I came across this in the same house in the case study previously….check out the HOLE!!!!
I put my hand in here to ‘investigate‘ ….this hole, seems to be totally open to the cavity! Crazy stuff….a very noticeable draught can be felt by the back of the hand here….I could just about bend into a position to see into it a bit further….as the waste pipe from the toilet exits the block outer leaf it is surrounded by cement to at least appear ok from the outside. But the inside treatment and sealing / separation is scandalous! There is no wall finish or sealing to speak of surrounding the pipe on the inside….just a hole knocked thru the wall and cement filled around it on the outside, thats it. The cavity is completely open to the bathroom, I mean, all I can think of in my head is thermal bridging, cold massing, air leaks, draughts, you name it! Add to this the fact I can feel polystyrene insulation right behind the plaster finish of the interior wall! Can anyone shed light on what type of construction this is? Running my finger around the hole and the edges of the material I can feel plaster board & finish, polystyrene foam behind this, and then bits of cement or roughened edge of a concrete block hole, behind this. I never knew we stuck polystyrene insulation on the room side of an interior block wall and then put plaster board over it for a new house? Mid noughties dodgy building again maybe??
I also investigated draughts around the main front door to the hallway. The door itself is fine…seemingly no draughts at all, which was good, so I was curious where the coldness was coming from. Running my hands around there is nothing coming under the door as the occupant had been thinking but as I ran my hand up the side I could see a potential leak alright. There is some cracks in the plasterwork to the wall edge adjacent to the door handle, and when I felt the area I could feel a major air draught in a couple places up the side here. See the pics below.
All in all some poor sealing and insulating at the openings and edges it would seem and there is thermal bridging issues present in numerous areas in the house and around openings in the envelope so I was not surprised to see it here. I wonder how many others notice these same problems in their homes as of late??
These are all problems associated with leaky buildings built recently and are part of the issues we routinely overcome in designing better, airtight ( draught-free ) homes, we just need builders and developers to build them as we have designed them and not to take short cuts when putting them up!