by Liz White, editor
A lack of emphasis on insulation at the recent Ecobuild show in London has already been noted in this issue’s comment: insulation experts UTI spoke to at the event, at Earl’s Court, 3-5 March, had a good idea of the background to this.
“A big problem for the whole insulation market is that you come across ‘Eco Bling’,” said Kingspan Insulation Ltd’s marketing manager, Peter Morgan. This effect is what leads people to put a costly wind turbine or expensive solar panels on their roof, “without bothering to insulate and make that building perform as best as it can.” This can have various repercussions, said Morgan. First, “They may have to buy a renewable resource that’s overspecified — because you failed to prevent heat loss.” Also, “Potentially, you are producing valuable energy to put into a leaky underperforming building structure,” he added.
“That’s bonkers,” Morgan said.
But of course the other aspect of any sort of insulation, part of its value if you like, is that it’s “invisible and passive,” the Kingspan representative commented. This means that, “It just sits there doing its job, it’s not sexy, it just works,” he said. People would rather spend their money on a new kitchen — something visible that does raise the property value, Morgan said.
Kingspan was busy promoting its phenolic insulation at Ecobuild and Morgan was relaxed about competition in insulation materials: “Every…