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Thermal insulation in buildings

Revised page layout with additional information - summer 2017


Energy usage in buildings is strongly related to the fabric insulation properties. Heat flows from inside to outside surfaces of the building fabric by the process of conduction. Thermal insulation with good thermal properties reduces this heat flow to a minimum.


Insulation

Insulation

Thermal Insulation reduces thermal conduction to lower building heat losses. It plays an important role in energy reduction.

Energy usage in buildings is strongly related to the fabric insulation properties. Heat flows from inside to outside surfaces of the building fabric by the process of conduction. Thermal insulation with good thermal properties reduces this heat flow to a minimum.

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Thermal insulation in buildings

Insulation

Energy usage in buildings is strongly related to the fabric insulation properties. Heat flows from inside to outside surfaces of the building fabric by the process of conduction. Thermal insulation with good thermal properties reduces this heat flow to a minimum.

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Any required thickness T (in millimetres) can be estimated from the target U-Value U (in W/(m2K)) and the respective material's thermal conductivity k (in W/mK) by using the following formula:

  • T = 1/U × k × 1000
  • Where:
  • T: thickness (mm)
  • U: the ‘U-value’—the overall thermal conductivity or transmittance (W/m2.K)
  • k: the material's thermal conductivity k (W/mK)


Thermal insulation in buildings

Energy usage in buildings is strongly related to the fabric insulation properties. Heat flows from inside to outside surfaces of the building fabric by the process of conduction. Thermal insulation with good thermal properties reduces this heat flow to a minimum.

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A common misunderstanding with building design is that all energy loads are accounted for in the calculations undertaken in Building Regulations Part L Conservation of Fuel and Power compliance checks. This is not the case. Part L [SBEM] simply calculates the carbon emissions (Part L determines CO2 emissions according to the energy type) for a building's regulated [energy] load for set conditions.

The regulated carbon emissions for gas and electricity include emissions from heating, cooling, hot water, auxiliary equipment (fans and pumps) and lighting. All other equipment 'plugged' into the buildings gas and electric network (computers, catering, process loads, lifts, etc.) are deemed as non-regulated loads and excluded from the Part L assessment.

For the purposes of Part L, the [SBEM] assessment only covers the energy efficiency of the building as a 'shell' which ensures the fabric attains minimum thermal performance standards and the fixed building services achieve minimum system efficiencies. Therefore, the BRUKL output report produced from the SBEM can never be used to forecast the operational energy consumption of a property.


Regulated Energy

Regulated Loads - As 'regulated' by Part L. These are HVAC or fixed building services loads, to include fixed lighting. Includes all non-process energy loads:


  • Space Heating
  • Cooling
  • Domestic hot water
  • Ventilation
  • Pumps and Fans (auxiliary equipment)
  • Lighting (fixed)
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  •  

Non-regulated Energy

Non-regulated Loads - Those 'unregulated' by Part L, although covered by Code Level 6 dwellings. Sometimes non-regulated energy is referred to as 'plug load' or [portable] equipment load. Non-regulated includes all process energy loads:

  • Domestic appliances (TV, refrigerator, etc.)
  • Catering
  • Washing
  • ICT (PCs, servers, data cabinets, etc.)
  • Data Centre (as ICT)
  • Lifts
  • Workshop machinery
  • Production equipment
  • Industrial process

Thermal Insulation - last updated 1st September, 2017 by Corny


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