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Preserving a heritage building

Retrofitted insulation at the Castle of Good Hope

Over a decade, Eco-Insulation has retrofitted insulation at the Castle of Good Hope, in Cape Town. Constructed originally between 1666 and 1679, the Castle of Good Hope is one of South Africa’s oldest surviving buildings and is still popular today with tourists and locals. It is the seat of the military in the city and houses the Castle Military Museum and the William Fehr Collection of Cape Town’s Iziko Museums. Military personnel, museum administrators and tourism support staff are at work within its four-metre wide walls.

Cape of Good Help Castle insulation

However, inside the massive structure, there is a problem. Despite the high thermal mass of the structure, the dark coloured roofing material has high thermal conductivity and low insulating properties. This means the office space heats up through summer and becomes chilly in winter, once the inside walls have cooled to the ambient temperature.

Eco-Insulation cellulose fibre insulation was installed in the roof space. Richard Ellis, Eco-Insulation’s principal Cape Town agent recommended that the existing collapsed insulation be removed and that the Eco-Insulation be pumped into the maximum possible depth of 110mm. Occupied by the military, this iconic building dating back to the 17th century had its problems. “The office area had low-pitched roofs, with little ceiling area. The occupants suffered from excessive heat in summer and an extremely cold working environment in winter”, explained Richard Ellis of Eco-Insulation.

Founder of Eco-Insulation and managing director of the company, Cecil Homan, developed the unique, pneumatic pump delivery system to install the product into tight or inaccessible spaces. This was one of the factors that made Eco-Insulation a natural choice for this application. “The process is extremely simple and 100% effective,” says Homan.

At the castle, tiles were removed from the crest of the roof so that the Eco-Insulation installers could remove the old insulation and create the space into which the new product could be pumped.

Homan says that this project once again demonstrates the versatility of Eco-Insulation as a retrofit product. “With the advent of SANS 10400-XA, insulation installed has to comply with specific R-values. When working within tight recesses such as the cavity between the sloping, vaulted ceiling and the roof at the castle, Eco-Insulation can simply be pumped into place to the required depth. The product distributes itself evenly into space and mats together, providing a very effective and enduring barrier against the movement of heat.

“Why install expensive, energy-consuming air-conditioners, which require regular maintenance and servicing, when SABS-approved Eco-Insulation is a fraction of the cost? Eco-Insulation remains constant all year round and the product carries a lifetime guarantee. It does not deteriorate and promotes significant electricity savings. The cost of Eco-Insulation can be recovered through energy savings in plus or minus three years,” says Homan.

Part of Team Eco’s job was to remove existing insulation from another source that was simply not working! This was rather a tricky job, so Team Eco was on the roof, safety gear and all, removing individual roof tiles and filling each roof space between the rafters.

Well Done Eco-Insulation for preserving our heritage.


88 Kyalami Drive
Cape Town
Western Cape
South Africa

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