How to insulate against materials shortages | CIF

09 August 2017

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) recently published a post by Jason Martin, Specification Manager, Quinn Building Products on the industry shortage of PIR insulation. As required under BC(A)R SI.9 design certifiers should satisfy themselves regarding compliance of any proposed specification changes (Part L, fRSi compliance, BER implications etc). Link here to post here. Article to follow:


The construction sector across Ireland and the UK is currently experiencing a severe shortage of PIR insulation as a result of insufficient supply of Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate (MDI).
The shortage was caused primarily by disruption to the raw materials supply chain, with upgrades to major manufacturing plants scheduled and a fire in a Norwegian Nitric Acid plant, which happened at the same time as the industry began to experience the significant upturn in demand for insulating materials…
But what is available to those companies unwilling to pay soaring the costs of PIR or those who cannot wait around for normal supply to return?
In the short term, builders could look at other viable options to replace PIR insulation with alternatives such as polystyrene for sub-floor insulation. This would allow the early stages of construction to proceed and hopefully get contractors past the current impasse. It is important that any changes are considered with the BER rating as a whole.
Quinn Building Products can offer house builders a simple solution to help overcome the current PIR supply issues, that can save you up to €1200 on a typical semi-detached as an added bonus.
By introducing Quinn Lite thermal blocks at a number of key junctions in the structure, we can calculate a thermal bridging factor, which is significantly lower than the default value typically used in BER calculations. By applying this lower value to the original BER calculation we can generally do a direct swap from PIR insulation to EPS insulation in the floor, without increasing the thickness of the insulation, which results in an automatic €400 saving.
In addition, up to €800 can be saved elsewhere in the build by using a combination of reduced levels of insulation in the walls and the roof and a reduced level of renewable technology.
Quinn building products have an experienced technical team on hand, who can provide you with all of the necessary calculations and demonstrate how any proposed changes from the original specification will still be Part L compliant.
If the PIR shortage is causing issues for your company, get in touch and our team will guide you through your options.

Jason Martin, Specification Manager, Quinn Building Products.

Other posts of interest:

Possibility of Grenfell Tower-type fire exists in Ireland | CJ Walsh

The Curse of Condensation, Mould & Mildew | Michael Tweed

Nearly Zero Energy – Ireland’s Next Construction Scandal | Mike Morris

Could Rapid Build Housing mean Rapid Fire Spread? | Michael Tweed B.A. B.Arch RIBA MRIAI

Nearly Zero Energy – Ireland’s Next Construction Scandal | Mike Morris

nZeb are Homes of the Future | Minister Damien English

Alert | Near Zero Energy Building (NZEB)

Irish government in row over passivhaus eco building regulations | The Guardian

Building Regulations Part ‘L’ – Made Easy | Mike Morris

Design risks to comfort and health of occupiers | Architects Journal

Breaking the Mould | Joseph Little Architects

Building industry objections to passive house are deeply flawed | Passive House +

Fire Safety in Green, PassivHaus and Energy Smart Housing | CJ Walsh

Notes from the (thermal) edge: Part L Compliance (2 of 2) | Look Back 14

Part L compliance – Who wants a building control service provided by cowboys?

One ‘L’ of a battle looming over DECLG Building Regulations | Michael Tweed

Part L compliance issues – S.I.9 (1 of 2)

Part L- is compliance worth the paper its written on?

Design Certifiers – 3 things about certifying Part L… 

Why the design certifier and architect need third party building fabric assessments

Opinion piece: new building regulations and materials risk analysis

SI.9 and Part L | Specialist ancillary certifiers Part 2

SI.9 and Part L | Are specialist ancillary certifiers needed? Part 1 

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