Sustainable office retrofit

New foam sealant tapes and a thermal insulating and load bearing bracket support system from ISO Chemie were specified for a world-first sustainable office retrofit at Cambridge University.

The move sees Winframer units and ISO Bloco tape being installed at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) Entopia Building in Regent Street, Cambridge, in an initiative to bring the property in line with current zero-carbon Passivhaus and BREEAM energy efficiency standards.

This is the first-time that retrofitted windows are being installed as part of an office refurbishment to ensure compliance with some of the lowest emission standards in the world.

The 1930s-built Entopia Building is currently being transformed into an ultra-low carbon sustainability hub designed to provide a new home for CISL as it brings together Cambridge’s academic and innovation communities with the university’s own network of companies to develop solutions to global sustainability challenges.

ISO Chemie is partnering with Internorm windows on a project that will see its Winframer prefabricated installation frames, which can accommodate cavities up to 250mm, fitted internally around 50 windows, enabling them to be supported independently from the face of the wall.

Impermeable to driving rain at a minimum of 1,000Pa and 66% more reliable than most conventional joint sealing tapes, ISO Bloco will provide a longer-lasting window seal and installation compliance to BS8313-4:2016. The tape offers an internal air-tight seal that has been tested at 1,000Pa pressure difference (20 times more than UK Building Regulations) and gives less than 0.1m³ of air loss while offering a U-value of 0.55W/m2K and sound reduction by 63dB.

ISO-Connect Vario SD humidity regulating foil was also specified for additional year-round high-performance sealing and improved UV resistance.

Andy Swift, ISO Chemie’s sales and operations manager, said: “This is the first time that we are aware of that an office retrofit rather than newbuild is being carried out to the lowest emission standards anywhere in the world. So, this is another world first for our products, which are ideal for high performance installations that must deliver long term energy efficiency. Passivhaus and BREEAM are as good as it gets when it comes standards of efficiency and are products are certified.”

Winframer brackets can bear heavy window loads to provide a reliable support frame. Installation is quick with windows attached directly and secured mechanically using either standard fixing screws or fixing lugs in the usual manner. A hinged insulation core combines with the composite wood structural bracket to become an integral part of the overall wall structure, providing compliance with window energy saving regulations (EnEV) and the RAL quality assurance association.