Under pressure to build new homes with better energy efficiency? James Francis, Product Manager – GBI at ROCKWOOL® explains how stone wool insulation can help with thermal performance and much more.
Builders and developers are under pressure to improve the energy efficiency of new homes from many angles.
As well as changes to Approved Document L from June meaning builders in England need to deliver greater “real-life” energy efficiency and close the gap between designed and as-built performance, there’s consumer demand too. Our research found that 76% of consumers believe energy efficiency ratings are important when buying or moving home
76% of consumers believe energy efficiency ratings are important when buying or moving home
With this in mind, upgrading the thermal performance of a new build project seems like a no brainer, but some builders stop short of doing it in practice because they think it’s not worth the additional outlay.
However, going back to what consumers want, upgrading aspects such as insulation can in fact attract buyers. One study found, for example, that 70% would be willing to pay more for a property with improved energy efficiency. The same research also found that almost two thirds would pay more for better insulation and double/triple glazing.
70% would be willing to pay more for a property with improved energy efficiency
While energy efficiency is clearly important, consumers also want more than just thermal performance. Demand for solutions that help reduce or block the travel of noise into their properties is increasing, equally, there’s a widening awareness of fire safety, with homeowners wanting to know their building insulation will not contribute to fire spreading.
With a need for improved energy efficiency and increasing consumer demand for safer, quieter homes too, builders can meet and exceed these expectations through the natural properties of stone wool.
Thermal performance and durability
As well as helping to regulate indoor temperatures, stone wool insulation has dimensional stability that helps with its continuing thermal performance.
Buildings can naturally expand and contract over time which can lead to the formation of gaps and voids. Stone wool maintains its shape and properties over time across a wide range of temperatures and has the resilience to account for building movement when fitted under compression. It also has a proven ability to provide consistent performance – shown by tests even after 55 years in use – without a drop in its thermal properties.
Stone wool is manufactured from naturally occurring volcanic rock – abundant in supply because it’s continually replenished by the earth’s crust. Stone wool insulation is recyclable too.
This will appeal to the more environmentally conscious customer as any offcuts can be recycled rather than going to landfill. From a commercial perspective, it also helps to keep costs on a job down as it reduces the need to remove site waste.
ROCKWOOL acoustic panels, rolls and slabs offer sound absorption characteristics because of an improved ratio of fibres to trapped air pockets due to their high density. The random orientation of stone wool fibres means soundwaves get absorbed by friction, moving back and forth between individual strands as they try to pass through the air trapped within the structure.
Natural fire protection
From a fire resistance perspective, ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation is non-combustible, can withstand temperatures in excess of 1000°C, and is classified as Euroclass A1 meaning that the insulation will not contribute to a fire. Beyond non-combustibility, if exposed to fire, stone wool insulation will not emit any significant toxic smoke.
In addition to the performance benefits of stone wool, builders can save time and secure a better fit more easily than with rigid alternatives. This is because stone wool is typically friction fitted and the material is quick and simple to cut.
Want to see how ROCKWOOL insulation performs under pressure? Visit ROCKWOOL 360, a virtual environment where you see, hear, listen and learn about ROCKWOOL products on demand.