We have partnered up with the Mol family in Cape Town to follow their home upgrade using high quality Saint-Gobain materials and systems to make their home better, by focusing on sound, temperature, and health comfort as well as the resulting visual benefits and economic savings.
The Mol family home serves as a reference project where you can follow each step of a comfort upgrade to see what it’s all about. We’ll show you the progress of the retrofit as well as the measurable results. Our motivation for sharing this retrofit case study with you is to provide insight into the process and prove that our upgrade increases comfort in an existing home.
The major issue the Mol family have experienced in the few wintery months spent in their home, is not uncommon to most South African houses… poor insulation means the house is a fridge in winter and an oven in summer. In addition, this is an older home so it has damp issues in the bathrooms and timber window and door frames have started to rot. Then there is the kitchen, which is particularly cold because of its concrete roof.
The retrofit upgrade of the Mol home received direct input from Saint-Gobain South Africa's range of comfort upgrade products. Saint-Gobain's hi-tech products provide a real-life example of a better house upgraded using insulation materials that are energy efficient, and increase health, comfort, safety, flexibility and environmental protection.
Why upgrade? Isn’t it easier to move? Dr. Mol’s response was brilliant,
“We upgrade so much of our lives, phones, cars, services and more, so why not our homes? If I could choose upgrading over moving, I’d now choose an upgrade! We’ve moved several times in our family’s relatively short existence and each move has been both disruptive and costly.”
Saint-Gobain have researched and developed building products that improve well-being within buildings. We wondered whether Dr. Mol thought that this was an important concern when dealing with a home upgrade, given that we spend so much of our lives in our homes. He agrees, adding that we should ideally make our homes the healthiest environment possible since we cannot control our external environment, but we can control our home environment to a certain degree. “No-one chooses to willingly live in a stressful or polluted environment,” he says, “but we need to be careful not to assume that our homes are by default stress free and clean, but rather be pro-active about creating the healthiest haven we can”.
A comfort upgrade has a specific purpose, to make a home better for its family. Dr. Mol believes that the biggest impact his family will experience following their home upgrade will be the moderated interior temperature throughout the year (and decreased need for mechanical heating and cooling). Sound proofing in the bedrooms will mean quiet sleeping conditions for the family (while the neighbours won’t be disturbed by the music escaping from the kids rooms). Lastly, but very importantly, he is hoping to see notable health benefits from air filtration technology in the drywalls that will help his youngest child with asthma. The bathroom mould resulting from damp does not help the asthma issue, and this is also one of the items which will benefit the family greatly.
Saint-Gobain’s specialist products solve thermal, acoustic, health and safety concerns in one shot with the added benefit of saving energy and running costs too.
Ceilings (for thermal and acoustic comfort, and added safety)
Use Gyproc’s Skimmed Ceiling System on Concealed Grid with a 9.5mm Gyproc RhinoBoard, finished with RhinoLite Skim plaster and QuickCornice.
Walls (for health, thermal and acoustic comfort, and added safety)
Use Isover CavityBatt/Cavity Lite insulation inside the cavity for added thermal and acoustic comfort. Use Gyproc Activ'Air plasterboard to help capture impurities and block them for improved indoor air quality.
Windows (for improved thermal comfort)
Replace the windows in the west facing bedroom from normal single pane glass to specialised double glazed glass supplied by PG SmartGlass® called X2™ Superior.
The process of installation consists of two main phases:
Phase 1 : Removing the old materials such as the existing ceiling board in the bedrooms.
Phase 2 : Installing new materials.
— New ceiling board replaces the old ones in the bedrooms, and new drywalls are installed over the existing brick walls in the bedrooms and living areas.
— This is done by installing track and stud drywall frame onto the existing brick walls, into which installation is placed followed by the appropriate board, skim plaster and paint. This is called DryLining.
— Because the kitchen has a concrete slab on the roof, the same process applies for this ceiling solution.
If you are looking to invest in a full comfort upgrade, Saint‑Gobain will have a sales consultant contact you directly.