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Here you will find the latest articles written by our insulation specialists focusing on product developments, building regulations and technical guidance notes.

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Category Archives: Regulations


Sizing up Zero Carbon

With election time approaching there will be much concern about size. Size of the deficit. Size of the tax hike/cut. Size of the turnout. Size of the swing required in marginal seats. Size of a cow. OK. Perhaps not the last one. I just threw that in there because I quite liked the song and it talks about blowing up problems out of proportion which is quite fitting when it comes to Zero Carbon.

The proportions of the Zero Carbon policy are vast. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, the setting of Zero Carbon policy has been such a saga that it could come with a foreword by Tolkien. The size question has arisen because the idea of reducing carbon to zero is quite an attractive one. It looks good, sounds good and helps to save the planet. All great if, as a Government, you are trying to show how green you are and just how much you care about climate change targets. Read more »

Celotex ‘Beyond Part L 2013’ CPD

Don’t forget! Celotex has an online CPD available right now until the 3rd of April – ‘Beyond Part L 2013‘. The online module via Building.co.uk provides guidance on what to expect from the 2016 energy targets for new homes, and how to ensure compliance.

The article is accredited by the CPD Certification Service. To earn CPD credits, read the article and then click the link below to complete your details and answer the questions. You will receive your results instantly, and if all the questions are correctly answered, you will be able to download your CPD certificate straight away.

Background

Part L of the Building Regulations, which covers the conservation of fuel and power, last changed on 6 April 2014, reducing CO2 emissions from new-build houses by 6% and for other non-domestic buildings by 9%. Part L 2013 is a key regulatory tool in driving CO2 reduction in the built environment and has been used to map out a path to zero carbon houses by 2016.

Read more »

Zeroing in on Part L in 2015

The New Year is well and truly here and the visit from Santa (assuming you have all been good of course) is but a distant memory as 2015 stretches out in front of us.  So, what joys await the wonderful world of construction? Or more precisely, what regulatory challenges do we face?

Given that buildings account for 45% of the UK’s CO2 emissions, policy tweaks to tackle this challenge are never far away and 2015 is no exception with more work to do on Part L, The Conservation of Fuel and Power.

Read more »

The Quest to define Zero Carbon has been going on for so long that it wouldn’t surprise me if the final regulation comes with a foreword by Tolkien.

The twists and turns in the plot are worthy of Middle Earth. Although of the two tales, the quest to destroy The Ring is in my view, far easier. Why? Well, Mount Doom (the final destination for those of you not familiar with the Lord of the Rings) stayed put. Didn’t move. Just sat there and said “I’m here – do your worst”. OK, generally mountains aren’t very chatty but as the trees (Ents) strolled around talking anything is possible in Middle Earth.

Can we say the same for the final destination for Zero Carbon? Not really. The Target tends to move. Flits about at the whim of politicians. Hides behind terms like ‘Allowable Solutions’. Sometimes includes the carbon from white goods sometimes not. Generally it’s a pretty tough task to pin it down and only the really keen continue to fight the good fight, while most just give it up as a couple of buzzwords that don’t really matter much in the real world anyway.

Read more »

Acronyms here. Acronyms there. Acronyms pretty much everywhere. It seems like you never have to go far in the world before you stumble across a sequence of letters that seemingly make little sense without knowledge of the topic. Very often though, they are important and need to be understood fully in order to grasp and talk confidently about industry specifics. So, if you are in the construction industry, and someone is asking what’s your SAP? How good is your U-value? Or have you done a SBEM calculation? You will have a heads up on what some of those mean and their importance.

This month’s Celotex Technical Twitter Takeover looked to point you in the right direction giving you an insight in to some of the various different acronyms and key terms that are present in the construction industry. From R-values to BREEAM, this brief blog runs through some of those terms that you might not have discovered yet.

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There’s that famous quotation about lies and statistics and I’d be lying if I told you I knew who first said it, although give me enough guesses and statistically speaking I’d get it right, eventually.

That seems to be the trouble with ’stats’ – everyone knows they can be sneaky rascals and few trust them.  It’s a shame as some stats really tell a story and one such stat is as follows:

“Only 18% of the existing housing stock reaches A to C band”1

Why should this be a stat that matters? Read more »

IMPORTANT: On 23 June 2017, in view of the focus on components of rainscreen cladding systems, Celotex stopped the supply of Celotex RS5000, pending further clarity. Material such as product downloads & specifications is for information only. Celotex do not currently supply a solution for buildings over 18 metres.

For latest statements and information on RS5000 and rainscreen cladding applications please see our dedicated site > inform.celotex.co.uk

Celotex visits the Roofing Cladding and Insulation ShowTargeting the roofing, cladding and insulation industry ranging through specification to completion and everything in between, Celotex attended the RCI Show 2014 bringing an impactful stand and a great Celotex team to assist the visitors of the event.

Research from Unity Media decided the time was right to organise a brand new show and one that the roofing, cladding and insulation industry deserves. Taking this research on board, RCI Magazine decided to organise an event specifically for these industries and credit to them.

