we’ll discuss ways of achieving an affordable “A” Rated home that suits you.

There’s 8 of us, all technical, all local and all friendly to chat to and we’ve been involved with more self build projects than most. Register here and one of our Team will contact you

When Self Build becomes a Team Effort

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Platinum Service for Self-builders


Get the highest level of support from design stage to delivery of real performance on site.

Platinum Service for Self-Build
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The Self Build Guide


Our Guide to creating a
practical, affordable energy
efficient home. (PDF 8.9MB)

View Guide
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Remote Support


Our Technical Team's expertise has been built through engagement and participation with the construction industry for over 30 years.

Talk to the Team
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Self Build Case Study


Read Case Study

Self Build

Frequently Asked Questions

  • There are a range of compliant options available to the Designer or Specifier. The Fabric First approach concentrates on achieving U-Values and Thermal Bridging detailing improvements towards Passive levels. These measures might be less dynamic than mechanical ventilation systems or additional renewable technologies, but you only get one chance at getting the insulation correct.

    Insulation just ‘sits there’ and quietly reduces energy consumption and lowers running costs. Other ‘technologies’, ventilation systems, heating systems even double glazing have a life span and will have to be maintained, repaired or replaced during the life of your home. These topics are often discussed when our tech guys get into discussion with self builders. Our team has extensive experience across a wide range of topics – we’re there to help. Perhaps we can share some of our experience and assist where we can in the planning of your new home.


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  • An air-tight build?

    The Government ‘recipe’ within Part L reaches NZEB standard with a reasonable air permeability of 5. This allows for natural instead of mechanical ventilation to be used. Pushing air tightness beyond 5 really necessitates the requirement for mechanical whole house ventilation systems which must be designed, installed and maintained professionally – it is not easy to get right.

    In many constructions an Air Tight regime will be necessary to maximise the choice of renewable heating system. Ensure that your Architect and Engineer are fully competent in the design and installation of the mechanical ventilation systems – maintenance is down to you. Careful design will also be required if natural ventilation is chosen to ensure adequate background ventilation is achieved naturally and regulation standards are met. In Ireland we are blessed with a mild climate where most of us sleep with the windows open, it is a matter of preference.


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  • Timber Frame or Traditional Block?

    Any construction method can achieve NZEB standard or better. The preference is basically down to you. However in all cases, the construction process on site is the single biggest factor in achieving your energy saving goals. Our advice is to walk with your Architect and Builder through the whole design and build process right to the end of the contract to ensure delivery of a quality home. Responsible Builders will ensure detailing standards and quality are achieved through an evidence-based record of good detailing as the build progresses allowing accurate calculation by the Energy Assessor and Building Control.

    Having your Designer available to give guidance on site will deliver a better quality home.


    Have a question?

    Talk to the Technical Team
  • Is NZEB as far as I can go?

    There are many methodologies on low energy build and any amount of advisors willing to advise. NZEB can be improved upon to further cut carbon. Issues of embodied energy should also be considered.

    When building your own home, research, learn and become your own expert and settle on a standard and construction specification that suits you and your family. Many strive to achieve Passive House Standards, the Passive House Association Ireland can offer guidance and advice – https://phai.ie Or the Irish Green Building Council can advise on embodied energy – www.igbc.ie

    The SEI published a guide to building Passive housing in Ireland, Passive homes “Guidelines for the design and construction of passive house dwellings in Ireland”. It contained a foreword from Dr Wolfgang Feist, the founder of the Passive House Institute in Germany, as well as information specific to the Irish climate for consideration by those interested in Passive House.


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  • Should I install Double or Triple Glazing?

    NZEB standard has been achieved in the regulation examples by using double glazing which delivers a U-Value of 1.40 W/m K. Triple glazed windows can achieve 0.80 – but even at this level this excellent glazing is still almost 8 TIMES colder than the wall it is in and it will need replacing eventually.

