Don’t Give Energy Efficiency The Cold Shoulder

July 20 2017

Kershaw Contracting Services discuss the importance of adequate insulation and its impact on the environment.

Over the past few years there has been a widespread focus on the use of adequate insulation and the positive impact it can have on the environment.  Much of this has originated from the Climate Change Act (2008)[1], and the government’s commitment to tackle climate change and reduce CO2 emissions.

Stephen Summerfield, MD for Kershaw Contracting Services said “Having the correct insulation is one of the most effective ways of reducing energy consumption, it can serve to help cool a building in the summer and keep it warm in the winter”, he continues, “it just makes sense, the energy savings and positive environmental impact go hand-in-hand with good economic practice.”  

What do you need to consider?

When it comes to insulation it is worth taking a look at whole life cost, as opposed to the initial outlay of installing the insulation.  It has been widely recorded that a building with sufficient insulation can reduce the energy costs by anything between 20 - 40%[2] compared to one with inadequate insulation. With the predicted 35% increase in energy demand by 2040[3], it is likely that energy prices will continue to increase over the next few years – so installing the right type of insulation now, could represent big savings in the future.  Not only that, but with a reduction in energy consumption and therefore CO2 emissions, the carbon footprint of the building will be reduced, helping organisations meet their social responsibility targets.

What type of insulation do I need?

There are several types of insulation available, and not all of them are suitable for all buildings, here we look at some of the common insulation types and explain a little about them.

Loft/Roof Insulation

Depending on the type of building you have will impact how best to insulate your roof space. If there is an easily accessible loft space, with regular joists, then it is possible to use rolls of mineral fibre insulation.  Depending on whether this space needs to be accessed or not, there may be a requirement to raise the floor in order to ensure enough space for the insulation beneath.

Inaccessible Loft Spaces.

For hard to access loft spaces a method of blowing the insulation in is available. Specialist equipment is used to blow loose, fire retardant insulation into the space.   

Polyurethane Insulation

Sprayed and injected polyurethane foam systems provide very high insulation standards, sealing gaps and moulding to any contours. It can also provide significant structural strength and create their own vapour control layer. It can be used on the underside of aluminium, tiled, slate, steel and asbestos roofs as an alternative to re-roofing.  Other applications include the use in loft spaces to prevent condensation, create warmth, and reduce the risk of pipes and tanks freezing or being sprayed into wall cavities for stabilisation and restoration of structural integrity.

Cavity Wall insulation

If there is an adequate gap between the inner and the outer wall a method of blowing insulation through holes in the wall can be used. The insulation is water repellent and vapour permeable, allowing the construction to breathe. It reduces the risk of condensation, is non-combustible and there is no wastage.

In order to ensure your building is as energy efficient as possible, it is also important to make sure that windows and doors are correctly fitted and ideally double or triple glazed to avoid heat loss throughout the winter months.

If you would like more information on the types of insulation available, either for new build or retrofit purposes visit our insulation pages

 

[1] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2008/27/contents

[2] http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/about-us/our-calculations

[3] http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/energy/energy-outlook