Stuart Bell, Managing Director at Polyfoam XPS reflects on 2018 and talks of what’s in store for 2019.

Throughout 2018 we continued to see sector growth – although the bad weather at the beginning of the year stalled some roofing projects, the momentum soon picked up and we saw positive results overall.  

The insulation market has remained highly competitive and that has driven the development of new products to meet contractors’ changing demands. Within the last six months for example, we have launched six new XPS insulation board thicknesses in response to the need for more time and cost-efficient products.

We have also continued to work closely with contractors and specifiers to offer technical advice, including raising awareness about the risks of specification switching, which remains one of the biggest challenges for our sector.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for specified insulation to be switched during construction and after project-design stage compliance has been achieved. This is an issue which is leading to inaccurate U-values and potential non-compliance with Building Regulations. 

We hope that following the Hackitt Review, we will begin to see this trend shift in 2019. The recommendations in the report include more effective specification and an increased focus on how construction products are developed and tested. These measures would not only significantly raise quality standards, but drive the demand for accredited, independently-tested insulation products which are fit for purpose and ensure buildings perform to the required standards.

We also welcome the move by the Construction Products Association (CPA) to establish best practice marketing and technical information through its Marketing Integrity Group. This initiative could play a vital role in preventing ambiguous and misleading product information filtering into the market next year improving customer confidence and ultimately the quality of the built environment.

This commentary appeared in the December 2018 edition of Total Contractor

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