Insulation Talk - March 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....
- What risks have the Government exposed us to regarding the ECO cuts?
- Knauf Insulation's Earthwool Acoustic Roll offers sound performance
- Open Hands makes for warm buildings
- The only way to get a solid wall solution under one roof
- Knauf Insulation's ThermoShell system teaches the local community about saving money
- Flooding and ECO - Two sides of the same coin?
What risks have the Government exposed us to regarding the ECO cuts?
SSE’s announcement to fix energy prices to January 2016 saw David Cameron and Ed Miliband competing to claim the credit. With the other energy suppliers coming under pressure to follow SSE’s example, let’s consider what the real cost of this price freeze amounts to. And consider if there is really any credit to claim!
Labour announced a popular plan for an energy price freeze. Soon after, energy suppliers announced energy price rises – the fault, we were told, lay with Green Taxes. Government reacted by cutting the one Government backed energy efficiency scheme that helped hard working households reduce their energy bills for years into the future. This cut allowed Government, in a deal with energy suppliers, to give back a one-off saving on energy bills this year or indeed an energy price freeze as SSE have announced. So a long term substantial saving for many is sacrificed for a short term saving for all that equates to between 70p to £1 a week.
But let’s be clear, David Cameron did not cut a Green Tax in this deal, but rather a National Insurance programme. Not ‘the’ National Insurance scheme taken from our salaries to cover us should we need hospital care, or have no company pension to fall back on but ‘a’ national insurance scheme none the less.
You can read the rest of Steven Heath's, Director of Public Affairs and Strategy, entry by visiting Knauf Insulation’s Wordpress blog Built on Performance.
We have also created an infographic, which refers to the gravity of the ECO cuts. You can view this by visiting our Visually site.
Knauf Insulation's Earthwool Acoustic Roll offers sound performance
In response to the increasing demand for insulation products that can resist the passage of sound across both residential and commercial buildings, Knauf Insulation has recently carried out laboratory testing with an accredited testing partner to demonstrate compliance of its Earthwool® Acoustic Rollwith Building Regulations – Approved Document E and Section 5 – when used in conjunction with major brands of plasterboard and internal wall systems.
Approved Document E (England & Wales) and Section 5 (Scotland) of the Building Regulations applies to both residential and commercial buildings and is designed to protect occupants from noise activities in adjoining rooms or buildings.
Stephen Smith Product Manager – Glass Mineral Wool commented: “The Earthwool Acoustic Roll testing was done by an accredited testing partner, using well known timber and metal internal wall systems. We are committed to continuously improving our insulation solutions and testing like this not only assures us that our products meet all the necessary requirements, it also gives housebuilders the confidence to specify our solutions without hesitation.
Open Hands makes for warm buildings
Knauf Insulation has recently donated a mixture of its Earthwool® insulation products to a project in Leicester, assisted by CRASH – the construction and property industry’s charity for the homeless – to help convert garages into a new support centre for The Open Hands Trust.
The Open Hands Trust exists to make a powerful and lasting difference in the lives of those it serves, providing regular sessions at its centre to the local community and offering clothes, furniture and food.
Sue Smout from The Open Hands Trust commented: “We opened our Compassion Centre in May 2009 and in 2012 we decided to bring all of the work we do onto one site, by extending into the adjoining garage units of the centre. Unfortunately, the new garage units we acquired were not ideal for the services we provide and so we called upon CRASH and its patrons for help.”
The insulation products provide excellent acoustic properties, ideal for this project as they can prevent unnecessary disturbances to people who are in sessions receiving advice and support. What’s more, with outstanding thermal conductivities, The Open Hands Trust can have peace of mind they will have a warm and comfortable centre to work in.
Francesca Roberts at CRASH concluded: “With the wonderful help and materials donated from our patrons, we were able to renovate the new space to provide a fit for purpose area - which the whole community can enjoy using!”
They only way to get a solid wall solution under one roof
Knauf Insulation is the UK’s only manufacturer to offer a hybrid solid wall solution for a property, incorporating both ThermoShell®Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) and External Wall Insulation (EWI) systems, and as such can provide expert guidance to help specify the right mix of solid wall solutions for a property.
Thermoshell IWI is a quick and easy to install thermal upgrade for solid internal walls where external application is not possible or desirable. Thermoshell EWI comprises both rock mineral wool slab and EPS options for a truly versatile solution. High quality render finishes can be combined with coloured paints to bring projects to life.
Steve Duke, Sales Director – Refurbishment and Contracting at Knauf Insulation, commented: “When it comes to hybrid solutions, most people think that it is straight forward; for example, install an IWI system to the front of the house and an EWI system to the back. However, this isn’t always the case. When installing a hybrid solution to an end-terrace, semi-detached or a detached house, there will always be a junction where the two systems meet. A big advantage of our ThermoShell IWI and EWI systems is that one system designer is responsible for both systems, including the junction details.”
Together, Thermoshell represents the only choice for total freedom and peace of mind when insulating solid wall buildings.
Knauf Insulation's ThermoShell system teaches the local community about saving money
Knauf Insulation’s innovative ThermoShell®IWI system has been installed in a pre 1919 hard-to-treat property, as part of a retrofit project carried out by St Vincent’s Housing Association to provide a ‘Cosy Home’ learning centre for the community, and has helped to reduce utility costs by 75 per cent.
The ‘Cosy Home’ is a learning centre to help people find out how they can save money in their own homes. The project also helped to give guidance and recommendations to customers considering the Green Deal; showing the measures that can be taken to improve their home’s efficiency and reduce their energy use and CO2 emissions.
Callum Jones, Development and Sustainability Officer at St Vincent’s, commented: “By taking a fabric first approach and with the installation of the latest feasible green technologies, we were able to bring the terraced property up to 21st century standards.
“We have worked with Knauf Insulation’s IWI system before and several of our colleagues have previously attended Knauf Insulation’s ThermoShell Training Academy to become approved installers, so we decided this was the best solution to upgrade the solid walls. What’s more, the IWI system meant we could keep the façade of the property the same as the surrounding homes.
“By installing IWI and green technologies such as ‘A’ rated double glazed windows and an ‘A’ rated combi boiler, we have reduced fuel costs by almost three quarters from £883 to £232 per year and CO2 emissions from 5.20 tonnes to 1.90 tonnes per year – which is excellent!”
Callum continued: “With cost savings and fuel reductions like this, it really does prove to homeowners that by retrofitting their properties fully or by just installing insulation, they will be able to save a significant amount of money and also contribute to protecting the environment.”
Flooding and ECO - Two sides of the same coin?
I’m writing about flooding as it highlights how the Government makes decisions based on the political expediency of the day, rather than on an assessment of real quantifiable benefits for all.
Firstly, some background. There are many thousands of houses that have been built on flood plains. Some in recent past; some before the land was even recognised as a flood plain. Furthermore, with the advent of more extreme weather, these properties are even more likely to be flooded.
You can read the rest of Managing Director John Sinfield’s entry by visiting Knauf Insulation’s Wordpress blog Built on Performance.