Barn conversions and upgrades can provide valuable space for habitable accommodation or commercial use such as offices or shops. This example was previously an agricultural barn, purchased and upgraded for residential occupation. It had all the typical problems, defective roof covering, no real rainwater disposal goods, porous brickwork, rising damp and also internal contamination – uric acid from the livestock, also nitrate salts and chloride salts.
Also as you can see, the walls are of a substantial thickness. According to BRE (Building Research Establishment), they tell us that once all defects are rectified and a chemical damp-proof course has been installed 150mm above the highest solid oversite in accordance with BS6576: 2005, that we can expect the structure to dry out at a rate of 1” per month of wall thickness. So once we have waterproofed and damp-proofed this building, it will still take a couple of years drying out. So what we have used here is a sympathetic solution. We’ve selected Delta-PT the meshed variety of membrane; it is actually secured to the wall with sealed PT Lath fixings. We utilise a ventilation profile, top and bottom, with a special ventilation detail that we have that allows air movement behind the system. This really means that we are not inhibiting the drying out process in the walls, but we are isolating those aggressive salts and dampness.
The membrane is fixed at 250mm centres and is ready to receive a plaster/render finish, alternatively you can dab fix plaster board or thermal board, and within just a few days we can actually decorate. We can even use vinyl-based paper or vinyl paints. We only have to wait for the plaster to dry out. So the emphasis is on a very fast track system.