Skip to main content

Rockwool Insulation:Why talk about Energy Design?

The energy design of a building is the basis for its expected future dependency on fuel resources and consequently a considerable part of the expected future running costs. When building costs are discussed the argumentation is commonly limited to construction costs. With an increasing relevance of energy prices and more and more investors asking for certified buildings, operation costs and even costs for deconstruction become more and more relevant. Depending on the specific building parameters such as usage type and location, future costs can make up to 80% of the total lifetime costs of a building.

A smart energy design does not only consider minimised heat loss via the building envelope so that very little energy supply is needed in operation, it also seeks to make best use of the building geometry, its thermal mass and how solar energy is efficiently made available for the building users.

How is Smart Design achieved?

A smart energy design aims at creating a comfortable indoor climate, in a way that very little energy is needed to keep a comfortable indoor air temperature. Once the energy demand is reduced, efficient systems for securing the supply of the remaining energy are added to the system – preferably using renewable sources like solar energy to increase the independency on fossil fuels and minimise CO2 emissions.

This strategy is not only basis for legislation in various European countries and for many architects, it is also a very simple principle everyone will normally apply in every day’s life: In order to keep coffee at a warm temperature it is usually put into a thermos flask (which minimises the heat loss) rather than put on a heating plate (which would demand continuous heat supply).

The approach is commonly known as the Trias Energetica.

Lifetime Costing

Traditionally there is a strong focus on the construction costs of a building, even if it is now known that often expected future costs such as running costs may easily outnumber construction costs. The method of ‘life cycle costing’ is therefore often applied to determine both construction and future costs of a building. Life cycle costing is described in an ISO standard (ISO 15686) and it is based on a set of boundary conditions to best fit to specific project conditions. Conditions which may typically vary from project to project are the expected lifespan of the building, cost groups considered in the evaluation and discount rates applied. The net present value is a suitable figure to evaluate future expenses.

The evaluation of the ‘total costs of ownership’ adds the impact of future benefits to the cost scenario described in life cycle costing. Based upon the specific project requirements performance evaluations and benefit ratings may typically vary between products.


Popular posts from this blog

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.

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 thicknesse…

The Beginners Guide To Pipe Insulation: Getting to grip with the basics

Our Beginners Guide series of blogs will look at the common areas of pipe insulation lagging that you will want to look at when choosing your product. This guide will be of most interest to the DIY installers, but some of our later guides will cover more complex products and areas of application.

One of the things we get asked about a lot is what the dimensions quoted for pipe insulation actually mean. You will always see three measurements quoted when describing pipe insulation; Wall Thickness, Bore Size and Length.

In the below diagram, A is the "Bore" and B is the "Wall".

Wall thickness is very simply how much insulation you have; so for example if you have 13mm Wall pipe insulation, then that means you have 13mm of insulation on either side of your pipe. This thickness is very often one of the most important part of your decision; too thin and you might not get the results you are looking for but too thick and it might not fit between your pipe and the wall.


Frost protection for domestic pipes

With the cold weather approaching we thought it would be a good idea to touch on how best to protect your pipes from frost this winter.

When dealing with frost protection on pipes inside a building your aim with insulating them is to delay the onset of freezing for as long as possible; it is not possible to guarantee a pipe will not freeze by insulation alone. The better the insulation, and the thicker the insulation, the longer you will give yourself. Under normal circumstances you aim to give yourself about 8-10 hours protection against sub zero temperatures. With pipes inside a home this is usually long enough to be sure the pipes will not freeze.

Ice formation inside the pipes will lead to an increase in pressure. As the water tries to flow this pressure will increase, and eventually will lead to the pipes bursting. A burst pipe can cause a lot of problems, not least of which is a lot of damage to your property and a lot of expense incurred.

Water regulations state that all water …