A recent study by University of South Australia has highlighted the need for regulation of the insulation industry. The study revealed that the measured R-value of foil-backed glasswool building blanket in-situ was found to be less than its certified R-value by up to 60%.
The aim of the study, commissioned by the Aluminium Foil Insulation Association (AFIA), was to measure the steady-state R-values of foil-backed glasswool building blanket insulation as installed in commercial roofing systems.
The considerable reduction in R-value was attributed to the significant level of compression of the glasswool under the metal roof as well as thermal bridging at the purlins.
The report concluded, “With each blanket foil tested the surface to surface R value was found to be 41% to 60% lower than the certified R value of the blanket. This translates to 24% to 56% reduction in the overall R value of the entire roof”.
AFIA President Brian Tikey emphasised the need for consistency in the insulation standard AS/NZS 4859.1. “The standard clearly recognises the correlation between compression and R-value reduction for bulk insulation, and yet there is still no regulatory requirement for bulk insulation to take compression into consideration when calculating and promoting Total R-values. This needs to change,” said Brian Tikey.
Air-Cell Insulation Managing Director Scott Gibson said the report findings were concerning. “Climate change, the importance of energy reduction, and the rising cost of energy all mean that thermal insulation is more important than ever.
“Both building professionals and homeowners should demand third-party independent certification to ensure they’re getting what they paid for,” said Scott Gibson.
Air-Cell Insulation has achieved CodeMark certification to the BCA and compulsory insulation standard AS/NZS 4859.1:2002. Air-Cell Insulation is a thermo reflective insulation product to be CodeMark-certified.
CodeMark is a product certification scheme managed by the Australian Building Codes Board and is considered the industry’s maximum level of product conformance.