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Optimised Building Services and HVAC with Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation

Both the EU and the UK Government have set ambitious, legally binding targets (Climate Change Act 2008) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, with an intermediate target of 34% by 2020 (against a 1990 baseline).

Approved Document Part L of the UK Building Regulations is being progressively tightened up to move towards the Government’s target of all new buildings being zero carbon by 2019. The most recent revision came into effect in October 2010, and it is now apparent that this revision is pushing building designers to very high levels of energy efficiency.

However, the requirements are now so stringent that many design teams are resorting to the application of costly building-integrated renewable technologies in order to reduce the carbon footprint of their buildings, instead of first considering the more cost-effective option of optimising insulation.

Kingspan Tarec® Insulate 1st Solution

Currently, there is an opportunity to optimise a buildings energy efficiency through enhanced levels of insulation, including the services pipework, that offers payback within the life of the installation.

A recent investigation into the benefits of pipe insulation in a Grade A office has assessed the various impacts of upgrading the levels of insulation on the pipework. This research has found that the inclusion of enhanced pipe insulation gives a payback well within its predicted lifespan.

Furthermore, the report shows that enhanced insulation reduces space heating carbon emissions by over 4%, space cooling emissions by over 2% and hot water emissions by over 1%. Therefore if the same analysis was carried out on a building where these building systems contributed a higher proportion of the total carbon emissions then the benefits of pipe insulation would be much greater. Examples of such buildings would include hotels, sports and leisure facilities, residential/care homes and medical care buildings.


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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 …