Premium Insulation Brings Fringe Benefits for Scots


The 68th Edinburgh Fringe Festival reaches its climax this week after another hugely successful season. The close of the festival next Monday also leaves precisely one month until the revisions to Section 6 (energy) of the Scottish Building Standards come into force. As Jon Ducker outlined, the changes are significant, requiring a further 43% reduction in carbon emissions over the previous Standards. This poses the question: will meeting these requirements with low performance insulation badly cut into space?

To help assess this, we move from the fringe festival to the fringes of the city with a new business park on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Business parks performed exceptionally in 2014 as research from Bilfinger GVA showed. Uptake in the second half of 2014 reached 3.2 million sq ft., the highest half yearly figure recorded since the report began in 1996, whilst availability continued to fall.

The low rise business centre in Edinburgh meets market demand with a Cat-A specification and is located in a regenerated rural area. The £1.42 million development shares its site with some existing agricultural buildings, and to complement its surroundings has been constructed with a cavity brick and block wall construction.

For the premium performance insulation specification, Sweett Group opted to partially fill a 115 mm cavity. This build-up achieves a U-value of 0.22 W/m2.K, meeting the notional fabric requirements of Section 6 2015, at a total cost of £223.00/sq.m. By meeting the same U-value requirements with a full-fill glass mineral fibre build-up, Sweett were able to reduce the initial cost to £217.00/sq.m. However, the overall thickness of the construction jumped to 388.00 mm, a full 40mm thicker.

Consequently, whilst the premium insulation build-up adds a further £6,742.00 to the cost of the development, the additional 9.90 sq.m (106.56 sq.ft) of floor space more than covers the cost. The space provides an estimated rental value of £1047.00 per year and a capitalised value of £13,703.00, representing a return of 103% on the cost of the insulation.

For the penultimate blog in the series we will have a look at offices in Manchester as the city becomes the focus of The Northern Powerhouse program.

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View the rest of the Real Value of Space blog series.

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Kingspan Insulation is a market leading manufacturer of optimum, premium and high performance rigid insulation products and insulated systems for building fabric and building services applications.

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