22nd Mar 2024 -

Achieving net-zero energy buildings requires an approach that boosts energy efficiency and includes renewable energy sources. This feature explores how to achieve net-zero energy buildings through the innovative application of Kingspan insulation products. 

By adopting cutting-edge materials and eco-conscious design, you work towards a future where buildings consume less energy. As a result, this contributes to a more sustainable planet.

What are the Kingspan insulation types?

Kingspan offers a wide range of products that deliver exceptional thermal performance, vapour and moisture resistance, and durability. This includes rigid Kingspan insulation boards for wall, roof and floor areas as well as integrated systems for insulating and air tightness. 

Kooltherm Insulation Boards

Kingspan Kooltherm boards deliver exceptional thermal resistance. Particularly beneficial as Kingspan floor insulation, their low thermal conductivity minimises heat transfer. It keeps buildings well-insulated and reduces the energy needed for heating and cooling. Kooltherm sheet products also provide superior fire protection and meet stringent fire safety standards.

QuadCore Technology Insulation

QuadCore features a unique matrix design. This revolutionary core enhances thermal performance. It allows for thinner insulation with equal thermal resistance. The reduced insulation thickness maximises usable space. At the same time, it maintains excellent energy efficiency. Install QuadCore for significant energy savings over a building's lifetime.

Therma Kingspan Insulation Boards

Therma boards are fibre-free and extremely durable. The tough composition resists moisture penetration. This prevents thermal bridges that cause energy losses. Therma provides consistent thermal protection year after year. Its weather-resistant qualities ensure lasting energy savings.

GreenGuard Insulation 

Kingspan GreenGuard combines thermal and weatherproofing performance. Its insulation values reduce energy needs for interior temperature control. Robust waterproofing protects that insulating capacity. Its dual action prevents energy waste. GreenGuard maximises return on investment through lower energy bills.

Optim-R and Nilvent Solutions

Optim-R optimises energy efficiency for pitched roofs. Nilvent enables breathable Kingspan wall insulation systems while conserving energy. These specialised products solve unique construction challenges. At the same time, they deliver superior thermal performance. Their high insulating values translate into significant energy cost cuts.

How much difference does Kingspan make?

Achieving net-zero energy buildings and prioritising sustainability are crucial goals in today's construction landscape. Kingspan's insulation solutions offer a comprehensive approach to unlocking these objectives while delivering exceptional performance. Explore the below sustainability and net-zero benefits that Kingspan insulation brings to your project.

1. Minimise carbon footprint

Kingspan's advanced materials, such as rigid thermoset insulation boards and composite panel options, boast outstanding thermal resistance values. Their closed-cell structure and low thermal conductivity create an effective barrier against heat transfer, minimising the energy required for heating and cooling. 

By incorporating OPTIM-R vacuum Kingspan insulation panels or Kooltherm insulation into a building envelope, you can achieve a Kingspan U-value rating as low as 0.018 Watts per Metre Kelvin (W/m².K). This significantly reduces energy demands and carbon emissions.

2. Integrate renewable energy 

With Kingspan's insulation solutions minimising the overall energy load, you can optimise the integration of renewable energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines. TEK Cladding Systems and Standing Seam Roof Systems are designed to seamlessly incorporate solar PV modules, enabling efficient energy generation on-site. 

Furthermore, Kingspan's insulation products facilitate the use of air-source heat pumps and other renewable heating and cooling technologies by decreasing the building's energy requirements.

3. Embrace circular economy principles

Kingspan demonstrates its commitment to sustainability by incorporating recycled materials in its insulation products. For example, Thermaroof Kingspan roof insulation contains a recycled plastic core.

Plus, many Kingspan insulation solutions are fully recyclable at the end of their lifespan. This minimises waste and promotes a circular economy approach within the construction industry.

4. Experience long-lasting performance

With their resin formulations and advanced manufacturing, Kingspan insulation products deliver exceptional durability and long-term performance. Rigid insulation board options, such as the Kingspan Kooltherm range, are designed to resist water ingress. 

It maintains the insulating properties and prevents thermal bridging for decades. This longevity means sustained energy savings and reduced environmental impact throughout the building's lifecycle.

5. Achieve certification and compliance

Kingspan insulation board solutions are instrumental in meeting stringent energy efficiency standards and green building certifications. Its products contribute to achieving Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) credits for optimised energy performance and compliance with building codes. 

By incorporating Kingspan insulation, you can create high-performance, energy-efficient structures that qualify for incentives and recognition for their sustainable impact.

How to achieve net-zero energy within existing buildings

Existing structures can transcend into ultra-efficient, net-zero energy properties through strategic retrofits using Kingspan's insulation solutions. This comprehensive guide details the step-by-step process for transformative building upgrades.

1. Conduct comprehensive energy audits

Commission energy audits with thermographic inspections. They identify areas of air infiltration, missing or ineffective insulation, thermal bridges and outdated equipment for replacement.

