Thursday, 17 April 2014

Industry heavyweights invest in world leading Ecobuild

Industry heavyweights invest in world leading Ecobuild

Over 44,500 attended the 2014 Ecobuild Event

Reinforcing its position as the world’s leading event for sustainable design and construction, Ecobuild announces big brands investing in the 2015 event (3rd to 5th March 2015, ExCeL London).

Travis Perkins, Kingspan Insulation, Scotscape, Mapei, ACO, Polypipe, David Ball Group and Velfac are amongst the industry giants now signed up, as well as fresh face Wavin.

“As the UK’s leading supplier of water management, plumbing, heating and drainage systems for the building, construction and utilities markets, it is important that we align ourselves with major events that address the topics affecting the industry,” commented Mike Shaw, Head of Marketing at Wavin. “Ecobuild brings together the key decision makers across the industry to debate these topics, therefore offering the ideal opportunity for Wavin to showcase its products, services and sustainability messages.”

Citing ‘renewed confidence in the green construction sector combined with its strongest proposition ever’ for this flood of early investment, Alison Jackson, Group Director of Sustainability & Construction, Ecobuild said: “The cash injection from government initiatives like the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive and Green Deal provides fresh opportunities and a much needed boost for sustainable construction. With over 44,500 attendees representing the entire buying and influencing chain, Ecobuild is recognised by industry as the superior platform to showcase new innovations to the market.”

Julia Bradbury at Eco Build 2014

Darren McMahon, Marketing Director at Viessmann said: “Ecobuild is relevant for everything Viessmann has to offer – it provides a platform to present anything from innovations such as our fuel cell micro combined heat and power (mCHP) Vitovalor 300-P product, to futuristic power generation concepts, such as our power-to-gas initiative, while also encompassing heating installer focused developments like our Vitoflow hydraulic balancing kit for heating systems. This breadth of interests means it’s a dynamic and productive event to which we are looking forward to returning in 2015.”

Ecobuild 2014 saw a three percent rise in attendees this March, with 44,538 sustainable built environment professionals flocking to London’s ExCeL across the three days.

Jackson urges: “With sixty five percent of the 2015 floor plan now sold or reserved, we would encourage companies to get in touch now to secure a prominent position.”

If you’re interested in exhibiting at Ecobuild 2015, please contact Martin Hurn, Sales Director on t: +44 (0)20 7560 4072 or email For further information please visit the web site at

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Union Foam at Mostra Convegno in Milan

Union Foam, manufacturers of the Eurobatex pipe insulation range, were once again a participant in the 39th Mostra Convegno Expo in Milan held in March this year.

Press Release: 

39th Mostra Convegno Expocomfort, Fiera Milano, 18-21 March 2014

MCE 2014: 156,000 trade visitors from Europe to Pacific Islands have found the very best in the Italian and international plumbing, heating and sanitary ware industries

The exhibition has closed with record results, confirming its world leadership in diverse industry sectors, including residential and commercial installations, air-conditioning, and renewable energy.

Milan, 21 March 2014 – MCE-Mostra Convegno Expocomfort has solidified its position at the heart of companies’ business strategy dedicated to residential and industrial installations, air-conditioning and, renewable energy. An international showcase, that has closed today the 39th MCE registering an all-time best for attendance figures, notwithstanding a critical week due to public transport strike faced by MCE with a replacement shuttle bus service, so as to avoid annoyance and nuisance to its exhibitors or visitors.

More than 2,000 exhibitors, of whom 43% from abroad and 156,000 trade visitors, with a 3% increase in international visitor numbers compared to the 2012 edition.

In particular, there has been a rise in the number of attendees coming from the Russian Federation, Turkey and Poland compared to the previous edition. Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain, are in line with the previous edition with major increase figures, confirming the trend of the show of trust by foreign visitors in a leading specialized trade fair. Moreover, there has been an increase in participation from many strategic markets compared to the 2012 edition, such as: India, China, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Australia, Baltic States and the countries of former Yugoslavia, accompanied by a growing number of attendees coming from across the African continent (in particular, Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Libya, Nigeria).

