SPECIFIER NEWSLETTER – ISSUE 10 – NOVEMBER 2021

We’re now firmly in the time of year when the cold weather means the heating is on, windows are closed, and clothes are frequently drying indoors. That puts a lot of moisture vapour into the air we breathe, which isn’t always properly ventilated.

As we keep striving to make buildings more energy efficient, the question of how we deal with moisture of all types – not just condensation – remains as critical as ever.

Whether it’s giving construction materials time to dry out, designing building fabric to deal with intense rain events, or addressing other sources of moisture such as the ground, moisture management should go hand in hand with conversations about thermal insulation, airtightness and ventilation.

Questionmark in window mist

Focus on BS 5250 and moisture in buildings

Throughout 2021, we’ve used this newsletter to give you the essentials on various standards and guidance documents. We’ve tried to help you understand what’s important about them and what impact they have on your work.

This month we’re looking at the recently updated BS 5250, whose name has changed from Control of condensation in buildings to Management of moisture in buildings. On this occasion, it’s almost impossible for us to pick out the highlights and parts that are most relevant to your work. It’s all important!

Our new blog post about BS 5250:2021 therefore looks at what has changed and why you should seriously consider buying a copy. We always say that many standards are big documents with a price tag to match, but in the case of BS 5250:2021 the question you might have to ask is: can you afford not to have it?

Design resources

We were interested to recently read this urgent call for a national retrofit strategy. Soon after, the government published its long-awaited heat and buildings strategy with much fanfare but little of the detail that many in our industry hoped for.

Retrofit seems to remain worryingly low on the list of priorities for our government, despite the UK having some of the oldest housing stock in Europe. Making these homes more energy efficient, and healthier and comfortable for occupants (including effective management of moisture!), has so many potential knock-on benefits in terms of meeting net zero goals and reducing healthcare demand.

The London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI, who we have featured in this newsletter before) has sought to fill some of the void left by the lack of government policy. It recently published its Climate Emergency Retrofit Guide. High profile building physics consultancy Enhabit wrote an interesting blog post asking whether LETI’s new guide is more useful than the heat and buildings strategy.

Path and park

Getting more from Polyfoam XPS

What is extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation? How does it perform compared to other common insulation types? What makes it the ideal choice for below ground, ground floor, and inverted flat roof applications? Our CPD presentation, accredited by the CPD Certification Service, answers all of these questions. View the seminar online or contact us to arrange online delivery to your team.

Whether it’s guidance on designing and specifying XPS insulation, or U-value calculations and condensation risk analyses, we’ve got you covered. Polyfoam XPS’s technical staff have years of experience in the construction industry generally, and insulation manufacturing specifically, and are on hand to offer advice and answer questions at any stage of a project. Contact us through the website or email technical@polyfoamxps.co.uk.

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What Caught Our Eye This Month ?

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