Slab edge insulation using materials such as Styroboard XPS from Foamex Group can help prevent heat loss in homes.

In the absence of this insulation, a slab edge can be responsible for approximately 80 per cent of the slab’s total heat loss. Research also shows that thermal resistance does not significantly improve when the insulation is fully extended under the slab or the thickness of the insulation under the slab is increased. With no insulation on the perimeter foundations, most of the heat is conducted along the slab and out through the exterior face of the footing.

This underlines the need to insulate slab edges to prevent heat loss rather than insulate the underside of the slab.

Styroboard extruded polystyrene (XPS) from Foamex is a rigid insulation formed with polystyrene polymer, but manufactured using an extrusion process. This rigid foam provides a strong, yet lightweight and flexible insulation solution that resists water absorption, offering a long term sustainable solution to reducing slab edge heat loss.

MAXRaft, which recently launched in the Australian market, used Styroboard XPS and Styroboard EPS to achieve their first Australian PassivHaus project. The thermally efficient design of the MAXRaft home utilised the inherent insulation qualities of Foamex’s Styroboard XPS and Styroboard EPS products.

MAXRaft’s energy efficient, fully insulated foundations help deliver warm and healthy homes, both in terms of comfort and energy usage. Their patented MAXRaft is the only fully insulated and thermally broken floor system on the market today.

Both Styroboard EPS and XPS provide highly efficient and effective insulation. While Styroboard EPS is fully recyclable, won’t support mould or mildew growth thanks to its moisture resistance, and has a long-term, stable R-value, Styroboard XPS delivers a higher compressive strength, R-value and moisture resistance.

A building standard that is truly energy efficient, comfortable and affordable, the PassivHaus concept can be applied to any design, anywhere to achieve energy savings of up to 90 per cent compared with a conventional build.