A large audience of skilled professionals who turned to MCE as an International benchmark event, an unparalleled showcase for the most groundbreaking installations technologies and solutions that combine comfort and wellness with the excellence in terms of energy efficiency, water conservation, safety and design.


Plus, a resounding thumbs up for the rich programme of over 200 conferences and workshops, a unique opportunity for educational and professional upgrading focused on the most topical themes aimed at professionals in those industries targeting innovation, quality and environmental sustainability to maintain our first place as leader in the market, with Germany surging into second place.

“We are proud of the outstanding results achieved at MCE 2014 – declared Massimiliano Pierini, Business Unit Director of Reed Exhibitions Italia – and we will continue to be a strategic tool developing our exhibiting companies’ business, in close collaboration with the main trade associations”.

You can visit Union Foam's recently updated website at :

If you are looking to buy Eurobatex products online, visit AIM's e-commerce site:


Follow the link below (by clicking on the picture) to go to our Facebook page for a promo code that lets you save 1/3 on genuine Identotape products for the whole of April - you can use this code as many times as you want!

Don't forget to like the post and share!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Gross greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by almost 10% in Scotland

Scotland has continued to make good progress towards meeting ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Committee on Climate Change announced in its latest report.

Emissions in Scotland fell by 9.9% in 2011 – the latest year for which data is available – compared with 6.9% in the UK as a whole. In particular there were large reductions of over 20% in the power and residential sectors, and almost 15% reduction in the public sector in 2011. While much of this reduction was due to the weather, and a switch from coal fired electricity generation to nuclear and renewable sources, it also reflected good progress investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Despite a reduction in emissions, Scotland narrowly missed the legislated annual target of 53.4 MtCO2e by around 0.8 MtCO2e. This is as a result of recent improvements to the method of calculating estimated emissions (Scottish greenhouse gas inventory) which resulted in an addition of 1.2 MtCO2e to 2011 emissions. It should not distract from the assessment of underlying progress reducing emissions.
To allow for the effect of this revision, the Committee suggests either that currently legislated targets should be revised, or additional opportunities for reducing emissions be found.

Progress has been good in some sectors, but meeting future targets remains very challenging, and will require further action:

Renewable power. 2012 was a record year for adding renewable capacity to the power system, with 1 GW coming on to the system, compared to the previous record of 0.6 GW. However, sustained investment at a rate of 1.2 GW per year is required if the Scottish target for renewable generation is to be achieved.
Renewable heat. While there is a healthy project pipeline, this is insufficient to meet the 2020 renewable energy target. It will be important for Scotland to leverage funding provided under the Renewable Heat Incentive to support required investment.

Residential energy efficiency. The move from Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) has led to a significant decline in installation of insulation measures in 2013. There is a need to leverage funding under ECO and to make continued progress on insulation. There may also be a need for the Scottish Government to increase levels of funding, given the recent reduction at the GB level.

Surface transport. The electric vehicle market needs to be developed further through investment in charging infrastructure, and Scotland needs to consider next steps to build on Smarter Choices Smarter Places pilots.

Land use and forestry. Pilot projects on new farming practice are promising and consideration should now be given to how these will be scaled up. The Scottish Government has announced additional funding to support peatland restoration for 2014/15 and 2015/16; it is important to decide now how this money will be spent to preserve significant carbon stocks in the peatlands. Higher planting rates will be required in order to achieve afforestation rate target of 10,000 hectares per year, planting rates were low in 2013 due to poor weather conditions.

David Kennedy, Chief Executive of the CCC said:

“There has been good progress in Scotland on reducing emissions in key sectors of the economy, notably through investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. This should not be obscured by the fact that emissions in 2011 were above the level targeted because of a change to the accounting methodology. But much remains to be done in terms of policy development and implementation to achieve very challenging future targets, and to unlock the benefits for Scotland of building a low-carbon economy.”

Overall, despite the first two legislated targets being missed, underlying progress appears on track in most sectors. However, challenges remain to achieve the stretching targets set out by the Scottish Government.
These findings are from the Committee on Climate Change’s third progress report to the Scottish government, as requested under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act (2009).

