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104 INSULATION


Two thirds UK homes fail to meet energy efficiency targets


meet long-term energy efficiency targets. [Source BBC] The report shows that more than 12


A


million homes fall below the C grade on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), which are graded from A-G. The closer to A, the more efficient the home, meaning it should have lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint. Grade G is at the other end of the scale. C is just above average. Households in these poor performing properties consequently spend more on energy bills than is necessary and pump huge amounts more CO2


into the atmosphere than


they would if their homes were more efficiently constructed.


Further and faster The Government admits that it needs to go "much further and faster" to improve the energy performance of homes and many experts say retrofit measures are needed because so many homes were built before the year 1990. Clearly, the easiest and cost-effective way


of reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions in domestic housing is by improving the level of thermal insulation and, at the same time, minimising air leakage – draughts to you and me. Up to 40 per cent of a building’s heat loss


can be attributed to air leakage, so it is vital that air leakage is included in any programme of measures designed to improve a building’s thermal performance.


High performance spray applied insulation Modern spray applied insulation systems seem to be an obvious choice. They can do a much better job than traditional, rigid board and mineral fibre materials which are often difficult to install in older properties. Spray applied insulation is designed to expand rapidly when applied, sealing small gaps, service holes and hard to reach spaces where air leakage generally occurs. Icynene is one of this new breed of spray


applied insulation system. Developed in Canada to cope with their extreme winter temperatures, Icynene FoamLite is a flexible


ccording to data analysed in a recent national media report, nearly two thirds of UK homes fail to


Icynene 100-fold within seconds of application, closing off all gaps, service holes and hard to get to spaces that conventional insulation materials fail to reach.


open cell material with a soft, yielding texture. This not only provides outstanding insulation properties, but also allows the building to breath naturally, resisting internal condensation – particularly important when insulating older, heritage-type buildings. Icynene is installed using a pressurised gun


system. Here, foams are applied as a two- component mixture that come together at the tip of a gun forming a foam that expands 100-fold within seconds of application, closing off all gaps, service holes and hard to get to spaces that conventional insulation


materials fail to reach.


Challenging targets Government targets are to upgrade as many homes to grade C by 2035 "where practical, cost-effective and affordable", and for as many rented homes as possible, to reach the same standard by 2030. The Chancellor’s Green Homes Grant “voucher” scheme for energy saving home improvements is a major step forward, with £2bn set aside for grants to fund cavity wall, roof and underfloor insulation, triple glazed


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


ADF NOVEMBER 2020


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