Andrew Black Design

Insulating and Heating 19th Century Office Space

Dundee Architect, Andrew Black Design

Award-winning Dundee architects Andrew Black Design relocated to the city’s Tay Street Lane in 2017.

These former stables, dating back to the 19th Century, were essentially a shell, soon to be transformed into a contemporary business hub accommodating some of the best of Dundee’s creative talent. Relocating from their former Perth Road base, the project saw Andrew Black and his team regenerate the building, which dates back to around 1830 and is built against part of the historic old town wall. The buildings are C listed and the exterior was renovated in 2011 by Dundee City Council.

The end result boasts a striking, modern interior with the exterior more traditional but with a contemporary cue. The completed property comprises three studios, with Andrew Black Design occupying one, and the remaining units leased to like-minded design companies.

Assessment and Recommendation

Andrew Black Design contacted GoSustainable in December 2016, having called upon the company before for a variety of their clients’ projects.
Following discussions and site visits, Warmcel was identified as the best insulation system for the building. The product stands out from other insulation brands by offering ‘Better than Carbon Zero’ environmental standards – allowing properties featuring its insulation products to reduce their carbon footprint (by -1.5 GWP).

GoSustainable then completed the infrared heating design calculations for each space, with the total Kw for all areas calculated to be 15.33Kw. With the client’s preference for ceiling-mounted heating to save space, and complement the aesthetics of the space, a full Redwell infrared heating system was recommended. Redwell gives homes and businesses an unprecedented level of control over their heating needs – increasing energy efficiency and combating the rising cost of energy.

Andrew Black Design - Dundee Architect
Interior of Andrew Black Design - Dundee



In March 2017, GoSustainable insulated the timber Kit to all external walls with Warmcel.

Warmcel was installed by dry injection to a density of 55kgs per m3 into the 140mm timber kit to provide a complete fill, navigating the voids and construction details, leaving no air gaps through which warm air can escape.


Once the wiring was complete, nearer the end of the renovation project, a full Redwell infrared heating system was installed throughout the building, all ceiling mounted and fully programmable using Heatmiser NeoStats. Slim and stylish, these thermostats come in three stunning colours, with the option to be fixed or wireless, so all three businesses could control and customise their heating within their own units, and different spaces.

“The main appeal of Redwell Infrared Heating for us was that it allowed us to free up wall space. Most of the walls have desks against them so it made sense to have the heating positioned on the ceilings which were free and, essentially, wasted space. There is also the aesthetic appeal of Redwell – they are non-intrusive, very clean, light and blend into the white ceilings.”

Andrew Black


Prior to the works, the walls of Andrew Black Design’s premises had an ‘as-built’ U Value* of 1.6.

* The U Value is basically a measure of heat loss through a structural element. It is calculated on the rate at which heat transfers through 1 square metre of a structure, where the temperature difference between the inner and outer face is 1 degree Celsius.

On completion of the works, the U Value was 0.32, pointing to a significant improvement in the building’s insulation and, therefore, future energy costs.

Warmcel was our immediate preference for a number of reasons. Environmentally, we like that it’s not an oil-based and that it’s made from recycled paper, which is clearly a great, green solution. We also like its thermal values – it creates a density which is hard to get with more traditional, mineral wool-based insulation and because it is sprayed in, there are no gaps. Finally, it’s a very quick install and therefore more cost-effective, with GoSustainable completing the job within a day and half.”

Andrew Black

Interior Wall at Andrew Black Design Dundee

“GoSustainable really know their stuff. Not only did we want to work with a local company but we were very much attracted by their technical expertise and the fact they offer advice on the best solution for the client, rather than simply installing a product. As architects, we have the benefit of knowing what we wanted and why, but others may not so we would highly recommend GoSustainable to ensure that the most appropriate systems and products are installed.”

Andrew Black, Director and Architect
Andrew Black Design