As with all areas of the UK, if you are looking to have insulation products delivered to Scotland you can buy them online from our e-commerce site:

Friday, 28 March 2014


On Saturday 29 March between 20:30 and 21:30 local time, millions of people around the globe will turn of the lights for the annual worldwide WWF Earth Hour that focuses on reducing carbon emissions.

The main reason for ROCKWOOL International A/S and our Danish subsidiary in Hedehusene to support the WWF Earth Hour and the principle of turning off the light for one hour is first and foremost the political message behind the initiative. In the next few months, EU heads of state will decide how ambitious the 2030 goals for climate, energy efficiency and renewable energy should be.

Every day the ROCKWOOL Group is helping to reduce the global climate problem as insulation brings down energy consumption in buildings and industrial processes and reduces CO2 emissions.
The Group helps mitigate global warming as insulation reduces the energy consumption in – and thus CO2 emissions from - buildings and industrial processes. Also internally, the ROCKWOOL Group works hard to limit CO2 emissions.

The ROCKWOOL Group is among the world’s leading producers of insulation. The Group sells over 95% of its products outside the boundaries of Denmark where it is headquartered. The Group helps mitigate global warming as insulation reduces the energy consumption in – and thus CO2 emissions from - buildings and industrial processes.

The ROCKWOOL support to WWF Earth Hour and to the principle of turning off the lights for an hour is first and foremost given due to the important political message of the global initiative. Over the next few months, the heads of state in the EU need to decide how ambitious our goals for climate, energy efficiency and renewable energy will be up to 2030. Furthermore, there is a need for a very strong signal to the political leaders around the world if there shall still be a chance for a new global climate agreement limiting global warming before we reach a tipping point where things run out of control.

But internally, the ROCKWOOL Group also works hard to limit CO2 emissions. Despite the fact that insulation of buildings can save in the magnitude of 100 times more CO2 than required for its manufacture – and for insulation of hot industrial processes even 10,000 times. And despite the fact that for decades, the company has been working to improve its own energy efficiency, there are still many things – big and small – to do.

More CO2 efficient production

The ROCKWOOL Group has set a target to improve the CO2 efficiency of its factories by 15% from  2009-2015

In 2014 ROCKWOOL A/S in Denmark begins to modernise its factory in Doense in Northern Jutland. An investment of approx. 500 million Danish kroner. This will improve efficiencies and also enable better insulation products

Within the next few months the Group will complete a big, modern factory in the USA. Over the next year, the new staff will fine tune the new production and once these endeavours are completed, then this factory number 28 in the ROCKWOOL Group will help give a boost to CO2 efficiency

Employee engagement and creativity is the key to reducing waste in any form. The ROCKWOOL Group is rolling out its ROCKWOOL Operational Excellence (ROPEX) programme. The employees take ownership to a more efficient utilization of resources

Environmental management and investment; in order to improve insulation standards in Asia, the ROCKWOOL Group has acquired factories in countries where building activity is growing much faster than in Denmark. Environmental specialists from Group headquarters as well as experienced process operators from other factories help their new Asian colleagues improve efficiencies.

Taking its own medicine

One of the major challenges when it comes to CO2 emissions is buildings that needn’t be more than just a few decades old – modern energy requirements are simply moving fast.

This challenge also applies to office buildings like those at ROCKWOOL International A/S. The Group headquarters have recently finished one of Denmark’s most ambitious energy renovations of a commercial building. This has been done in order to reduce the energy consumption by 86% in its administration building from 1979. The inspiring project is being visited by political decision-makers and building professionals from many parts of the world.

In 2014 the main building in Group headquarters also needs to be energy renovated. When built back in 1989 it was actually low-energy standard, but with the energy requirements of today those credentials are long over. The aim is to reduce the energy consumption by 60%.

