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Is Cavity Wall Insulation A Legal Requirement On A New Build?

in Energy
4 replies 20.1K views
Hi there

I live in a Bellway home which I moved into new in May 2005. The house is freezing and I had a warmfront man surveyor come round today to tell me that the house does not have cavity wall insulation. My partner is disabled and apparently we can have a grant to have this done free.

Does anyone know if Bellway had a legal obligation to add cavity wall insulation to our external walls? Should warmfront really have to cough up for cavity wall insulation? could we get bellway to pay or fit it? could we get bellway to pay towards our hefty energy bills these last three and a half years?

Would be grateful for advice

many thanks

lisa xxx :mad:
save energy - stay in bed x



  • CardewCardew Forumite
    29K Posts
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    I always thought that Building Regulations made it mandatory for cavitity wall insulation and Wikipedia states:
    The widespread introduction of insulation into the cavity began in the 1970s with it becoming compulsory in building regulations during the 1990s.

    I found another quote:
    There is nothing within Building Regulations that says that cavities must have insulation in them.
    What is required is that the U-value of the walls is of a minimum standard. There are several ways to achieve this - one of which is to have the cavity insulated with polyurethane or similar types of foam. But there are other ways of doing it.
    As you correctly say, minimum insulation standards for NEW houses has been increased progressively over the last few years.

    I find it very hard to believe that you haven't got cavity insulation and would be more inclined to think the Warmfront assessor made a 'mistake' than Bellway.

    I would phone the planning department of the local council and put the issue to them.
  • When we had our extension built 3 years ago the building inspector specifically asked to see the insulation in the walls prior to the roof going on. It was of course not the stuff that is pumped in by the cavity wall people in 'old' houses but very thick rockwool-type stuff (sorry, not techically-minded, that's the best I an describe it as) .Those rooms are the ones in the house that are most exposed to the elements and are still the warmest rooms in the house.
    Call me Carmine....

  • Hello Lisa,

    For any houses constructed in the last ten years, if not more, it is highly unlikely that a contractor could make the building meet the maximum heat loss figures allowed without installing some cavity insulation.

    All new dwellings have to meet the requirements of the building regulations. As you might imagine with global warming and energy costs and availablilty being what they are, the standards of insulation required, even in 2005 were significant, they are higher now, (since 2006), and are set to get even more onerous in the future, and quite rightly so.

    During construction the new dwelling should be inspected to see that it is being built to specification and in a competent manner. That is usually done either by a local authority building control body, or by an independent building control body such as the NHBC. I also believe, but don't quote me, that Zurich Insurance may also be involved in the certification and guarantee of new dwellings.

    If your building is definitely without cavity wall insulation I suppose your first course of action would be to contact the builder. If that does not yeild a response you should contact the Building Control department of your local authority to see if they can help you. It is unlikely that they did the inspections or certified the dwelling on completion but they may know who did, or should have done. They will definitely take an interest if they are told that those who should be doing it are not doing it properly.

    For your information an uninsulated cavity wall is approximately four times as bad at retaining heat within the building as one that is insulated to present day standards. A really well constructed and insulated cavity wall can be 50% better than todays minimum requirement. So it is essential it is insulated and as well as possible. Regrettably the best that can be done now is after market blown in insulation which will make a big difference but is not as good as doing it properly in the first place.
  • thank you so much to the three of you that responded. especially peter davis - what an eye opener Peter. That has really got me thinking. Will get on to it right away. I really really appreciate that you took the time and effort to reply so thoroughly. Thank you so very much for your advice and information.

    save energy - stay in bed x

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