With the UK experiencing its highest ever temperatures in recent weeks, insulation specialist Actis is reminding architects that it has a small part to play in helping mitigate the effects of climate change.
While it is not claiming to stave off Armageddon with a few insulation panels, the technical experts behind the creation of the Actis Hybrid range of insulation and membranes do say that using its reflective products can help keep homes cool in a heatwave. The reminder follows dire warnings in the latest report from the government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change last month.
In it, authors list a series of measures which the government needs to take to avoid sleepwalking into environmental disaster – most of which are well beyond the scope of an insulation manufacturer. But one of the priorities for the next two years is to review building regulations to protect people from the dangerous effects of overheating in homes, schools, care homes and hospitals.
Dan Anson-Hart, specification manager at Actis, whose Hybrid insulation products are designed to help keep houses cool in summer as well as warm in winter, says: “Clearly, just using reflective insulation is not the answer to enormous environmental problems, but they will, at least, mitigate some of the effects by enabling houses to remain at a pleasant temperature. “As well as helping homes stay warm in winter, reflective insulation technologies have the specific ability to counteract heat transfer via radiation. This helps to reflect the solar heat and keep the property at a constant low relative temperature. “No form of insulation can address the significant effects of solar gain through windows though. That needs to be addressed by judicious use of curtains or siting the windows in strategic positions – a job for the architect.”
Ultra-thin insulation was recently praised on Radio 4 by Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, who said it was one of a number of factors which could help the UK get close to zero carbon emissions by 2050.