In 2014 the Danish subsidiary of ROCKWOOL A/S is starting the next stage of the energy modernisation of its office building in Hedehusene. Before, the old concrete facade looked like something you would typically see in the former Democratic Republic of Germany. But using a new, aesthetical system for facade insulation and new energy efficient window solutions the building will now get a CO2 efficient facelift.

Earth Hour celebrated with raw food cake

Before the ROCKWOOL employees in Group headquarters in Hedehusene go home Friday 28 March 2014 for a relaxing weekend with lights-out Saturday evening, they will first get a tasty and inspiring experience. The company canteen offers a climate menu: Fish will be served (needing less preparation/cooking and having a lower climate footprint than livestock. The green buffet will be booming. And to further keep the energy consumption low the cold buffet will serve marinated fish.
It remains to be seen whether the canteen chef will require the ROCKWOOL employees to eat whatever they put on their plates first, but for those who do there will definitely be a delicious raw food cake for desert.

Naturally, the ROCKWOOL employees will be bestowed with WWF’s 35 super-handy tips for how to lend the climate a helping hand in your daily life. As ”food for thought”. It will be interesting to see how many of these good tips will become new habits during the year. “Turn off the lights” and “Insulate your house” can easily be accompanied by other prudent actions.

For the Danish employees of ROCKWOOL A/S and of ROCKWOOL International AS WWF Denmark’s CEO Ms. Gitte Seeberg has written a letter putting Earth Hour into a bigger political context that points forward.

Life after Earth Hour

The ROCKWOOL employees are kept up on their green toes, also after the lights are turned on again. Among other good initiatives, a lively political debate will be held at ROCKWOOL headquarters on 14 May. A number of the politicians working in the European Parliament with energy and climate policy (or jockeying to do so before the upcoming elections) will present what they intend to do to improve the climate.

WWF Denmark’s CEO, Gitte Seeberg, has written a commentary for ROCKWOOL employees;

Switch Off The Lights!

“Climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction”, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, said during his recent visit to Indonesia. He also firmly stated ”when 97 percent of scientists agree on anything, we need to listen, and we need to respond”.

One way in which you can help is by switching off the lights and being part of the world’s largest climate campaign, Earth Hour, when it spreads across the globe on Saturday, March 29.

When we switch off the lights we are sending a strong message to politicians across the world that we are many who want to see the climate challenge being handled in a responsible way. We want to see ambitious goals on a national, European and international level so we can move forward and out of the climate crisis, which we are currently in. Earth Hour is also a nice opportunity for us personally and for companies to focus a little more on climate change this Saturday in March. There are plenty of things each of us can do, and it’s important that we all do something. See more on or

In October 2013, Denmark received WWF’s most prestigious prize, Gift to the Earth. The prize is a public celebration of a conservation action, which demonstrates environmental leadership and a globally significant contribution to the protection of the living world. Denmark received the prize for having set the most ambitious climate and renewable energy targets of any country in combination with a long track record of publically promoting and implementing clean and sustainable energies. Denmark has committed to 100% renewable energy by 2050 in the entire economy. This also shows that it is possible to develop an equitable low/ zero carbon economy and at the same time secure growth and welfare.

Danish companies play a key role in delivering solutions to tackling the climate challenge. Therefore, it is also important that we continue to have such a stable political framework. Denmark is actually one of the global clean technology development leaders where the production and export of clean energy technology solutions have a very positive, substantial impact on the Danish economy.

It is also important that we get ambitious EU targets. Right now the focus is on securing ambitious climate and energy targets for 2030. We need binding targets for CO2 emission reductions and renewable energy. However, it is also important that we focus on energy efficiency and that we also here get a binding target for 2030, as soon as the European Commission has analyzed how far we have come on energy efficiency in Europe. Energy efficient solutions are key to fighting climate change, as also The International Energy Agency has stated in their two latest World Energy Outlook reports.

We need to step up to the climate challenge. I hope that many will participate in switching off the lights during Earth Hour this Saturday, 29th of March from 20.30-21.30 when millions of lights will be turned off from Samoa in the Pacific to Australia and further onwards to Asia and Africa, until the turn comes to Europe and hereafter the US. When we encourage you to switch off the lights it is not to save energy but to create a visual effect with the purpose of sending a strong message to politicians across the world to act on the climate challenge and avoid dangerous climate change. We need to make sure that climate change doesn’t turn into “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction”.