    Consider reducing glazing area, or draw your curtains on those wintry evenings!


    Have a question?

    Talk to the Technical Team
  • Heating Systems - Underfloor Heating, Radiators or Warm Air?

    At NZEB levels your house will be very well insulated. So much so that overheating of the property becomes a serious issue in warm weather. Make sure you can ‘flush’ the warm air in summer. It also means that incidental heating from cooking and large South facing windows will contribute to the heating. In such situations, many would choose a system that responds rapidly. Discuss this with your Engineer and again make sure your ventilation choice considers all these factors.


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    Talk to the Technical Team
  • Passive Foundation System?

    You might be considering a ‘Passive’ foundation system as part of your strategy to save energy – but how do you know what you’re getting for the extra expense. The performance of the floor system is measured in 2 aspects: 1. The U-Value. We recommend around 0.10 – 0.12 W/m2 K, around 150mm of insulation. 2. The PSI value, measuring the heatloss at the floor perimeter or edge.

    A Passive System normally acts as an insulated wrap to the underside of the wall and can get PSI values as low as 0.08, however, so can traditional strip foundation with an Aerated or even Medium Density traditional block. Consider loading capabilities if your building higher than single storey. Also the effects of water or even contaminants leeching into such systems. Whatever you choose, the thermal performance of these systems are very similar. Ask for the U-Value and PSI values achieved.


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  • Pumped Cavities or Built-in?

    Achieving better performing buildings will take more care and time to build, it will necessitate more careful detailing and consideration from your Architect, but ultimately – you save on heating bills over many, many years.

    No matter where your energy comes from – it will have to be paid for, so reduce your requirement. Built-in insulation may not be the cheapest option, but the real benefit is that it reaches the same performances at reduced thicknesses saving on other building material costs such as widening cavities, that calls for more wall ties, more engineering consideration, wider foundations and longer rafters. Pumped Cavities or Built-in? Working closely with the Designer and Xtratherm, we can deliver energy saving through better detailing, with online courses, toolbox talks and installation videos for your builder to consult.

    The real benefit is that you can see it being built in. You can verify it’s continuous and is being detailed in footing, corners, openings etc; you can see your investment installed correctly.


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    Talk to the Technical Team
  • Who monitors build quality?

    How well your house is insulated is ‘scored’ in the energy calculation that deems your Energy Rating as A2 or A3. It is not just the U-Value achieved, but how the insulation was installed to create a continuous thermal protection that knits at all the junctions, insulates around openings and protects around DPCs etc.

    In a well-insulated property, discrepancies and gaps in the insulation layer will leave gaps or cold spots that will result in mould growth, particularly in a property where the ventilation is inadequate. Good detailing to avoid these thermal bridges delivers excellent energy savings and protection from cold spots. This detailing should be recorded and submitted to the Energy Surveyor to improve your energy rating and give comfort to you the owner.

    There are a set of Acceptable Construction Details (ACDs) that need to be followed to comply with Building Regulations. Your Builder is the only person that is available throughout the build to inspect and record that the ACDs are followed.

    Working closely with your Designer and Xtratherm, we can deliver energy saving through better detailing, with online courses, toolbox talks and installation videos for your builder to consult.


    Have a question?

    Talk to the Technical Team
  • Wood burning Stove or not?

    In a number of the examples in our Guide to Achieving NZEB we have included the provision of a wood burning stove as the source for secondary heating in a property. This may not be practical in an urban environment, but many Self Builders see the addition of a wood burning stove as an important feature of how they heat their home and how they use their home. Better design and technologies will never mitigate all CO2 produced from our dwellings, how we use our homes, and the lifestyles we choose is down to ourselves.

    Efficient wood burning stoves using kiln dried local timber, might be one of the choices you prefer, it can still help to achieve the NZEB standard.


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    Self Build is a complicated subject and there are still questions you might need to ask. From design stage to delivery of real performance on site. From calculation to installation.

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