Insulation Talk - May 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....
- Knauf Insulation welcomes latest Robust Details update
- Knauf Insulation provides support to Travis Perkins
- Reflections on the General Election 2015
- Earthwool OmniFit - Seeing really is believing
- Polyfoam ECO insulation for new schools in Sheffield
- Energy efficiency within local authorities
Knauf Insulation welcomes latest Robust Details update
Knauf Insulation welcomes the latest update of the Robust Details handbook, which removes the need to use cavity stops in separating concrete floors, unless built-in insulation is used. Indeed, this now designates that a blown mineral wool, such as the Knauf Insulation’s Supafil® range, can be used without having to install a cavity stop.
With the recent removal of cavity stops in the handbook, the construction of a building can now be made even easier if blown mineral wool insulation is specified for the exterior cavity walls.
Knauf Insulation’s BBA certified Supafil range is suitable for use in both masonry external cavity walls and masonry party walls, as a full-fill solution. There are many benefits to installing the Supafil range; it boasts the lowest thermal conductivity for any blown mineral wool in the market, it has the best possible fire rating of Euroclass A1 to BS EN 13501-1, and has excellent acoustic performance.
Undeniably, Supafil blown-in insulation products are the ideal solution for those specifiers looking for a cost-effective and hassle free solution to insulate both external and party walls in new homes.
What’s more, Supafil Party Wall insulation has its own Robust Detail E-WM-28 and is the only blown mineral wool insulation currently available for party wall applications that do not require a parge coat.
Andrew Hale, Product Manager at Knauf Insulation, commented: “The Robust Details update is a welcome step and further simplifies the construction process, thanks to the removal of the requirement for cavity stops.
“Here at Knauf Insulation, we are always striving to manufacture products that offer a cost effective solution to our customers and we are continually thinking about how we can make the process easier for everyone on a site. Indeed, our Supafil range has over 30 years of proven performance and is the most popular solution available in the market. It is also a responsible choice as the products have zero global warming potential and are the first products of their kind to have Environmental Performance Declarations.”
Additionally, building to Robust Details eliminates the uncertainties of pre-completion sound testing and so makes it easier to comply with Part E of the Building Regulations.
Knauf Insulation provides support to Travis Perkins
In order to help the customers of Travis Perkins understand whole house insulation solutions, Knauf Insulation has been working closely with the merchant to provide technical support, displays and tools for its newly refurbished flagship Northampton branch.
Jim Guinane at Knauf Insulation commented: “At Knauf Insulation we truly value the relationship we have with our merchant customer Travis Perkins, and so we are constantly looking at ways to help support them and their customers.
“Recently in Northampton, Travis Perkins decided to regenerate its Harvey Reeves Road branch by installing an interactive and innovative exhibition centre, showcasing new and revolutionary ideas from leading construction brands. As such, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to support them. We provided the branch with interactive displays and value-added products to showcase what is available on the market to improve the energy efficiency of homes and buildings across the UK.”
A bespoke model house rig was built, which encompasses a pitched roof and an intermediate floor. The rig was fully insulated with products from Knauf Insulation’s new fitter friendly Earthwool® OmniFit range; Stud and Roll, as well as its Earthwool DriTherm Cavity Slabs and Acoustic Roll.
The Earthwool OmniFit range has been designed for multiple applications and provides outstanding thermal, acoustic and fire performance. What’s more, to aid merchants in stocking and transporting Earthwool OmniFit, the packs have smaller dimensions, which means there is more material per pallet than alternatives and more product can be stocked in the same allocated storage space.
An interactive calculator was also installed to the display, which can provide Travis Perkins’ customers with details of what products they require on a project to help them meet stringent Building Regulations.
Ryan Bibby, Sales Manager at Travis Perkins, said: “We couldn’t be more thankful for the support our suppliers have given us over the past few months in refurbishing the store. The bespoke Knauf Insulation rig will certainly help our customers understand what insulation products are required for each application within a building. What’s more, the interactive tool that has been installed to help our customers with Building Regulations will be a big hit in keeping up to date.”
Reflections on the General Election 2015
A very bad night for Labour and a worse night for the Liberal Democrats has left many big political beasts looking for new jobs. Following them to the job centre may be the pollsters that confidently predicted both parties had a good chance of forming a new Government. For David Cameron and the Conservative Party the euphoria of the night will not last too long in the face of some mighty challenges on the horizon – some of their own making. These include; a now certain referendum on EU membership, a realisation that a federal UK and greater devolution of powers appear inevitable and announcing where the promised £billions in cuts will actually fall.
But what will a Conservative majority hold for the insulation sector and wider energy efficiency agenda? Well, if manifesto commitments are to be believed not nearly as much as was promised by the other two major parties (or former major party in the case of the Lib Dems). While the Conservative manifesto didn’t have our major asks around minimum energy efficiency standards, tax incentives for energy efficient homes or making home energy efficiency a UK infrastructure priority, it did at least commit to the Climate Change Act.
To read the rest of Steven Heath's entry, please visit our Built on Performance blog.
Earthwool OmniFit - Seeing really is believing
Sometimes you have to see something to believe it. The saying ‘seeing is believing’ is credited as first being used in the 1600’s and a similar saying – ‘The proof is in the pudding’ – dates back to the early 14th century.
Both sayings are particularly relevant when launching a new product and trying to explain the benefits of that new product to your customers. That’s why we’ve taken our new Earthwool OmniFit range to the road, to show both stockists and installers the many benefits for themselves.
Last year, we carried out a detailed research study which revealed some startling results; 89 per cent of installers surveyed would be keen to trial an alternative insulation product to existing flexible slabs and rock mineral wool rolls, if it meant that handling would be easier and the products would be softer to touch.
We realised that we had to fill this gap and therefore developed the new Earthwool OmniFit insulation range – designed to be ‘Fitter Friendly’.
To read the rest of Steve Smith's entry, please visit our Built on Performance blog.
Polyfoam 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.
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.
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.”
Knauf Insulation’s XPS Polyfoam ECO Floorboard Extra benefits from a ‘closed cell’ construction, which results in a rigid and very stable internal structure– ideal for this project where 466 pupils will occupy the building along with desks, chairs and educational equipment.
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.
Energy efficiency within local authorities
With a duty to promote the social, economic and environmental well-being of their community and plan for the long term, local authorities are well placed to play a significant part in achieving the national goal of developing a low-carbon economy.
To better understand the role of local authorities and the barriers that have prevented or dissuade some councils from doing more, at the end of 2014 we worked with EnergyPro, to launch the Local Authority Energy Index. This measures the local energy and energy efficiency agendas of councils in England. Initially designed as a pilot tool, the Index analysed 25 Local Authorities from England covering a range of Metropolitan, London and Unitary authorities, as well as a range of geographies.
The Energy Index considers how these local authorities have worked to influence the local energy and energy efficiency agendas. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures to provide a benchmark, it allows similar Local Authorities explore ways in which others may have managed barriers that they themselves face.
At a recent seminar held by the Guardian Public Leaders Network on ‘Energy Efficiency: How to enhance local authority strategies’, the need for benchmarking across councils, the sharing of best practice and having robust measurement in place to build an effective business case, were consistent themes raised with Local Authorities.
To this end, we hope to build even further on the Local Authority Energy Index; a trusted platform to share best practice, including proven ways for councils to develop a business case for the installation of energy efficiency, will be an important step forward. Councils can be innovation powerhouses, but sharing their success will be just as essential if the benefits are to be seen in homes up and down the country.
For more information on the Local Authority Energy Index please visit www.laenergyindex.co.uk.