Best wishes for Earth Hour.

Gitte Seeberg,

CEO, WWF Denmark

Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Beginner's Guide to Pipe Insulation: Mineral Fibre

This latest entry in our "Beginner's Guide" series looks at the two kinds of mineral fibre generally used for heating and ventilation applications; Glass fibre and Stone / Rock fibre.

The two are often viewed as the same material; whilst very similar in some ways they are different in others and thus each is better suited to certain applications.

Both products can generally be used for very high temperatures, with rock wool having the edge in this area. But due to the slightly different characteristics of each material, the thermal conductivity of these two different kinds of mineral fibre are also slightly different.

Glass tends to be more efficient for temperature ranges below 100C whilst rock is better suited to those above 100C. This means for example that glass wool is very slightly more efficient for say heating and plumbing applications, whereas rock would be more suitable for applications such as use on steam pipes.

Both products also lend themselves to noise reduction due to their relatively high densities (the mass of an insulation product has a significant effect on its usefulness in reducing noise). In essence the higher the density, the better the product is for noise reduction; rock wool would have the edge here.

Both products are also most commonly sold with foil facing and a self adhesive overlap for use in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) applications. We are also able to provide these products with additional coatings such as PIB or Ventureclad but these are "made to order" so the price will vary according to the size of the order.

In the words of the manufacturers:

Glass fibre insulation for pipes

Simply better insulation with the new Sager Foil Faced Fibreglass pipe insulation! As leading Swiss producer of fibreglass, SAGER produces innovative pipe insulation by the name of PIPELANE. The new, flexible PIPELANE fibreglass pipe insulation is produced in Switzerland according to Swiss quality standards and distributed throughout Europe. PIPELANE is available in all standard insulation thicknesses and pipe diameters. PIPELANE pipe insulation offers outstanding thermal and sound insulation and is applied wherever pipes have to be optimally insulated.

Application field / properties:

PIPELANE convinces with easy handling thanks to the gridded aluminium lining with overlap and self-adhesive strips.

Technical parameters: 

Thermal conductivity                                0.034 W/mK @ 40°C 
Reaction to fire                                        Not flammable 
Application temperature                           ≤ 300 °C

Processing instructions:

For the application of the insulation on the pipe, do not damage the aluminium lining         
Seal fully pounded longitudinal joints with self-adhesive overlapping tape         
Carefully mask all joints, seams, penetrations and pipe ends

Rock wool insulation for pipes:

RockLap H&V Pipe Sections are strong lengths of pre-formed insulation with a one piece, factory applied foil facing with integral self-adhesive lap. The Sections are designed for thermal and acoustic insulation of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning pipe work operating in the temperature range 0°C to 700°C. Rockwool Rocklap Pipe Insulation is one of the most enduring and well known brand names in the industry. 

Insulating the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems with ROCKWOOL®HVAC insulation can improve the energy efficiency, fire safety and acoustic performance of a building.  

In addition to the fire protection benefits, ROCKWOOL® HVAC insulation products offer excellent thermal and acoustic insulation.

ROCKWOOL® insulation products are made from stone wool – a blend of naturally occurring volcanic diabase rock. It’s the special ingredient that ensures ROCKWOOL® insulation protects against unwanted noise, fire, and provides unrivalled durability at no cost to the environment. It’s a 4-in-1 solution.

If you are looking for more information you can get in touch with us in the following ways:

Telephone: 01942 295 926

We will be doing a range of entries on the various kinds of products available as well as jacketing in the coming weeks so watch out for these for more detailed information. If you want to know more about any of the products we offer, we have a handy reference table below as a quick guide.

