Application of Reed Panels as Ceiling Insulation

General Information

Normally, a ceiling constitutes the upper, horizontal limit of a room, and has to transmit the load to the load-carrying components. In addition, a ceiling has to provide sound insulation, thermal and fire protection. The most commonly used are concrete and beam ceilings. Until the 1960 it was common practice to use beam ceilings for residential buildings. Later, the beam ceiling was replaced by the concrete ceiling, which was quite often experienced as being too cold. The ceiling constructions described below show how to add a reed insulation to an already existing beam ceiling. An individual design is made possible (e.g. a vaulted ceiling) by the Hiss Reet reed panels, which are flexible and can be used in self-supporting constructions due to their high bending strength.

Requirements of Ceilings

Good thermal insulation values are not the main aim of a ceiling; in fact, a high sound insulation factor and good fire protection are of more importance.

a) Thermal protection:
Insulation for new buildings or refitting of insulation on old buildings for ceilings connecting to unheated rooms: EnEV U-value = 0.50 W/(m²K).
b) Sound insulation (DIN 4109): We have to distinguish between airborne sound, whose transmission depends on the weight per unit area of a building component, on the one hand, and impact sound, transmitted directly through the construction, on the other hand. That is why the unfinished floor (substructure) and the finished floor (floor surface) have to be separated by means of an impact sound insulation in order to reduce the transmission of sound. Furthermore, the floor surface has to be isolated from the connecting walls, so that no impact sound can be transmitted.
c) Fire protection (DIN 4102-2).
For residential buildings with no more than 2 flats. Comply with F-30 B.

Ceiling built-up 1: Insulation of an existing beam ceiling with reed insulation panels  

Existence:
Beam ceiling with clay wraparound. It should be preserved because of good structural qualities.

General Requirements:
See „Requirements for Ceilings”.

Details on the Use and Application of Reed Insulation Panels as Additional Insulation for Ceilings:

Ceiling panelling from below:

  1. To level out the surface of the ceiling or between the beams: Fix installation boards directly under the existing ceiling beams.
  2. You can apply extra insulation between the installation boards e.g. by clamping 30mm thick reed insulation panels between the boards.
  3. Place the insulation panels (80 mm) crosswise to the ceiling beams and simply fix them with wood screws and Insulation discs (at least 6 per m²)
  4. Plaster the reed panels with clay plaster. All over the rendering mortar a jute cloth has to be applied.

Panelling from above:

  1. Lay out floor battens on top of a impact sound insulation (e.g. from jute, coco).
    Attention: To avoid the transmission of impact sound the floor battens should not be screwed to the ceiling beams (floating floor).
  2. Place the Hiss Reet Panels extra (e.g. 20 mm) in the space between the floor battens (it is also possible to place the panels parallel to the ceiling beams).
  3. Lay out the timber floor, screw or nail the floor battens.

U-value of the construction: 0.27 W/m²K
Weight per unit area: app. 275 kg/ m²

Ceiling built up 2: Insulation of a new vaulted ceiling with reed insulation panels

Existence:
Beam ceiling (milled groove for the reed insulation panels).

General Requirements:
See „Requirements for Ceilings”.

Details on the Use and Application of Reed Insulation Panels as Insulation for a Vaulted Ceiling:

Preparation:

  1. Attach gibs (e.g. 30 x 50 mm) parallel to the ceiling beams with screws or nails.
  2. Apply a board formwork (e.g. d = 24 mm) between the ceiling beams (blind floor), possible to fix it to the gibs.
  3. The ceiling beams have to be grooved according to the thickness of the reed panel (30 mm).

Ceiling panelling from below:

  1. Level and cut to size the reed insulation panels, then clamp them in the corresponding groove of the ceiling beam. The panels are attached with the stalks lying parallel to the beams.
  2. Fix the panels to the board formwork with a centred screw and additional wood screws and insulation discs pointing diagonally into the ceiling beams (at least 6 per m²).
  3. Plaster the Hiss Reet panels extra with clay plaster. All over the rendering mortar a jute cloth has to be applied.

Cladding from above:

  1. Lay out an impact sound insulation with sewn-in ripple paper (e.g. from jute) all over the ceiling beams and the board formwork.
  2. Depending on the requirements: Implementation of a clay masonry wall construction (good sound insulation) or light clay bricks (good heat protection) into the interspaces of the beams.
  3. Lay out the floor battens on top of the ceiling beams. Attention: To avoid the transmission of impact sound the floor battens should not be screwed to the ceiling beams (floating floor).
  4. Place the reed insulation panels (60 mm) in the space between the floor battens.
  5. Lay out the timber floor, screw or nail the floor boards to the floor battens.

U-value of the construction: 0.42 W/m²K
Weight per unit area: app. 210 kg/ m²

Disclaimer of Liability

The information given above is based on the calculations and information of HISS REET Schilfrohrhandel GmbH and the product specifications of the manufacturer. The content is only a selection of especially important information. The author reserves the right not to be responsible for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided. Liability claims regarding material or ideal damage caused by the use of any information provided, including any kind of information which is incomplete or incorrect, will therefore be rejected, unless there is evidence of intentional or gross negligence on part of the author.

The information provided cannot substitute individual specialist advice by a planner.

Authors:

Dipl. Ing. Stefan Neumann
Dipl. Kfm. Philip Kullmann