Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust (OCHT) manages a portfolio of approximately 2,300 community homes in Christchurch. It owns some of the houses outright, but the larger proportion it manages on behalf of the Christchurch City Council. All rental properties across the country need to be brought up to a minimum standard with respect to heating, ventilation, draught-stopping, moisture ingress and drainage, and lastly, and — most relevantly to NZ Foam — insulation. OCHT is actively working on its properties in 2021 to meet these standards. They call this programme the Warm & Dry project.
The reason for OCHT choosing to use NZ Foam spray foam insulation was driven by a feature common to the homes: skillion roofs. This type of roof is actually exempt under the legislation, which means that the work that would otherwise be required can be deferred or omitted altogether due to the prohibitive cost to bring houses with skillion roofs up to the new insulation code, which in Canterbury is R-3.3. Skillion roofs aren’t accessible without removing either the internal lining or the entire roof, each of which create considerable extra work, disruption and cost.
As most of the OCHT houses’ skillion roofs are no deeper than 100mm, fibreglass batts would not have provided the R-value they needed within that limited space to meet the new code. NZ Foam spray foam insulation on the other hand, provided the minimum R Value at only 50mm. Christchurch City Council and OCHT made a commitment to exceed the minimum requirements of the Healthy Homes legislation wherever possible, so therefore chose to replace the roofs and insulate with NZ foam spray foam as it was most cost-effective and the least disruptive approach for tenants.
OCHT are continuing to collect anecdotal data from their tenants of their experience of the newly upgraded homes, including the ease and ongoing costs of heating. The project is currently being completed with NZ Foam and OCHT aiming to work together to publish an updated article at the completed of the Warm & Dry project with data and results on completion.*
*Case study submitted by OCHT on behalf of the Warm & Dry project
What makes NZ foam ideal for social housing projects?
- Thermal insulation that acts as an air barrier, vapour barrier and water resistive barrier
- Suitable for internal or protected external application
- Good acoustic performance — ideal for social housing projects with conjoined internal walls across multiple units
- Fire retardant and meets all ASTM 1366 'Class 1'
- Low environmental impact — spray foam is a long-lasting option that uses up to 20% recycled plastic materials with a blowing agent has zero ozone-depleting potential.
NZ Foam continuously strives to improve the production and installation processes involved in bringing the best insulation in the world to New Zealand homes to keep families warm, safe, and well.
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