Internal Use
External Use
Key Benefits
Cheap, Easy to Use, Flexible
Class 0 / Euro Class B, Very Flexible
Foil Faced, High Temp, Good for steam pipes
Foil Faced, High Temp, Good for heating pipes
Foil Faced, Very Low thermal conductivity
Can be used up to 150°C, Can be used outside
Protective plastic skin, waterproof, UV resistant

Monday, 10 March 2014

ROCKWOOL insulation used in the Quiet Treehouse at the Ideal Home Show 2014

Quiet Mark and John Lewis to unveil world's first Quiet Treehouse at this year's Ideal Home Show

The Quiet Treehouse has been designed by Blue Forest Luxury Treehouses and will be donated to The Chestnut Tree House Children's Hospice after the show.

In our busy lives our hearts long to get back to a still and peaceful place often found in nature and what better than a cosy quiet hide-away treehouse far away from the madding crowd to escape to for a while.

John Lewis Britain's best loved department store join with Quiet Mark in 2014 to introduce their latest technology and appliances awarded for excellence in sound quality and quieter yet high performance design following Quiet Mark's ground-breaking Quiet House at the Ideal Home Show in 2013.

The sounds of spring start with John Lewis blending technology in harmony with nature with new season interiors. Step into a fantastical concept tree-home where pressures fade away soothed by harmonious sound in a dynamic next generation sound-designed dream-pad up high above in tree tops looking down on the show below.

Quiet Mark are delighted to be the first aural environment initiative to headline sponsor the Ideal Home Show, the international mark of approval from UK's Noise Abatement Society encourages design of quieter high performance machines and solutions to reduce unwanted noise.

ROCKWOOL products have been used as acoustic insulation for the new Quiet Mark/John Lewis Quiet Treehouse, a world first, which will be unveiled at this year’s Ideal Home Show at Earl’s Court, March 14-30.

ROCKWOOL’s Corporate Affairs Director, Alex Hunter, said:

“As the only provider of thermal insulation to be Quiet Mark approved, ROCKWOOL was delighted to be approached for help with this unique project. The treehouse itself, which has been designed by Blue Forest, looks amazing. The acoustic properties of the treehouse are second to none, thanks in no small part to the use of ROCKWOOL insulation.

“It’s little wonder that Quiet Mark is the main supporter of the Ideal Home Show 2014. ROCKWOOL, as a Quiet Mark approved manufacturer, knows that noise is a nuisance people are increasingly concerned about – from partying neighbours to aircraft. They don’t have to live this way though – good products can reduce unwanted sounds and help us all to live a better, quieter life.”

Sometimes all you really need is somewhere you can take yourself off to for a little bit of peace and quiet.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Kingspan Announce Results for the year ended 31 December 2013

Kingspan, the global leader in high performance insulation and building envelope solutions, reports its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2013.


Financial Highlights:

Sales up 10% to €1.79bn.
Trading profit up 14% to €122.8m.
Group trading margin of 6.9%, an increase of 30bps. Underlying trading margin before the impact of acquisitions increased by 40bps.
Basic EPS up 18% to 51.7 cent.
Final dividend per share of 8.5 cent. Total dividend for the year up 14% to 14.0 cent (2012: 12.25 cent).
A decrease in net debt to €107.6m (2012: €165.5m). Net debt to EBITDA of 0.66x (2012: 1.12x).
Increase in ROCE by 160bps to 12.3% (2012:10.7%).

Operational Highlights:

Insulated Panels sales up 23% and trading profit up 23%, with significant contributions from the ThyssenKrupp Construction and Rigidal Industries LLC acquisitions. Underlying sales pre-currency and acquisitions were up 2%.

Solid performance in Insulation Boards where sales were down 3% (flat pre-currency), albeit improving in the UK in the second half with markets stabilising in Continental Europe.

Improving UK office activity and resilient data centre related construction led to a positive year for Access Floors with sales in line with previous year (+5% pre-currency).

Trading in Environmental proved tough with sales down 12% (H2 –5%) in a year of tight markets and internal consolidation.

Summary Financials:      

% Change
Trading Profit
Trading Margin
Profit after tax
EPS (cent)

Gene Murtagh, Chief Executive of Kingspan commented:

“Kingspan saw an improved momentum during 2013, despite various demanding market conditions, which has helped to deliver a strong operational performance including increased profitability, a higher return on capital and an improved dividend.

