Protecting the Insulation Investment and Benefit in New Build
Since the 1970s, there have been on average 160,000 new homes built each year in England. The consensus is that we need 300,000 homes per year to keep up with population growth and start to tackle years of under- supply. Increased demand has brought with it a greater need to ensure quality and improved standards.
An effective system of Building Regulations and building control should ensure that homes are built to good quality standards, are safe, highly energy efficient, sustainable, accessible and secure.
In the last year Blown Cavity Wall Insulation accounted for circa 80,000 installs, equating to over 40 percent of the new build houses in the year and when carried out correctly it is by far the most effective way of thermally insulating a new property. However, many Site Managers are faced with competing commercial priorities and challenging timelines that can impact on quality standards ultimately leading to inadequate installation of insulation with subsequent failure and cost implications.
Cavities and Insulation featured in the top 5 quality concerns in the recent NHBC New Build quality review. The same bulletin also suggests using Thermographic imaging to check quality, ensuring that insulation is fitted correctly in the first instance is paramount.
Problems can include damp and moisture in the insulation material introduced if the building is not water tight at the point of installation, voids and cold spots created by mortar left in the cavity and incorrectly fitted cavity batts.
With the increasing focus on standards of new build, CIGA’s 25 year guarantee is well placed to improve quality and provide assurance and benefits to developers, contractors and ultimately householders.
Applying CIGA’s Quality Assurance to New Build
Before a property can be installed with retrofit Cavity Wall Insulation it is subject to a full assessment by a qualified pre-installation assessor with 100 percent of these assessments being independently verified by CIGAs own assessors. In addition, 5 percent of all installs are physically surveyed for compliance pre installation, during installation and post installation. Installers offering the guarantee are required to be trained on the install specification and carded as competent by System Designers before being allowed to install a Cavity Wall Insulation measure.
CIGAs proposal is a guarantee linked to independent surveillance of assessment with 5 percent surveillance at each stage of the install process on any works carried out, alongside System Designer training and surveillance.
The property will be assessed for suitability at the point at which it is being installed and on receipt of the necessary evidence further surveillance will be carried out on ongoing works before issuing a guarantee for the installation. This approach will bring the installation of CWI in new build in line with the current retrofit practice and provide greater scrutiny increasing quality and standards.
Nigel Donohue CEO for CIGA “We are confident that the guarantee for New Build will provide the homebuilder with the assurance that the installation is carried out correctly without inhibiting the install process and the homebuyer will receive assurance through the guarantee that the home is protected against failures in materials and workmanship for a period of 25 years. We are actively engaging with homebuilders to encourage them to embrace this significant drive to guarantee the quality of cavity wall insulation works promoting the very best installers within the sector who work to CIGAs exacting standards and quality framework”
CIGA’s Guarantee Process
CIGA is the largest provider of Cavity Wall Insulation Guarantees for the retrofit market and as such has issued 6.2 million guarantees since being founded at the Governments request as a not for profit organisation in 1995. In addition, CIGA operate the largest Competent Persons Scheme for Cavity Wall Insulation and are a UKAS Accredited PAS2030 certification body for Cavity Wall and Loft insulation, providing the necessary assurance that installers operating under their certification are fully compliant when installing under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme.
CIGA has led on implementing a number of quality measures that have helped reduce the occurrence of non-compliant installations and better ensure that properties are installed correctly. With the introduction of the New Build Guarantee CIGA are extending this assurance to developers, contractors and ultimately new home owners.