Insulation and waterproofing specialist, Soprema, is urging specifiers to consider the sustainability of the materials they select for housing upgrade projects carried out under the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme.
The scheme allows homeowners and landlords to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 per property to cover up to two thirds of the cost of home improvements that reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Those on certain benefits can claim up to £10,000 to cover the entire cost of improvements.
The scheme, which applies to home improvements completed by the end of March 2021, is expected to lead to a significant surge in uptake of internal wall insulation (IWI), roof insulation and external wall insulation (EWI) for solid wall properties. However, Soprema has raised concerns about the possibility that less green solutions will reduce the benefits of the initiative and result in additional environmental issues in the long term.
Roland Jackson, commercial director of Soprema, explained: “Any insulation installation will provide environmental benefits by improving thermal performance, but the reality is that some of the materials commonly used are made from non-renewable and non-recyclable materials that continue a cycle of CO2 emissions and waste.
“While these products are acceptable for use under the scheme, both specifiers and homeowners need to consider the goals of the Green Homes Grant and choose renewable, recycled and recyclable insulation materials. These solutions provide all the environmental benefits of improved thermal performance, without any of the negative environmental side-effects.”
Soprema advises that a woodfibre insulation system, such as the company’s Pavatex range, provides the ideal solution for IWI and roof void insulation upgrades. Manufactured from renewable timber and completely recyclable, Pavatex provides excellent thermal performance, with options for plasterboarding or rendering, and is also naturally breathable for a comfortable indoor environment all year round.
Roland continued: “One of the common issues with IWI upgrades on solid wall properties is that they can result in moisture becoming trapped within the fabric of the building, causing damp and mould. Pavatex, allows moisture to disperse into the atmosphere gradually, preventing this issue while improving thermal performance.
“The natural properties of woodfibre also mean that Pavatex prevents heat from becoming trapped in the warmer months, avoiding the negative environmental impact of using energy-hungry fans or air conditioning, while enhancing comfort all year round.”
For EWI insulation upgrades, Soprema recommends the company’s XPS 500 insulation, which is a BRE Green Guide A-rated system, thanks to its use of recycled materials and 100% recyclability benefits.
Roland continued: “XPS 500 is an extruded polystyrene insulation that is robust and effective for EWI installations and utilises plastics already in the supply chain to create a recycled and recyclable product. It is even manufactured using climate-friendly recycled CO2 technology, adding to its green credentials.”
There is just a short window of opportunity for homeowners and landlords to take advantage of the Green Homes Grant, but the impact of the scheme could last for generations. That is why Soprema is urging specifiers to choose wisely by using insulation systems that will truly make properties greener.