2. Customise retrofit insulation strategies

With audit data, Kingspan's experts develop customised insulation retrofit packages. Solutions, like injected Kingspan cavity wall insulation, external wall insulation systems and insulated sheathing boards, target specific deficiencies.

3. Insulate building envelopes with OverClad systems

OverClad QR systems provide continuous insulation by over-cladding existing walls. These prefabricated panels with Kooltherm insulation are installed quickly while refreshing the appearance.

4. Install interior insulation board systems

Kingspan's Kooltherm K100 Framing Board insulates interior walls without losing space. Therma TF70 boards upgrade interior fit-outs in spaces like offices and retail.

5. Insulate roofs with high-performance systems

Kingspan's Rhino Systems replaces old roof assemblies with composite PIR insulation panels. Achieve R-values up to 8.7 while enhancing structural capacity and waterproofing.

6. Integrate renewable energy generation 

Rooftop solar PV systems produce renewable electricity to offset energy usage. With high insulation values from Kingspan, net-zero operation becomes achievable through on-site generation.

7. Conduct air tightness testing 

Blower door tests verify the retrofit's air tightness. This pinpoints any remaining leakage paths through the insulated envelope to be sealed for low air permeability.

5 common installation issues to avoid

While Kingspan insulation excels at improving a building's energy efficiency and reducing its environmental impact, incorrect installation can seriously undermine its performance. Be sure to avoid these 5 issues and follow the recommended solutions.

1. Gaps or voids

Failing to fit and seal Kingspan boards properly creates gaps that allow air movement through the insulation. Even minor gaps or voids such as 6mm enable convective air looping and ventilation that rapidly transfers heat across the structure. This is also known as thermal bridging.

Solution: Use Kingspan's approved reinforced aluminium tape and sealants to create an air-tight, continuous air barrier across all insulation board joints, penetrations, and terminations. Properly fix insulation with secure mechanical fasteners to prevent sagging that opens gaps over time.

2. Insufficient insulation thickness

Installing insulation that is not thick enough and the R-value level mandated by the applicable energy code is a common error. For example, using only 50mm Kingspan instead of the prescribed 75mm minimum wastes money on heating and cooling costs.

Solution: Carefully calculate the R-value requirements based on the project's climate zone, wall or roof assembly type and the latest energy code criteria. If needed, lay or install Kingspan's higher R-value insulation boards like GreenGuard to meet or exceed the insulation targets.

3. Moisture accumulation

Failure to properly control bulk water and vapour diffusion leads to condensation accumulation within the insulation. This trapped moisture dramatically reduces the insulation's thermal resistance and can cause damage over time.

Solution: Include vapour barrier membranes and integrated water-resistive barriers based on the specific wall type. Ensure flashings and sealants prevent bulk water intrusion. Plus, design permeable pathways for any moisture to safely escape and dry to the exterior.

4. Lack of insulation protection

Leaving Kingspan rigid insulation exposed to elements like UV radiation, physical impacts and dirt after installation but before cladding is a recipe for damage and low performance.

Solution: Immediately apply specified cladding or weatherproofing membranes over the full exterior Kingspan insulation. No components should be left uncovered and exposed to the elements for more than the prescribed short-term exposure window of 60 to 90 days maximum.

5. Insulation board compression

Allowing excessive stacking weight or construction traffic directly on installed Kingspan boards compresses the insulation. This reduces its effective R-value and increases heat transfer.

Solution: Follow Kingspan's guidelines for stacking heights and weights during storage and staging. Use temporary semi-rigid insulation protection like plywood when material must be staged over areas of installed insulation.

What is the future for Kingspan and net-zero energy?

Kingspan sets high goals for its insulation. Products will enable ultra-low energy buildings and innovative technologies will raise efficiency standards constantly. Products facilitate net-zero energy construction. Therefore, insulation performance will improve year over year.

Manufacturing operations have ambitious sustainability targets. For example, Kingspan will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. Also, water use and waste will decrease by 15% in the same period and more recycled and renewable materials will be incorporated.

Durable Kingspan insulation for all job types

Builders across the UK turn to us to shop for Kingspan's industry-leading insulation materials. Our extensive selection includes the full range of the manufacturer’s innovative product lines - from Kingspan loft insulation to Kingspan insulated plasterboard.

You can trust our reliable and high-quality Kingspan products for maximising energy efficiency on every project you build. Whether you are constructing a new development or upgrading an existing structure, Kingspan insulation ensures superior performance. 

Trade customers benefit from seamless procurement through Building Materials Nationwide's trade account offering. Open a trade account today to streamline insulation sourcing with competitive trade pricing to cut costs and project timelines. 

Our team provides personalised trade account support, ensuring your Kingspan insulation orders arrive promptly. Contact us for a friendly chat. 

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