Insulation Talk - June 2015
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...
- Winner at the Green Deal & ECO Awards
- A new way of building and a new way of living
- Long term vision needed for energy efficiency
- World's largest school built of timber in Finland
- Whole house solutions at the CIH Housing event
- It never rains but it pours
Winner at the Green Deal & ECO Awards
Knauf Insulation is pleased to announce that it has won ‘Supplier of the Year’ at this year’s Green Deal and ECO Awards, after demonstrating its outstanding service not only to customers, but also the local community and the environment.
Steve Duke, Sales Director - Refurbishment & Contracting at Knauf Insulation, commented: “It is great news that we have won ‘Supplier of the Year’ at this year’s Green Deal and ECO Awards – especially since we won the ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ category at last year’s awards. Winning this award is a real testament to all the hard work that is carried out by our teams across the company – well done!
“We truly understand the importance of upholding strong relationships with our customers and as such we are constantly investing significant effort into closely matching their requirements. For example we have introduced a number of measures to ensure we’re ‘supplier of choice’ by maintaining excellent customer service, providing extensive marketing and training support, adapting to the changing customer needs and offering a comprehensive portfolio of whole house solutions.
The winning entry also highlighted how Knauf Insulation’s commitment to creating energy efficient buildings goes much further. Recently Knauf Insulation recognised that Local Authorities can have a dramatic effect on the energy that people and businesses use and as such, the company developed a pilot study to measure the local energy and energy efficiency agendas of councils in England: the Local Authority Energy Index (LAEI).
The 2015 National Green Deal and ECO Awards took place at the Palace Hotel in Manchester on the 19th June and recognised the excellent work the energy efficiency sector is doing, whilst encouraging best practice throughout the industry.
A new way of building and a new of living
Knauf Insulation products have helped turn the Wienerberger e4 brick house concept into a reality at the BRE Innovation Park.
With the aim of creating an archetype for the future of UK housing, Wienerberger, the leading provider of wall, roof and landscaping innovations, has developed the Wienerberger e4 brick house™ concept. The concept was developed in conjunction with global engineering and design consultancy, ARUP to address the need for affordable, sustainable housing in the UK and is based on four fundamental principles of economy, energy, environment and emotion.
For this revolutionary project, Knauf Insulation has supplied products to help realise the proposition and turn the Wienerberger e4 house concept into a reality.
Knauf Insulation has supplied cavity wall insulation, Earthwool DriTherm 32, and its Earthwool Loft Roll 44 insulation to satisfy the Energy principle criteria: to provide a house that meets and exceeds the latest energy performance standards and will continue to meet these standards for every day of its 150 years plus lifecycle.
It was also very important that the design and build of the house be as environmentally conscious as possible. In this way, the house had to minimise any environmental impact, achieve certain criteria and all the materials chosen had to be responsibly sourced. Knauf Insulation’s Earthwool glass mineral wool products contain up to 80% recycled glass and are manufactured with a bio-based binder technology that uses rapidly renewable materials and contains no added formaldehyde or dyes. This leads to a mineral wool product that has a high level of sustainability and a material that is soft to the touch making it easy to handle, cut and install.
Phil Rigby, Product Manager – Glass Mineral Wool Refurbishment - Northern Europe at Knauf Insulation comments: “Wienerberger’s e4 concept is all about providing value in the form of economy, energy, environment and emotion, and we’re very pleased to have collaborated on and provided some key insulation solutions to help realise this vision.”
Long term vision needed for energy efficiency
John Sinfield, Managing Director of Knauf Insulation recently commented on the Government announcement to close the Renewables Obligation by 1st April 2016.
“Energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to reduce carbon emissions, it also makes the UK more energy independent and creates jobs and growth.
“This makes the need for a strong, long term commitment to improving energy efficiency ever more important if the UK is to meet our domestic carbon budgets. A clear policy framework for energy efficiency will also help our long term ambitions for a global climate deal at the Paris 2015 climate conference.”
Reducing emissions and preparing for climate change: the Committee on Climate Change 2015 Progress Report to Parliament has also been launched, calling for urgent action to avoid increasing costs and impacts of climate change in the UK.
John commented: “Energy efficiency boosts economic growth, and represents the best way to regenerate communities and meet carbon targets. This report rightly highlights the critical and fragile nature of our current energy efficiency policy framework, and the need for Government to act swiftly to ensure energy efficiency can be delivered throughout 2016 to keep UK emissions reductions on track.