With some tentative signs of improved economic stability and sentiment, Kingspan remains focused on its core strategy of delivering innovation, prudent management and a widening global footprint that leaves the company well positioned to take advantage of any recovery that may take place in individual markets.

If you are looking to buy Kingspan Insulation Online, You can find it at:

Monday, 24 February 2014


CEO Eelco van Heel comments on the current status and future directions for the ROCKWOOL Group as presented in the Annual Report 2013.

European decision makers in the building industry are starting to feel more confident, with building owners and investors becoming more optimistic about the longer term prospects. At last there are indications that the building industry in Europe is moving out of the crisis which has dominated the past few years. Our scenario is not that of a strong and quick recovery, rather a gradual improvement over the coming years which will slowly increase the market for new buildings from the recently low level we have seen in several European countries.

This is good news for the ROCKWOOL Group. Our manufacturing base in Europe is being re-engineered with new technologies which can support fresh market segmentation and positioning strategies.

As the new build construction markets recover, we can be confident that the volumes of insulation products needed will be significant. Since 2008, when the latest crisis set in, the regulations for new buildings have been substantially tightened, meaning a significant increase for insulation volume per square metre constructed.

So far, our level of sales in the refurbishment market has maintained a strong position. We expect this to continue in line with the strengthening of consumer and general market confidence.

While insulation still accounts for more than three quarters of our total business and Western Europe currently generating close to 60% of sales, we are determined to move the ROCKWOOL Group onto a broader strategic platform. To this end, we are expanding our other stone wool and associated businesses, as well as developing our total activities globally. This is a major cornerstone of our Rock the Globe strategy.

During 2013, two significant acquisitions were made. The acquisition of the American ceiling system company Chicago Metallic and the German facade system provider HECK Wall Systems considerably increased our geographical coverage in the respective business segments. Even more importantly, these acquisitions enable us to supply the market with full system solutions which is exactly what today’s construction market decision makers expect from their top class supplier.

Organic growth, however, continues to be our preferred way to increase the performance of the ROCKWOOL Group. With the commissioning of our third North American factory early summer 2014, we will be able to meet the increasingly high demand for our ROCKWOOL stone wool solutions. The recently commissioned fourth factory in Russia is already completely sold out and elsewhere in the world we are also making satisfactory headway.

After some challenging years, we could now be in for more welcome tailwinds. The organisation has been streamlined and is well prepared, so we stand stronger than ever to reap the benefits of our efforts. I sincerely look forward to all our stakeholders joining us on this journey.

You can buy Rockwool Insulation Materials Online from Advanced Insulation 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Beginners Guide to Pipe Insulation: Flexible Foams

Next up in the series we are doing on pipe insulation is "flexible foams"; a category that includes polyethylene and expanded nitrile rubber.

climaflex, lagging, grey foam

Polyethylene Pipe Insulation

Climaflex pipe insulation is the UK's leading brand for polyethylene pipe insulation. This is the grey foam that most people are familiar with, the kind you would traditionally find in garden centres for example. Polyethylene is the cheapest, widely available product in the market. People very often wrongly assume cheap means poor quality, this is not the case with a brand such as Climaflex. It has a thermal conductivity of 0.034 W/m.K at 0°C which is broadly equal to that of any other flexible foam, and it also has a much higher "μ factor" than other foams, making it more resistant to moisture ingress. These facotrs make it ideal for use around the home, being easy to work with and providing good insulation. 

The material can be purchased in 1m and 2m lengths, and is available in wall thicknesses of 9mm, 13mm, 19mm and 25mm. It is ideally suited to applications such as frost protection (especially in areas above the insulation in your loft) and energy conservation.

