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The Revision of the UK Pipe Insulation Standard: - Its Likely Effect on Building Energy Efficiency and the Uptake of Highly Efficient Insulation Materials
The UK Government has set an ambitious target of a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2010 based on a 1990 baseline. Since buildings account for over 40% of current CO2 emissions, the revision of building and building services insulation standards has been a high priority. The previous UK pipe insulation standard (BS 5422 - 1990) was based on an economic thickness methodology that resulted in thickness requirements for different materials of unequal energy saving value. The 2001 revision (BS 5422 - 2001) not only addresses this imbalance by defining environmental thicknesses that deliver equivalent energy savings but also increases the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 5 million tonnes per annum. To stimulate this potential, the UK Government has introduced a tax incentive under the existing Capital Allowances scheme to promote the widespread adoption of the new standard in both new build and, more importantly, in renovation projects. Just as importantly, the new standard highlights the true cost-effectiveness of highly efficient insulation materials such as phenolic foam. Phenolic foam had already gained more than a 15% market share in the UK pipe insulation market prior to the recent changes to the standard on the basis of its excellent thermal resistance and fire properties. However, previous economic thickness models had promoted the use of less efficient materials with a poorer level of energy saving being the result. With this loophole now closed, the phenolic foam industry believes that its product will receive the acclamation that it deserves - while helping the UK Government to meet its own CO2 targets.
Ashford, P. (2002). The Revision of the UK Pipe Insulation Standard: - Its Likely Effect on Building Energy Efficiency and the Uptake of Highly Efficient Insulation Materials. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from