Historic Scotland Refurbishment Case Studies: The Pleasance, Edinburgh – Insulation of coom ceiling, attic space and lightwell
This is the fifth project in the Refurbishment Case Study series and follows the theme of thermal upgrades to traditionally built properties in Scotland. This project focuses on the insulation of a coom ceiling within a mansard roof, which is the sloping wall in a habitable room that is wholly or partially within the roof space. These areas have previously been difficult to insulate without stripping out internal linings, often leading to loss of historic fabric, disruptive building work, and the expense of new materials and labour. The insulation work also extended to the dormer roofs and cheeks.
This project sought to demonstrate that effective thermal upgrades are possible for coom ceilings and dormers without excessive cost and disruption for the owner or extensive removal and damage to the fabric. For the project to be successful, it was considered essential to use ‘vapour-open’ materials that allow the free transmission of water vapour through the building envelope. This is particularly important for roof spaces and coom ceilings, as any build up of moisture behind the internal linings could lead to degradation of the timber roof elements.
The works are described in terms of the interventions to individual fabric elements, following the outline hierarchy of interventions, set out in the Historic Scotland Short Guide Fabric Improvements for Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings. Published in 2013.