Insulation Talk - June 2014
Welcome to our InsulationTalk e-bulletin. We hope you find our news informative and useful on keeping you up to date on our progress within product development and manufacturing as well as the latest news within the industry.
In this issue....
- Knauf Insulation offers a flexible approach to fabric first
- Queen's Speech: Our response on the changes to the Zero Carbon Homes Policy
- ECO insulation for new schools in Sheffield
- We're oar in this together
- A manifesto writer's guide to delivering Home Energy Efficiency
- Internal or External - the choice is yours
Knauf Insulation offers a flexible approach to fabric first
With the 2013 technical guidance document Approved Document L1A (Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings) now in place, there is a great deal of variability that can be adopted to achieve compliance. As such, Knauf Insulation recommends adopting a prudent commercial solution without compromising on quality.
Stephen Smith Market Development Manager at Knauf Insulation comments: “Some of the U-values in the elemental recipe in Approved Document L1A may not be beneficial to all housebuilders and developers, in terms of the practical and commercial elements.
As an example, consider a cavity wall U-value within the notional dwelling at 0.18W/m²K. This requires a wall thickness between 365mm and 380mm. To achieve compliance with 2010 Regulations, the majority of volume housebuilders are constructing cavity walls to a U-value of 0.25W/m²K. It is possible to exercise the design flexibility which has been included within ADL1A 2013 and adopting a more practical approach. Improving on other elements such as pitched roofs insulated at ceiling level (Knauf Insulation would recommend a U-value of 0.11W/m2K rather than 0.13W/m2K), it is possible to maintain the cavity wall U-value of 0.25W/m²K with an overall wall thickness of just 300mm.
Knauf Insulation can demonstrate how compliance can be achieved with all house types with a practical, yet sensible fabric approach and the company are encouraging housebuilders and developers to work closely with its Technical Support Team or to use the company’s comprehensive Part L 2013 guide, to make sure that what it recommends is best suited to the developer’s needs and not just a compliance exercise.
The revisions also include new compliance criteria, Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE) that recognises the importance of a Fabric First approach to meeting the ultimate ambition: Zero Carbon Homes. This is calculated using actual dwelling dimensions and the performance values in the current notional dwelling specification. For the 2013 revisions this value is increased by 15 per cent, allowing builders to make a smaller interim step as they prepare for Zero Carbon Homes.
For cost-effective, practical solutions that meet Part L1A housebuilders should speak to Knauf Insulation’s Business Development team for full guidance and for technical support please contact 01744 766666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Queen's Speech: Our response on the changes to the Zero Carbon Homes Policy
“Considering the tempestuous journey the UK’s green agenda and zero carbon policies have had over the last few years, it perhaps should come as no surprise that there are yet more complications and a scaling back of ambition.
“The decision announced in the Queen’s speech, to further water down previous intentions for energy requirements of new homes from 2016 is a another blow for the industry. Rather than supporting and directing all efforts towards meeting the original intention that all new homes built from 2016 onwards would be ‘zero carbon’, the Government has now confirmed that only a 44% reduction in CO 2 emissions will be required and this will only apply to 30% of new homes built.
“The Infrastructure Bill sets out an exemption for some smaller housing developments to comply with the zero carbon homes standard. Although we are yet to understand the definition of a ‘smaller housing development’, what Government should be tackling is how it can help smaller housebuilders deliver the ambition rather than offer a block exemption.
“Underlying this and other recent decisions not to drive appropriate emission and energy bill reduction policies in both existing and new homes, is an absence of political desire to move the discussion away from the home purchase price to focusing on the ‘cost of occupancy’. In other words, it’s time to stop talking just about ‘getting’ on the housing ladder and instead helping people to stay on it too.
“The Help to Buy scheme has certainly supported home ownership, but it has also raised issues about exposing purchasers to an unsustainable debt. A solution offered by Government is tighter controls on mortgage lending, however the irony is that lenders are concerned with only the current bills, rather than looking at what those future costs will be in the new home.
“In home purchasing and lending, it’s time to move toward a model where ‘cost of occupancy’ is a key consideration, rather than just the purchase price. Just because a house is cheaper to buy does certainly not mean it is cost effective to run, particularly when you take aspects such as combined mortgage and energy costs into the equation. It’s high time Government realised this and started to make householders aware of the reality of running costs.
“Additionally, Government policy makers have a duty to ensure that new policies will address the very real and long-term financial concerns to both new homeowners and those in the supply chain. We thought that’s what the Zero Carbon Homes ambition had set out, however the announcement once again suggests otherwise.
“Zero carbon homes form an essential part of the green agenda, not least in helping to save a fortune for householders in energy costs, but also in contributing to new opportunities and innovation for the wider supply chain. What we need is the right backing and correct framework to drive the industry forward and to create much-needed investment.”
ECO insulation for new schools in Sheffield
Knauf Insulation’s Polyfoam® ECO Floorboard Extra was specified for an ambitious project by Sheffield City Council to create two new primary schools for the City, with expert assistance from Knauf Insulation’s Technical Support Team. Helping to reduce carbon emissions and deliver an excellent thermal performance, Polyfoam ECO Floorboard Extra is strong enough to withstand the design load of the schools’ flooring itself, the weight of furniture and the occupants of the buildings.
Encon Insulation Ltd, the leading independent UK distributor of thermal and acoustic insulation, worked closely with Knauf Insulation’s Technical Support Team and supplied around 3300m2 of Polyfoam ECO Floorboard Extra to BAM Construction.
