As African nations respond to global targets to reduce carbon emissions, insulation is becoming more widely adopted. But while insulation offers huge benefits to the end-user and the planet, is it good for the installer?
All too often, the comfort of the installer who is working with construction products on a daily basis is treated as an afterthought. That’s a problem, particularly as the quality of installation can have a major impact on how well insulation performs. So, anything that might compromise the quality of installation, such as installer discomfort, should be avoided.
We discovered that it is not the Mineral Wool itself that causes discomfort, but the binder, which ‘glues’ the individual strands of Mineral Wool together. Traditional binders are chemical-based, so we set about developing an alternative. In 2009, we launched ECOSE® Technology, a unique bio-based binder for our Mineral Wool Insulation.
It contains no added formaldehyde or phenol which can emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). As a result, products manufactured with ECOSE® Technology have been awarded the Eurofins Gold Certificate for Indoor Air Comfort, which recognises products with best-in-class low VOC emission levels.
Crucially, products with ECOSE® Technology improve installers’ experience of working with Mineral Wool insulation by generating very low levels of dust, being pleasant to touch and easy to handle.
What’s more, its exceptional strength delivers proven durability. Recent research has shown that the thermal performance of Mineral Wool manufactured with ECOSE® Technology does not degrade over time and will deliver the expected level of performance even after 50 years of service.
The second part of the brief was to increase the sustainability of manufacture. This was achieved by changing the base ingredient from crude oil to a natural raw material that is rapidly renewable. As a result, ECOSE® Technology is 70% less energy-intensive to manufacture than traditional binders, so it’s kinder to the environment too. And, switching our binder to ECOSE® Technology, means we have saved the equivalent of 140,000 barrels of oil a year.
As a result, Mineral Wool manufactured with ECOSE® Technology can contribute to the overall rating in green building rating systems, such as BREEAM and LEED.
ECOSE® Technology is used in the manufacture of all our Glass Mineral Wool products and the majority of our Rock Mineral Wool products.
Now that Knauf Insulation’s Mineral Wool is available in Africa, installers can enjoy all the ‘Feel Good Factor’ of ECOSE® Technology – while also helping to enhance sustainability by reducing the energy consumption and carbon emissions of the buildings they create.