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Spray foam tackles condensation in container box hotels

16 Aug 12 Walltite spray foam insulation is being used on the construction of a system of temporary hotel accommodation made from shipping containers.

The walls of this hotel are... lined with spray foam insulation
The walls of this hotel are... lined with spray foam insulation

Portable hotel operator Snoozebox takes 45ft container boxes and turns them into mobile accommodation that has been used for events such as the Diamond Jubilee Equestrian Pageant at Windsor Castle and the British grand prix at Silverstone.

They containers are adapted by Elements Europe as part of a five-year manufacturing agreement with Snoozebox.

As the containers are made of steel, one of the first challenges in making comfortable living spaces is to provide efficient thermal insulation. Elements Europe, the company responsible for the conversion, first looked at standard slab stock insulation but was very concerned about the possibility of condensation building up between the board and the metal exterior.

Walltite, sprayed directly onto the internal surface, removes this condensation problem and is therefore now being used as one of the first stages of preparation.  The initial process is to cut the openings for doors and windows into the containers.  Walltite is then sprayed over the entire internal surface area to a depth of 50mm.

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Once this is completed, the interior structure of the rooms is constructed and additional insulation is applied before plasterboarding.  The result is a U-value for the walls of 0.2W/m2K.

So far 60 containers have been treated in this way by Walltite contractor Modern Plan Insulations.

Elements Europe project manager James Foster said of the Walltite solution: “It’s been marvellous.  It’s a very good product and a very quick and easy solution to work with.”

Because it is spray-applied, the insulation will mould itself to any contour or uneven surface and because it bonds directly to the surface the problem of interstitial condensation is eliminated completely.  Walltite can be applied to varying depth depending upon the level of thermal insulation required.

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