Although polyurethane insulation is derived from the petrochemical industry its embedded carbon is paid for in around 18 months of energy savings and the material has a long life (>40 years). Unfortunately, there is no perfect material, while polyurethane is not a natural material it was chosen due to its insulating characteristics, long life and moisture properties.
To help maintenance an access hatch can be made near the services and a floor plan created of the void and services below. The maintenance hatch is formed by spraying insulation into a bag to form a mouldable plug to ensure continuity and air tightness.
Q-Bot can provide test results from the manufacturer showing the material meets the required standards for VOC emissions and is less toxic than many common building materials. In addition, because the material is applied by a robot there are less hazards for installers. During the install an extract system is used to negatively pressurise the void and remove any fumes. As a precaution, residents are not allowed in the room directly above the void where the install is taking place, but may remain elsewhere in the property, or return at the end of the day.
Q-Bot has worked with independent experts including Lisa Pasquale, Simmonds Mill Architects and PRP Architects to assess the risk of damp and mould. Both installs where monitored through data logging as well as using modelling packages including Therm and WUFI. Q-Bot’s method has been shown to reduce the risk of damp and mould when compared to both an uninsulated floor and alternative insulation materials. Please contact us for further details.
No, the BBA certificate states: “When properly installed, the insulation will not add significantly to any existing fire hazard until the floor is destroyed. Therefore, the insulation will not contribute to the development stages of a fire or present a smoke or toxic hazard.” The material has been tested to BS 476: Part 7 and received a Class 1 rating – no more than 165mm flame spread.
Yes, as demonstrated by the BBA certificate this solution meets the Building Regulations, including the requirements for resistance to moisture, conservation of fuel and power, materials and workmanship, and CO2 emission rates.
Q-Bot’s robots can operate down to 200mm. The robots are actually incredibly powerful and can pull the installation van. Four independently controlled drive wheels and a suspension system enable the robot to climb over rocks and rubble, through sand and mud, while pulling a hose into position.
Q-Bot has worked with Leeds Beckett University, The National Energy Association (NEA), University College London, Historic England and Imperial College London, to monitor actual installation performance, compare it to theoretical models and validate the benefits of the service. The results of these assessments can be found here.
We generally use a small hatch in the timber floor to allow access for our robot and in very rare case an air vent. The size required is approximately 420cm by 520cm.
No. We have tested a number of different materials, but for suspended timber floors, there is only one material we recommend and is fully accredited for this application. The material that Q-Bot uses is a closed cell polyurethane foam, which is tailored to this application. Although it is more expensive than some of the alternatives, it pays for its embedded carbon in about 18 months, has the right moisture properties to minimise the risk of unintended consequences and in practise saves around twice as much energy as the alternatives.
It is best to carry out this work before Q-Bot sprays insulation, as the access will be easier for your builder.
Thank you for your interest in Q-Bot. However, Q-Bot is not listed on the stock market and therefore is not open to individual investment. If you are interested in becoming a part of Q-Bot’s mission, please visit our Investors page.
Q-Bot applies a flash layer of coating of about 10-15mm on water pipes to avoid any issues, as the void becomes colder after installation and there is less heat loss through the ground floor. In accordance with the Building Regulations Q-Bot does not encase gas pipes or electrical wiring.
Building Regulations state that 150mm clearance must be left under a suspended timber floor. If Q-Bot’s survey indicates that the added insulation will exceed this, Q-Bot will not go through with the installation.
The minimum void height we need to insert the robot is 200mm. If your void is smaller than this, you may need to consider other insulation options (link to how to insulate your floor article).
During the survey, the underfloor insulation installer will measure the moisture levels of the floorboards. If the levels are greater than 20%, the install will not be carried out until remedial steps are carried out. The installer will also make sure to have enough airflow in the void, maintaining a certain level of ventilation to allow moisture to escape in accordance with the Building Regulations.
Yes. We can spray under chipboard/fibreboard. We will carry out our initial survey and assess the property’s suitability and identify any risks on a case by case basis.
The survey takes about an hour. The robot is inserted and builds a 3D map of the underfloor and services, which you will receive a copy of. With this information, we can assess whether your property is suitable and identify any potential risks. The installer will collect information on your property, floor, access point, underfloor conditions, sleeper walls, and air vents. They will also create a simple floor plan for the ground floor showing the dimension of each room.
We are soon expanding into other European countries, such as France, and beyond at a later stage. If you are based in the UK or France and are interested in Q-Bot’s service, please contact our team to assess your eligibility.
The reduced 5% (rather than 20% standard) VAT is a government incentive related to energy savings.
The minimum void height we need to insert the insulation robot is 200mm.
VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are compounds that can emit gases or vapours from certain solids and liquids, and can be bad for your health. In your home, VOCs can be found in everyday products such as paint, glue, solvents, air fresheners and building materials, among many others. VOC Standards are a method of measuring how toxic a material is. The closer this number is to zero, the less toxic it is. Consumers should buy products with low or no VOCs to reduce the exposure to the chemicals. Q-Bot’s insulation material has been tested to the European ‘CertiPUR’ or equivalent standard and gives off less VOCs than many common building materials.
Normally a survey is conducted to check whether your property is suitable, which typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes. A detailed breakdown of the work can then be provided and the timescale calculated. Most installs are completed in one to two days.
Yes, the survey will allow us to evaluate your property, identify any potential risks and make sure it is suitable for the installation.
Q-Bot uses polyurethane foam, which is a mix of chemicals and derived from the petrochemical industry. The material has been tested to the European ‘CertiPUR’ standard and gives off less VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, than many common building materials.
In addition, because the material is applied by a robot there are less hazards for installers. During application, the void is ventilated and filtered with an extraction system to ensure no fumes enter the house. Once applied, the insulation is not harmful.
The floorboards are assessed during the survey. If gaps of over 3mm are evident, we cover the gaps with masking tape before the spraying takes place. We also look out for areas to cover where there tend to be larger gaps in the floorboards, for instance around radiator pipes.
The insulation creates a hydrophobic barrier between the floor and the wet ground below, keeping the floorboards on the warm side, raising their temperature and helping to ensure they stay dry. If the insulation or floor gets wet they can still dry out as moisture is able to pass through both materials.
Services can be accessed in the usual way by lifting a floorboard. Sections of the insulation can be easily removed and then refitted when gaining access to the void beneath. Following the installation, a map of the services is provided to make any subsequent work easier. An access hatch is normally left near any areas of the void that need to be accessed frequently.
The existing fibreglass and netting will have to be removed in order to install underfloor insulation. Q-Bot’s solution is often 2-3 times more effective than traditionally applied insulation.
The independent analysis that was conducted on our behalf showed that closed cell foams performed better than open cell ones in suspended ground floors as they reduced the risk of damp and mould in the floor. Closed cell foams can still allow moisture to escape if they get wet and they act as a hydrophobic barrier between the damp ground and floor above. This has been matched by the results from in situ data monitoring.
Furthermore, open cell foams require a greater thickness to achieve the same U-Value and this limits the size of the void they can be used in without causing issues with the Building Regulations.
We normally apply 125mm of insulation, resulting in a post U-Value of <=0.25 W/m2.K or lower, depending on void conditions. The results across 100 homes show an average post-installation of 0.19 W/m2.K, representing a 80% improvement compared to before.
In a case study across 100 homes, Q-Bot’s underfloor insulation reduced cold draughts for the whole house by 1/3 and heat loss through the floor by 80%. Q-Bot’s solution was shown to provide the most cost-effective retrofit measure after loft insulation. Q-Bot’s insulation also produced an average annual saving of £150 on energy bills, with some customers saving up to £650 per year. The average EPC improvement across the range of properties was 6 points.
Homes are responsible for around 25% of the UK’s CO2 emissions. Space heating is the largest single energy use in the UK and accounts for over half of domestic CO2 emissions. According to Q-Bot’s case study of 100 homes, each household cuts its annual CO2 emissions by 700kg on average. Which is the same saving as the greenhouse gas emissions of driving over 1,700 miles in your car. That’s like driving from London to Munich and back!
Q-Bot’s underfloor insulation service cost costs about £2,000 to £2,400 for an average two to three-bedroom house. Prices depend largely on the size of the floor area, access and location. Q-Bot’s service provides your property with a gain in energy efficiency of 6 SAP points and is often the most cost-effective option for insulating your floor. It has a significant impact on comfort, with none of the practical issues and disruption of other methods. Contact us to find out if your home is eligible for Q-Bot’s floor insulation service.
Q-Bot has been awarded the highly-prized BBA accreditation for our installation process, thanks to our detailed training programme and quality control system which ensures that each install is fully accountable.
Q-Bot’s solution has an expected life of 40 years and a material warrantee of 10 years. In comparison, a boiler generally has a life expectancy of 12 years.
Q-Bot underfloor insulation process uses a closed-cell polyurethane spray foam, which expands to fit the shape of the floorboards. The material is derived from the petrochemical industry. It meets the required standards for VOC emissions and is less toxic than many common building materials. In addition, because the material is applied by a robot there are less hazards for installers. This material has a long life of over 40 years and its embedded carbon is paid for in around 18 months of energy savings.
Check the benefits of our underfloor insulation.