BATS are a protected species in the UK and play an important role in the ecosystem. Until now when bats are found in roofs, only Bitumen 1F felt underlay 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. Properties with an uninsulated 1F felt roof can release up to 10 tonnes of CO2 per year through the buildings fabric.
Replacing 1F felt with a breathable membrane and additional insulation between the rafters can reduce CO2 emissions by 57%. These factors have a large impact on global warming and climate change.
It was critical that a product was invented 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.
TLX Batsafe was invented by TLX Insulation, the UK`s leading expert in applied polymer science and insulating breather membranes. The major issue with breathable membranes and bats is that the fibres used within the product become damaged and fluff up when put in contact with bat claws; these fibres can then entangle the bat which becomes trapped and dies. TLX Batsafe is designed with a protective mesh either side of the product which allows safe contact for the bat, while still enabling the breathable membrane to function.
Bitumen 1F felt is not breathable and requires a 50mm ventilated air gap directly under the product; this airgap takes up the space required to fit insulation between the rafters. Breathable membranes have been adopted across the industry because they don’t require this air gap, which is then used to insulate the property. They are also much lighter, stronger and easier to install.
TLX Insulation Director, Thomas Hunt said, “We are delighted to launch such an innovative product into the construction industry. The challenge of saving energy and reducing our carbon footprint is a critical issue we all face. During the R&D process, the main issue we wanted to tackle was how do we protect the bat? Once we fully understood the problem we designed a product around the bats’ needs alongside ensuring properties’ thermal requirements were met.”