“Changes in the last couple of years to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Green Deal have led to a slow down in insulation upgrades – which in turn, is having a damaging effect upon the efforts to alleviate fuel poverty. Urgent action in creating transparency for ECO, as well appropriately incentivising low cost insulation measures is paramount. Not to mention, creating a solid and reliable long-term plan for ECO – the sooner the better. The Committee on Climate Change’s report makes the recommendation for an extension or replacement policy for the energy efficiency of buildings by mid-2016. However, there is real danger that this may be too late, with the ECO unlikely to deliver many improvements to homes after Christmas 2015.
“A clear, long term vision for energy efficiency policy is needed to attract the right investment to meet climate and fuel poverty targets, and help families keep their homes warm, for less.”
World's largest school built of timber in Finland
The new school in Finnish Pudasjärvi is attracting attention, even before it is completed. It will be more than just the world’s largest school built of timber. The entire building has a clear environmental profile in every way, from the choice of materials to the physical work environment.
Supafil Frame from Knauf Insulation was specified for this project and combines great insulation characteristics and is environmentally certified in accordance with BREEAM. The insulation material supports the project’s holistic economy and optimisation of life cycle costs.
The area covers approximately 9,800 square metres and, when finished in 2016, it will be able to accomodate around 800 students. Lemminkäinen, the main contractor said “Blowing wool is the only correct way to insulate a construction project such as this and we have had good experiences using Supafil Frame.
"It is a huge relief when an independent and knowledgeable contractor takes care of the insulation. They work according to a schedule, which enables us to completely concentrate on the rest of the construction work".
Workplace logistics run significantly smoother when all of the insulation material is handled by the contractor. They also ensure that the insulation is handled and stored correctly. “In addition, there is no wasted insulation material, so we only pay for what is installed. All of this together, creates a major advantage when compared to other insulation methods.”
Whole house solutions at CIH Housing event
Knauf Insulation showcased its whole house insulation solutions at this year’s CIH Housing Event on the 23rd to 25th June at Manchester Central, including Supafil Party Wall insulation, ThermoShell® External Wall Insulation and its Loft Storage System.
Heat loss through uninsulated party wall cavities for existing homes has now been recognised by government as a genuine heat loss (party wall thermal bypass) and is included within RdSAP 9.92. As such, Knauf Insulation has developed a proven solution that eliminates this heat loss: Supafil Party Wall. Visitors to the stand were able to learn about the full-fill insulation solution and ask its technical experts any questions they may have had about this new heat loss consideration and its resolution.
Phil Rigby, Refurbishment Product Manager commented: “Throughout the event, as well as showcasing our products, we also offered visitors the opportunity to have free assessments of the party wall cavities within their housing stock. Indeed for a limited period, funding can be claimed for the carbon saved from properties on both sides of a party wall.”
For solid wall properties, Knauf Insulation spoke to visitors about its ThermoShell External Wall Insulation system, which is cost effective and designed for the lifetime of a property. The system thermally insulates the existing exterior façade – extending the longevity of the building, providing the opportunity to upgrade its appearance whilst saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.
Knauf Insulation also presented its new Loft Storage System solution to visitors and demonstrated its effectiveness in thermally insulating the loft at ceiling level, whilst creating a robust storage platform.
It never rains but it pours
Triumphs of ‘process over purpose‘! We all recognise them when we hear them; indeed you can probably imagine the look on someone’s face as they deliver the line;
“I see what you mean and actually I sympathise with what you want to do. Indeed, it is actually core to what the institution I work for wishes to achieve. However we have this rule – and I confess the rule was created to serve a completely different function – but I think it might apply to your case. So I am afraid we can’t allow this admittedly admirable and socially desirable activity to go ahead. Sorry. I really am. But they are the rules…“.
This phenomenon wouldn’t exist in nature. Natural selection would have ruthlessly weeded it out. However, in large bureaucracies it thrives and a recent ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) regarding the UK’s application of reduced rates of VAT for Energy Saving Materials is a clear example.
Currently, certain energy saving measures such as insulation receive a reduced VAT rate of 5% rather than the standard rate of 20%. The UK’s reasoning for this is that the refurbishment of our ageing and leaky housing stock constitutes a ‘social policy’ which permits the reduced rate. That is assuming the EU agrees with the justification. Which, as of 4th June they, and the European Court of Justice, made clear they didn’t.
To read the rest of John's entry, please visit our Built on Performance blog.