Having a properly insulated home can almost halve your yearly energy bills and can pay for itself in as little as five years, according to Kingspan, a global leader in insulation.

Kingspan’s National Specification Manager Stuart Braine and Kingspan’s National Residential Sales Manager for Insulation Brent Livy explain some of the benefits of insulation.

Insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow, providing year-round comfort by keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer.

Insulation has come a long way in the last 20 years, from the days when there were no requirements for insulation, through to today where the National Construction Code has been updated to include improved energy consumption requirements.

So what makes the best type of insulation material? Kingspan’s Stuart Braine explains that it depends on several factors: what the building is made of, what it’s used for, what climate zone you’re in, which direction the building faces and how many windows it has.

“It is important when you do insulate your home it’s in line with the area you’re living in and doing it across all the walls, ceiling and floors,” he says.

A range of high-performance insulation solutions can be found across Kingspan’s Kooltherm range which has a wide variety of rigid thermoset phenolic insulation for roofs, walls and floors.

Kingspan’s Kooltherm rigid board insulation is a great solution for avoiding moisture build-up as its closed cell structure resists both moisture and water vapour. Ensuring your building has a breathable form of insulation is important to manage condensation, especially in colder climates.

“For a family of four, you actually release up to 20 litres of condensation a day from showers, cooking and breathing. So you can imagine 20 litres of condensation trying to escape the house,”  Kingspan’s Brent Livy explains.

“That’s why we have a permeable, breathable membrane to help manage condensation and avoid the risk of health issues for humans and the structure of the wall as well”.

When selecting insulation fire safety is always an important consideration. “That’s what Kingspan Kooltherm does, in the event of a fire it doesn’t melt, drip and smoke.”

How well a product can insulate is measured by its R (resistance) value which measures a material’s ability to resist the movement of heat.

“When we are talking about R values we are not just thinking about the insulation product. We need to take into consideration all the building elements: plasterboard, sarking, air, steel, timber and concrete. Everything has an R value,” Stuart explains. Everything within the home contributes to R value and whatever you’re missing, that’s what the insulation has to cover.

Looking forward Stuart and Brent agree the future of insulation will be focused on thin, green, fire-compliant materials with really high R Values.

As a company, Kingspan is conscious of its global footprint. Kingspan has its own sustainability strategy known as Planet Passionate. This strategy includes making its products net carbon zero and making its manufacturing facilities greener and more sustainable. This can be seen in action at Kingspan’s Somerton facility in Victoria which has achieved the prestigious Green Building Council 6-Star Green Star performance v1.2.0 rating.

This podcast was brought to you in association with Kingspan Insulation. Listen to this episode of Talking Architecture & Design here.