Paul Fisher from Encon Insulation Ltd, commented: “By working with Knauf Insulation’s Technical Support Team, they were able to provide us with in-depth product information and U-value calculations, to help us determine which products were appropriate for this project. After a lot of consultation and designing, we realised that Polyfoam ECO Floorboard Extra would be most suited for this construction as it can provide a U-value of 0.20 W/m²K, a thermal conductivity of 0.033W/mK and was suitable for almost any floor construction.
Overseen by BAM Construction, the project has a target completion date of July 2014 ready for the new academic year. Alan White, Design Manager at BAM Construction, commented: “Installing an insulation product that was highly resistant to moisture absorption and could provide a line of defence against moisture penetration from the concrete slab was particularly needed for this project. Knauf Insulation’s range of XPS products, including its Polyfoam ECO Floorboard Extra, exceeded all these points and ensures long-term viability of the flooring build up.
“What’s more, as XPS is a lightweight material it meant that installation was very quick and easy, which resulted in us coming across no problems and keeping on track in order to complete the projects on time.”
Additionally, from an environmental perspective Knauf Insulation’s Polyfoam ECO Standard and Extra range is the only range of extruded polystyrene products to be independently assessed and certified by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to achieve a Green Guide rating of ‘A’, allowing installers and end users to have the utmost confidence that the products provide a sustainable solution.
The schools are named as Oasis Academy Watermead and Oasis Academy Fir Vale and will be run by Oasis Community Learning; one of the largest multi-academy sponsors in England.
We're oar in this together
On Thursday 26th June, Knauf Insulation participated in the 16th London Construction Industry Dragon Boat Challenge in order to raise money for CRASH - the construction and property industry’s charity for homeless people.
The challenge took place at Stoke Newington West Reservoir Centre in London, with over 40 teams battling it out over the 200m distance to be crowned the top crew in the industry. Across the day there were a number of heats, with Balfour Beatty being crowned the overall champions.
“As a patron of CRASH, we thought this was a great opportunity to take part in such a fun but challenging event to raise money for a charity that provides excellent support to those who have experienced the affects of being homeless,” commented Graham Boyd, Business Development Director at Knauf Insulation and team member of the Knauf Krusaders. “Although we were knocked out in the heats, we had a fantastic day!”
“We cannot thank everyone enough for making this year’s Construction Industry Dragon Boat Festival such an amazing success,” said CRASH Fundraising & Events Manager Amy Hart.
“The generosity shown for the industry’s charity by all those who took part in the racing and those who made donations amounted to a staggering £27,751.81. This money will make a real difference to the lives of homeless men and women throughout the UK. Thank you.”
Dragon boat racing is an ancient Chinese tradition where up to 10 people paddle each 30’ boat with a drummer at the front beating time and a helm at the tail steering a straight course.
To donate money for CRASH via the Knauf Krusaders please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/knaufkrusaders
A manifesto writer's guide to delivering Home Energy Efficiency
Effective policy making is difficult! Without a detailed understanding of the complex system you wish to change, it’s impossible! Efforts by successive Governments to persuade us to improve our inefficient housing stock offer a good example. Despite numerous civil servant hours spent, expert opinions offered and a plethora of policies and initiatives, we haven’t cracked the nut. And by ‘nut’ I mean persuaded a decent number of the 60 million people in 27 million homes to act on energy efficiency.
Yes, we have insulated lofts, filled wall cavities and scrapped old boilers. We have insulated a few solid wall properties and installed some heat pumps. Smart meters may already be here! After a couple of internet searches for smart meters, the Google owned NEST learning thermostat now appears on almost every internet page I open. More worryingly, it has appeared twice on electronic bill boards just as I pass by. But this isn’t cracking the energy efficiency nut.
You can read the rest of Director of Public Affairs and Strategy Steven Heath’s entry by visiting Knauf Insulation’s Wordpress blog Built on Performance.
Internal or External - the choice is yours
After acquiring approximately 50 properties,Cottsway Housing decided to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings, to help reduce their tenant’s energy bills. However, with five of the properties constructed with solid walls, Cottsway Housing had to find an alternative insulation solution. With impressive U-values and an easy installation with minimum disruption to homeowners, Knauf Insulation’s high performing ThermoShell® EWI system was installed to the homes.
Timothy Russell, Surveyor at Cottsway Housing, commented: “Our choice was between insulating the properties on the external or internal side of the wall. Knauf Insulation’s ThermoShell system offers both Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) and External Wall Insulation (EWI) options. However, for this particular project we decided that the EWI system better suited the design brief.”
“Knauf Insulation has an impressive reputation within the industry and with a wide range of insulation solutions for all different applications, as well as expert technical advice from their representatives and technical team we thought it would make sense to use their system on this project.”
“The system was installed by Knauf Insulation accredited installers, who attended Knauf Insulation’s ThermoShell training academy in Birmingham for comprehensive training and was installed easily and quickly. Throughout the project, the tenants coped well with the work occurring to the outside of their homes and have now even commented on how warm and comfortable their homes are since the installation.”
Mr Wickson, a tenant of one of the upgraded homes, concluded: “I am very happy with the installation of Knauf Insulation’s External Wall Insulation system; it has enhanced the appearance of the property and has made my home much warmer. Although I haven’t received any heating bills since the installation, I am positive that there will be a reduction in cost as the property is now a lot easier to heat and I don’t have to have the heating on as much.”