Expanded Nitrile Rubber

We sell three brands of expanded nitrile rubber: Eurobatex, Armaflex and K Flex. Nitrile rubber is a more flexible foam - so flexible you could tie it in a knot if you so wished (though that probably doesn't serve any practical purpose). It also tend to be favoured more for commercial applications as the good quality brands have what is now referred to a "Euroclass B" fire rating, which is roughly equivalent to the more established Class 0 fire rating as tested to British Standard 476. The other key quality possessed by nitrile rubber is that the products have a "High Emissivity Surface" which makes them ideal for use in applications such as condensation control on air conditioning or refrigeration pipework.

Eurobatex Class 0:

Euroclass B, S2 d0, class 0, pipe lagging

Manufactured in Italy by Union Foam SpA, Eurobatex may not be a name you are familiar with but it should be. Eurobatex is a Premium Quality "Flexible Elastomeric Foam" (FEF) or nitrile rubber pipe insulation as it is more commonly known.

The product is available in 2m lengths, sheets and coils. The 2m lengths offer a choice of unslit tubes, pre slit tubes, self sealing tubes and pre coated tubes for external or underground use.

Eurobatex Class 0 is the first product of its type in the UK market to be able to declare a test result of BL - S2, d0 to the new Euroclass fire ratings in tubular form, and B - S3, d0 to the new Euroclass fire ratings in sheet form.

Eurobatex was also one of the first companies in Europe to receive approval to use the CE Mark, in accordance with the specifications laid out in EN 14304.

Eurobatex is particularly suitable for the thermal insulation of pipework on refrigeration, air conditioning and heating systems. It is dust and fibre free, HCFC free, and has an Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of 0 as well as a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of Zero. Furthermore Eurobatex Class 0 contains active Microbial resistance throughout its cell structure as part of its formulation, making it ideal for use in hospital applications or applications where a sterile environment is required.

Armaflex Class 0 Self Seal:

armacell, armaflex, class 0, lagging, microban

AF/Armaflex Class O Selfseal is a thermal insulation product fully slit along each length with two strips of double sided self adhesive tape pre-applied to each open slit surface. Specially developed to provide insulation where fast, secure installation is required and ideal for applications where working space is severely restricted, AF/Armaflex Class O Selfseal is easily applied by fitting the insulation and peeling back the self adhesive tape.

AF/Armaflex Class O Selfseal has a closed cell structure with an "in-built" vapour barrier, offering it a high resistance to water vapour transmission, reducing the condensation risk and helping to increase the product life cycle.

AF/Armaflex Class O with In-Built Anti-Microbial Protection: In-built Microban® technology gives AF/Armaflex Class O an added level of protection against harmful microbes such as bacteria, mould and mildew.

L'Isoante K Flex ST/SK Class 0

 K Flex Class 0 ST/SK

The new ST/SK is a pre-cut elastomeric insulation with a special pressure-sensitive adhesive. The innovative adhesive Insul-Lock® technology is easy and quick to use. This new system has been developed to save on installation time and reduce the use of other adhesives, improving work conditions. The new ST/SK is flexible and easy to install even at low temperatures.

Using flexible foams for meeting the requirements of the building regulations or frost protection regulations is generally very straight forward. We have put together a couple of useful reference tables below.

Building Regulation Part L

April 2010 Domestic Heating Compliance Guide (Assuming Water Temp 60°C with ambient still air at 15°C)

Pipe Diameter
Maximum Heat Loss
W / M
Wall thickness for both Heating & Hot Water

Water Bylaw 49 Frost Protection

Assuming "Extreme" Conditions of up to 12 hours down to -6°C without use

Pipe Diameter
Extreme Conditions

If you are looking for more information you can get in touch with us in the following ways:

Telephone: 01942 295 926

We will be doing a range of entries on the various kinds of products available as well as jacketing in the coming weeks so watch out for these for more detailed information. If you want to know more about any of the products we offer, we have a handy reference table below as a quick guide.

Internal Use
External Use
Key Benefits
Cheap, Easy to Use, Flexible
Class 0 / Euro Class B, Very Flexible
Foil Faced, High Temp, Good for steam pipes
Foil Faced, High Temp, Good for heating pipes
Foil Faced, Very Low thermal conductivity
Can be used up to 150°C, Can be used outside
Protective plastic skin, waterproof, UV resistant