The happier, healthier, warmer children at Bishopdale Community Preschool have been enjoying the creature comforts of being cocooned by NZ Foam insulation for three winters now — and the power bills are low to boot.
Accommodating up to 50 children, the Fusion Homes rebuild with NZ Foam insulation in the walls, ceilings and underfloor, has proved a measurable success. Centre Manager Sarah Straver has noticed an incredible difference in warmth compared to the previous pre-quake building and the subsequent temporary preschool.
The 294m² space has a large main area, for two to five-year-olds, a kitchen, nursery and sleeping room for the under two’s, staff room, offices and bathrooms. Even though the purpose-built preschool is four times the size of the previous building, the average monthly power bill is actually less.
“Spring and Autumn only require one heat pump in the main area and we it turn off by mid-morning,” she says. "We only really need to take the chill off the air. Visitors and staff remark on how comfortable and pleasant it is here. We have five Snowtemp heat pumps but in mid-winter, we only have the main heat pump on as long as midday — and it stays warm until 5 o’clock."
Sarah was concerned the floor would be cold, as underfloor heating was not an option. However, it is not cold at all at ground-level, even in the vinyl areas. Coats and mittens are removed on arrival on chilly days, then it is playtime in single layer clothing.
Sarah has noticed a decline in asthma, with no children needing to bring inhalers. In the previous building there were ten. “There’s no dampness, condensation or moisture, and I never feel a draught.” Humidity is around the ideal 47%, and important for little ones, there is no formaldehyde in NZ Foam or any off-gassing.
Meanwhile, during warmer months, the Snowtemp cooling system only needs to be used in short bursts on a sweltering day.