Insulation material R-values have decreased across the board following the introduction of the updated standard AS/NZS 4859.1:2018 in the National Construction Code (NCC) in May 2019. A 12-month transition period was allowed for its adoption.

If insulation products in the market haven’t been tested to the new standard, the advertised R-value may not accurately match the real value of the product, which could compromise a project’s construction code compliance.

“What we’ve found in the market is that most consumers aren’t aware of this change in the standard and don’t know how it impacts them. If the manufacturers aren’t properly testing and declaring their conformance with the updated standard, the consumers might be buying a lower performing product than declared. This could lead to not only a compliance issue with the NCC, but also to an influx of buildings that are less energy efficient than expected, the results of which will be felt for another 50 years,” said Kingspan Insulation’s ANZ sales director Craig Burr.

All Kingspan Insulation products from the Kooltherm and AIR-CELL lines have been transitioned to the updated standard AS/NZS 4859.1:2018 prior to the May 1st deadline. 

“We wanted to give our customers peace of mind so we began transitioning our products to the new standard version in September last year, starting with our reflective flexible insulation range AIR-CELL, and we finished off our Kooltherm range transition in April this year, prior to the NCC 2019 cut-off date,” said Burr.

“Although our products haven’t changed in any material way, the new standard did impact their declared thermal performance, which is reflected in our data sheets. We believe it’s important the consumers are aware of this change in the Australian construction industry landscape when purchasing any type of insulation,” added Burr.

The table below illustrates the impact of AS/NZS 4859.1:2018 on the R-values of Kingspan Kooltherm boards based on the thickness of the material. 

Impact of AS/NZS 4859.1:2018