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2017’s new thermal Insulation standards—and you

Few authorities have more clout in the house-building industry than NHBC. This makes its new and updated Standards an early 2017 must-read.

If that’s not enough, if your foundations are going in after 1 January, the Standards are what you have to adhere to – so the sooner you get abreast of the key changes, the better.

So what’s new? There’s a new chapter looking at render – key in ensuring that the right balance is achieved between aesthetics and durability, and that homeowners are satisfied long-term. There is also new or updated guidance on ventilation terminals, gardens, pitched roofs, waterproofing and timber in balconies.

Although when it comes to our bread and butter, thermal insulation, not a lot has changed in the Standards—there’s plenty worth checking in with to make sure you’re getting quality and consistency throughout the year ahead.

Understandably, aside from installing insulation in a way that ensures optimum thermal performance, a central focus of the Standards is making sure not to trap moisture.

Whether that’s through correct cavity specification, taking special care around the membrane, and making sure DPMs and DPCs are linked where homes are stepped down a sloping site, there’s plenty to take on or refresh your memory about.

Fears over damp have sometimes proved a stumbling block in the push to achieve greater levels of building energy efficiency, and while the quality of installations has been rising over the years, it’s the new Standards that keep pushing things in the right direction.

Also covered in the 2017 update are the suitable materials and necessary installed thickness when insulating floors and walls, and all that needs to considered to avoid cold bridging.

Superglass’ team of experts are here to help design the perfect specification that adheres to this year’s Standards, whether it’s a straightforward job or a complex design using non-standard product.

Avoiding common pitfalls in the installation of insulation is far from a heavy burden. Noting – and acting upon – some key points and checks can lead to top jobs, every time. Making sure insulation is tight to cavities, boards and joints, with no gaps, is a fundamental here.

When it comes to insulation materials—from mineral wool you need to ensure a filled cavity to the correct lintels that will really deliver all-round comfort in the building—Superglass can sort you out.

But we’re committed to offering a deeper, more bespoke service than just insulation products for sale; not just focusing on the products, but the technical side of bringing great thermal performance to all your clients’ buildings.

NHBC’s Standards are an essential launch pad for building in a way that ties in with national agendas around energy security and sustainability, while helping to ensure that the industry is trusted to deliver the homes Britain needs, not just in terms of quantity, but quality and comfort too.

The firms that thrive in the market will be those that look to learn, not just churn. Don’t delay in making sure your site is up to speed on the very latest techniques and materials that will see things done by the book – and beyond.