Actis launches its first CPD module
Addressing the performance gap with reflective insulation

A CPD module aimed at helping construction industry professionals tackle the performance gap has been launched this month by insulation pioneers Actis.

The seminar responds to the Zero Carbon Hub’s call for a major cultural shift within the industry to enable the UK to achieve its 2020 ambition of ensuring 90% of new builds meet or exceed their designed energy performance.

Actis’ “Addressing the performance gap with reflective insulation” has just been certified by the Construction CPD Certification Service.

In its end of term report on the performance gap, published this summer, the Zero Carbon Hub cites key steps which must be taken to address the huge gulf which currently exists between design and as-built energy performance.

The report states: “A pan-industry shift in focus is required to create the necessary cultural change to address the issues identified. The scale of change in business practice envisaged within the tight timeframe of the 2020 Ambition will only be possible if there are clear drivers to underpin it.”

It is the first of these three drivers - “energy literacy” – which the Actis CPD module addresses. The Hub wants to improve understanding of why the performance gap exists and how it can be closed across the whole gamut of industry professionals - clients, planners, designers, architects, engineers, SAP assessors, energy modellers, developers, contractors, procurers, site managers, materials suppliers, operatives, commissioners, testers, verifiers, values and insurance bodies.

“Across the whole construction industry there is limited understanding of as-built energy performance and the existence of the performance gap. Consequently, there is an urgent need to emphasise energy performance issues in training of new entrants and to provide additional training and Continuing Professional Development for existing members of the industry,” says the report.
Architect and Actis technical manager Thomas Wiedmer, who devised the CPD programme, explained: “The module looks at why the performance gap exists, evidence of its existence through research by bodies such as BBA and Glasgow Caledonian University, the effects of external factors on the fabric efficiency of a building, the impact of part L which places a good deal of emphasis on air tightness and the impact of thermal bridging and how reflective insulation can address it.

“Our dual tested Hybrid range - which consists of a new insulation material, Hybris, a vapour control layer with built-in thermal performance, HControl Hybrid, and an insulating breather membrane, Boost‘R Hybrid - has been specifically designed to close the performance gap as it has been dual tested in laboratory and on site.

“It provides efficient and continuous insulation over the whole building envelope, making the risk of thermal bridging very slight, is air tight and moisture resistant and is comfortable in summer and winter. In addition, its thinness saves space and makes it handier to transport, it is easy to install, flexible and forgiving and isn’t reliant on specialist workmanship.”

Using just 45mm of Hybris along with HControl Hybrid gives a U value of 0.23 in roofs and walls. Increasing the Hybris thickness to 105mm reduces the U value to 0.17 in roofs and 0.18 in walls. Throw Boost R Hybrid into the mix and the U values can reduce further. Even just using Boost‘R Hybrid and HControl Hybrid without the ‘official’ insulation give a U-value of 0.21 in walls – better than required under current building regulations. Using 45mm of Hybris, Boost R Hybrid an h Control Hybrid in an 89mm timber wall gives a u value of 0.17.

“The seminar is aimed at architects, engineers, SAP assessors, specifiers, building control officers, developers, procurers, site managers and operatives, and already has quite a queue of takers.”

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