Wall/Ceiling Electrical Services
For the internal wall build up I am using a double batten wall system. This wall system allows one to easily install services. In a previous experiment on building a workshop (used as a means to experiment on a small building before commencing the house) I installed a single row of horizontal battens on the OSB board. This made it very difficult to run services that need to run vertically. I had to install metal protecting plates and cut notches in the wood in order to ensure that I did not damage wiring due to the final layer of plasterboard screw fixing.
When one uses a counter batten system it facilitates running services such as power, lighting, phone, internet, alarm etc without the risk of screw damage. This system also helps to reduce the cost of installing these services (see the image of a cable behind the batten below).
One can make use of a wall system like this if a soft insulation such as cellulose or fiberglass is behind the final batten which will support the plasterboard finish.
When working at ceiling level one may need to use a counter batten system in order to allow for recessed lighting otherwise it will mean installing special electrical enclosures cut into the airtight membrane. I have installed counter battens to a depth of approximately 90mm in the living and kitchen areas for LED downlights (see the previous post link on the 26/04/2015). In the bedroom areas I will only use a single batten system in order to install hanging pendent fittings.
Floor Level Insulation.
At floor level I installed Rockwool insulation for two reasons -one was to minimise the thermal bridging (heat loss around the wooden sole plate that the timber wall sits on) and the second reason was to minimise the damage to the insulation if there was a water leak.
I carried out a test where I placed 50mm of Rockwool RWA45 (product in the left bowl) and Metac (fiberglass-product in the right bowl below) in water in order to see what would happen if there was a leak. The Rockwool absorbs very little water but the fiberglass sank and became completely saturated and would possibly never dry out. Both insulation’s were submerged initially and then left for the duration of the test.
Below is an image of the Rockwool installed at floor level under the fibreglass in order to minimise the risk of insulation damage at floor level and minimise thermal bridging.
Airtight Membrane Installation
When installing the airtight membrane I was surprised how quickly the knife goes blunt. Rather than using the disposable knives and blades I now use a sharpener with the knife.