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Fri January 17 2020

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An alternative to dead bats

10 Jan 19 Problems with bats in lofts has prompted an insulation supplier to come up with what it claims is the world’s first bat-friendly breathable membrane.

A roll of TLX Batsafe, and (below) being installed
A roll of TLX Batsafe, and (below) being installed

TLX Batsafe has been invented by TLX Insulation, a specialist in applied polymer science and insulating breather membranes.

The major issue for bats with breathable membranes is the fibres used within the product become damaged and fluff up when put in contact with bat claws. The fibres can then entangle the bat which become trapped and die. TLX Batsafe is designed with a protective mesh either side of the product that allows contact for the bat, alongside still enabling the breathable membrane to function.

Bats are a protected species in the UK. Until now,when bats are found, only bitumen 1F felt has been used. This has come at considerable cost to the thermal performance of the roof because 1F felt requires extra rafter space if insulation is used; in old buildings this is often not possible.

Bitumen 1F felt is not breathable and requires a 50mm ventilated airgap directly under the product, this airgap takes up the space required to fit insulation between the rafters.

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Properties with an uninsulated 1F felt roof can release up to 10 tonnes of CO2 per year through the buildings fabric. TLX says. Replacing 1F felt with a breathable membrane and additional insulation between the rafters can reduce CO2 emissions by 57%, it claims.

TLX said that a product was needed to protect bats from traditional breathable membrane, and the entanglement issue they cause, but also allow for architects, building control offices and builders to refurbish old properties in accordance with Approved Document L of the Building Regulations by insulating properties to the required standard.

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