The Event

Come Wednesday, the opening morning, Ricoh Arena was at full capacity with some of the industry’s leading specialists in roofing, cladding and insulation all exhibiting with some very impressive stands on offer. Celotex were raring to go with the team all briefed and excited by the prospects of day one at the RCI Show. The day brought some great conversations with many enquiries about our latest rainscreen cladding product, Celotex RS5000, which we were able to showcase in a brand new life-sized build up installation, seen alongside two of our other large installations for the pitched roof and cavity wall. People were also able to pick up some literature and chat to our technical guys about detailed enquiries while nibbling on some sweets from our famous sweet cart. Either that or stocking up on sweets for Halloween on Friday…

Read more »

The topic up for debate at the recent Round Table event at the Saint-Gobain Innovation Centre was ‘Zero Carbon – a lost cause?’ and it certainly provoked much discussion. At the table were many of the key players who were either involved in the creation of the original Zero Carbon definition, or charged with delivering it, in the form of the creation of construction products or the creation of the actual Zero Carbon houses themselves.

So, why so much debate?

The key problem with a discussion about Zero Carbon is that the target is still far from clear.

It has moved a long way from the initial ideas set out by the Labour Government in their consultation paper of 2006 ‘Building a Greener Future’ where it was stated that “Zero carbon means that, over a year, the net carbon emissions from energy use in the home would be zero”.

This original definition included all the energy, including that from non-regulated energy (white goods).  Since then, this has changed and only regulated energy (space heating and cooling, fixed lighting and ventilation) needs to be accounted for when building a Zero Carbon home. So, not really true zero carbon but at least this ties in with the way in which energy use in buildings is normally assessed through the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and Code for Sustainable Homes.

Read more »

The 22nd – 26th of September is World Green Building Week and the UK Green Building Council is encouraging all of us to “Get up, Green up”.

So what can we do? What springs to mind to help reduce energy consumption?

1. Turn the TV off standby?

2. Turn out the lights when you leave the room?

3. Install low energy light bulbs for when you do need the lights on?

4. Look at you homes EPC certificate?

I expect the first 3 are very familiar but perhaps number 4 is one that may leave one or two people scratching their heads and turning to the all-knowing entity that is Google for inspiration.

EPCs

An EPC is the Energy Performance Certificate for your house. Whenever you sell or rent, you must, by law have an EPC for the property. For many people, when selling the house, this is just another annoying expense top on top of all the other many forms and documents that are required at this stressful time.  The EPC survey gets done, you get the EPC report, perhaps give it a passing glance as you stuff in a file then and move onto more pressing matters as the trauma that is ‘moving house’ engulfs you.

When you move into your new house of course, there will be an EPC report waiting for you, as the previous owners will have had to get one done as well. Once again though, the fun that is unpacking boxes, sorting out utility companies, and generally trying to maintain your grip on reality tends to mean most of us will just leave the EPC report in a file, only to be discovered when we decide to move all over again.

So, the one of the best ways to help with sustainability is to Get Up, find your EPC report and see how you can Green Up your property.

An EPC rating (from A being the best through to G being as far away from great as you can get) is a bit like the housing equivalent of the miles per gallon on your car. However, the EPC report does more than just tell you the rating, it tells you how to:

  • Increase the efficiency of your home so you can move up the EPC scale
  • Reduce your home’s impact on the environment
  • Save yourself money on your energy bills.

Here is page one of an example EPC taken from the Government website

epc

What does an EPC include?

  • Estimated energy costs of the home
  • Savings possible if improvements are made to the lighting, heating and hot water
  • Current and potential future (if recommendations are followed) Energy Efficiency Rating
  • Top actions that can be taken with cost and saving on each

Armed with this information you can set about planning the work that needs to be done to do your bit for the environment and ease the burden on your back pocket. The EPC even lists those measures that are eligible under the Government’s Green Deal scheme, where you do not have to put any money up front and the cost of the measures is paid for out of the savings on your fuel bills.

If the idea of Green Deal doesn’t appeal and you are not too fussed about having lower fuel bills there is another reason to Get Up and Green Up by following the EPC recommendations: House Prices.

Research by DECC showed that those properties with a higher EPC rating commanded a higher selling price.

EPC Rating % Higher selling price compared to ‘G’   rating
E   & F 6%
D   & E 8%
C 10%
A   & B 14%

Need more convincing?

If all that isn’t enough to convince you, there is political talk in the run up to the next general election that encouragement is needed to get the population to help reduce the CO2 emissions from existing buildings.

At the moment 27% of the UK’s CO2 emissions come from homes. How to incentivise us, the voters? Tax. It is possible that tax breaks, perhaps on Stamp Duty or Council Tax will be possible and they will be linked to ….. yes, you guessed it, the EPC rating of your home.

There are many good reasons to Get Up, Green up and seek out that EPC report. If you act upon the recommendations: your bills will reduce; your property value will go up,  and one day you might even get one over on the Tax Man. The planet will thank you as you do your bit for a sustainable environment. Everyone’s a winner.

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