Insulation choice key in reaching carbon target for new buildings

Following the announcement of a mandatory 30% cut in carbon for all new buildings, an industry expert is urging the construction industry to make appropriate considerations when enhancing building performance.

The news from government, which will see Revised Building Regulations coming into play from June 2022, means all new buildings must reduce their carbon emissions[1]. This includes a 30% reduction for new homes, while carbon emissions for new non-domestic properties must be reduced by 27%.

Insulation will ultimately have a major role to play in achieving these targets, however Jolyon Berg, Head of Technical at CCF, is urging those in the construction industry to evaluate product choices and maintain best practice. He explains: “Only with robust selection of the right products and correct installation, can all the benefits of insulation be realised. This obviously includes improved energy efficiency which helps to cut carbon emissions, but also includes a range of other factors.”

Nearly half (46%) of the homes in England are now rated C or above for energy efficiency[2], up from 14% in 2010. The changes to government Building Regulations are set out with the intention of improving this figure further. It comes alongside £6.6bn of direct investment into improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

Jolyon Berg, Head of Technical at CCF

“Failure to select and install insulation products correctly could result in greater heat loss and higher carbon emissions. It can also affect the performance of buildings from an acoustic and fire safety perspective too, with fire performance in the spotlight in high rise buildings,” Jolyon continues.

“In terms of ensuring the thermal performance of the building and the corresponding reductions in carbon emissions, fixings or accessories required to keep insulation correctly in place are essential, as is installing the insulation in a continuous layer with no gaps. Further, airtightness is integral to maximising energy efficiency, with products such as vapour control layers (VCLs) and accompanying tapes key for minimising air leakage.”

In addition to reaching government targets, Jolyon believes it’s not just thermal performance that requires consideration when adding insulation. 

Jolyon added: “Selecting the right insulation for each building application is key. To do so, there are factors such as acoustic performance, moisture behaviour and compressive strength which need to be taken on board. Not only that, the type of insulation may have a significant impact on the thickness of the walls, therefore affecting the footprint and internal space of the building. With this in mind, its crucial to review product specification during the planning stages of a building.”


[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-homes-to-produce-nearly-a-third-less-carbon

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-homes-to-produce-nearly-a-third-less-carbon

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