Insulation reduces heat flow and is essential to keep a building warm in winter and cool in summer. A well-insulated and well-designed building will provide year-round comfort, decreasing energy costs. This, in turn, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Climatic conditions will influence the appropriate level and type of insulation. Establish the energy zone from the Map of Energy Zones of South Africa. (See Standards & Regulations – National Building Regulations)
Passive design techniques must be used in conjunction with insulation. For example, if insulation is installed but the building is not correctly shaded, built up heat can be trapped in by the insulation creating an ‘oven’ effect. Air tightness of a building is important, as draughts can account for up to 25 percent of heat loss in winter.
Ensure proper ventilation in buildings where fossil fuels are burned as an energy source.
Certain types of insulation can assist with weatherproofing and control moisture problems such as condensation. Some types of insulation also have soundproofing qualities. Some products are environmentally friendly and contain recycled material.
The most economical time to install insulation is during construction.