Insulation Talk - October 2013
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....
- State of the art BIM object library launched
- Cutting ECO is not the solution
- Miller Homes builds for the future
- Bespoke insulation for Aston University
State of the art BIM object library launched
Heralded by many as the future of the construction industry, BIM is essentially a data rich 3D model of a building, which allows all those involved in the construction process to work from the same coordinated, highly detailed and consistent plan.
The objects are free to download from the Knauf Insulation website, offering specifiers easy access to key insulation components that can be incorporated into BIM designs. We are the first manufacturer to offer construction build ups (material layer sets) – objects that contain a combination of products and form a complete construction element, such as a masonry cavity wall.
"Knauf Insulation is leading the way in using a repeatable process to offer standards compliant BIM objects. This will ensure that their BIM library is always up to date and is always consistent with BS ISO 16739 and BS 8541,”commented Nick Nisbet, Technical Coordinator of buildingSMART UKI and member of BSI Committee B555 on construction information.
The library holds more than 200 objects, each containing a wealth of detailed information including thermal conductivity and resistance, product size and form, third party data and BBA certifications and sustainability information
The objects are available in all of the key formats including IFC, Autodesk Revit, Graphisoft ArchiCAD, Bentley MicroStation and Nemetschek Vectorworks.
Dave Khan, Technical Marketing Manager commented: “BIM is going to have a huge impact on the industry and we’re pleased to embrace this new approach”.
Cutting ECO is not the solution
Over the past few weeks, British Gas, SSE, Scottish Power and Npower have raised household bills by an average 9.1% for this winter. E.ON and EDF are expected to follow in the coming weeks. They all say mounting wholesale costs are partly to blame and the Government are desperately trying to find quick solutions to rising bills such as windfall taxes on energy suppliers and cutting 'green' taxes.
Knauf Insulation is warning the Government not to ignore the long-term picture, amid claims that it is planning to extend the deadline for energy companies to fulfil their responsibilities under the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), in a bid to lower fuel bills.
Steven Heath, External Affairs Director for Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, commented: “Removing the ECO subsidy is a breathtakingly short sighted strategy that could have a disastrous effect on future generations”.
“ECO is a vital part of the puzzle when it comes to transforming our housing stock, which is among the leakiest and coldest in Europe. Already we are in the shocking position where nearly half of the 24,000 excess winter deaths are due to cold homes  and many of the UK’s 4.5 million fuel poor households are facing the choice between food and heating . Furthermore, every un-insulated home currently wastes £310 a year in preventable energy bills and produces an extra 1.3 tonnes of carbon.  Removing ECO means these figures will inevitably rise – and keep on rising.
“Bear in mind that the current ECO subsidy for low income homes is only £47 out of the average annual household bill of £1,267 – surely a small price to pay to ensure the most vulnerable people in our society have access to warm and safe homes? The simple fact is that over time fuel bills will increase anyway, so the ONLY effective long term solution is to act now to reduce energy use by improving the fabric and thermal efficiency of our buildings.”.
 Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE)
 Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
 Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE)
We have recently developed an infographic which explains that cutting ECO is not the answer to rising energy costs.
Miller Homes builds for the future
Miller Homes has specified Knauf Insulation's Supafil® glass mineral wool and Earthwool® Loft Roll products for an innovative development at Dukesmead in Bingham, Nottingham, which includes five 'Fabric First' homes, built to meet current and future energy efficiency standards.
The ambitious target of zero carbon homes from 2016 means the way we design and build new homes is changing, with higher levels of insulation and a greater focus on the air tightness of the building envelope. This forward thinking development has been designed to test proposed specifications for each regulatory stage along the way.
Two plots were designed to meet the current requirements under the 2010 revisions to Approved Document Part L. Two further plots were constructed to meet the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard (FEES) and the final plot was built to meet the expected Zero Carbon Hub Carbon Compliance Standard.
Knauf Insulation supplied its Supafil 34 for use across the external walls of the development and Supafil Party Wall for the adjoining party walls. Offering an unrivalled combination of thermal performance and on-site practicality, Supafil 34 is a high quality blown-in mineral wool with a thermal conductivity value of just 0.034W/mK.
Knauf Insulation’s Earthwool Loft Roll was also specified throughout the properties, offering a lightweight, non–combustible glass mineral wool solution, which was installed between the timber joists to deliver outstanding thermal and fire performance.
Darren O’Reilly, Associate Director of Supply Chain at Miller Homes said: “The aim of the project was to test our proposed designs for future developments, with an emphasis on reducing the impact of thermal bridging and delivering an appropriate standard of air-tightness. Insulation, therefore, plays a vital role in this approach and so we required high performance products that we knew would deliver. We’ve used Knauf Insulation’s products on previous developments and so we knew we could rely on their performance.”
Read the full case study on Miller Homes five 'Fabric First' developments in Bingham, Nottingham.
Bespoke insulation for Aston University
Knauf Insulation has been involved in the design and supply of a bespoke insulation product for the ambitious construction of the low energy and sustainably managed, European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University in Birmingham. As a European centre for bioenergy research, 'BREEAM' excellent was a key requirement in the design.
Knauf Insulation worked closely with Associated Architects to specify the correct rainscreen insulation product to meet the necessary requirements for a large glazed façade wrapping round the first floor.
The insulation layer is a fundamental component of any successful rainscreen cladding system and rock mineral wool insulation delivers a number of advantages in this type of application. Knauf Insulation’s Earthwool® RainScreen HD Slab in a bespoke 120mm thickness and size of slab was ideal for the project, delivering exceptional thermal, fire and acoustic performance.
Insulation was specified with the help of Knauf Insulation’s regional specification manager and Technical Support Team (TST). To successfully mitigate the differing dimensions of the constituent elements of glass channel, blockwork substrate and insulation, a smaller than standard slab size was specified, allowing for the edge of the slabs to align behind the joints in the glazed façade, providing an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
The early involvement of the regional specification manager in the project and their relationship with the architects and client at the concept stage, made for a very smooth delivery and ensured the required U-value of 0.22W/m2K would be achieved without the need to re-design elements later in the project.
Alan Miller, Architectural Assistant at Associated Architects comments, “The visible insulation has attracted a lot of attention to the project. The involvement of Knauf Insulation at a personal level and as a company helped to maintain the intention from design through to execution.”