To improve health, comfort and financial conditions for all with the installation of thermal insulation.

In assessing the environmental characteristics of insulation materials, consideration must be given to a broad range of issues relating to the resources going into their production, manufacturing processes, pollutants given off during their lifecycle, durability, recyclability, and impact on indoor air quality. Recycled content is the most recognized environmental feature of building products.

Materials with recycled content have four advantages:
1) they require less natural resource;
2) they divert materials from the solid waste stream;
3) creating additional job opportunities for the unemployed by collecting waste; and
4) they use less energy during manufacturing.

The insulation industry is full of good examples of recycled material use:

• Cellulose Fiber uses recycled newspaper by weight; the rest is comprised of fire retardant chemicals and—in some products—acrylic binders.
• Fiberglass uses recycled glass
• Mineral wool actually refers to two different materials: slag wool and rock wool. Slag wool is produced primarily from iron ore blast furnace slag, an industrial waste product and Rock wool is produced from natural rocks.
• Polyester Fiber uses recycled PET bottles
• Polystyrene uses recycled plastic resin in some extruded and expanded polystyrene.

All South African thermal insulation products are to comply with National Standards and have to be tested in accordance with SANS 428:2007 “Fire performance classification of thermal insulated building envelope systems”, prior to being sold.

This Standard incorporates all factors required for fire-hazard or fire-risk assessment of the materials, or assemblies under actual fire conditions.

Where any insulation, insulating panel or lining used as thermal insulation system under an external covering as part of a roof or wall assembly (thermal insulated building envelope), tested in accordance with SANS 10177-5 and found to be combustible, shall be acceptable if it complies with the requirements of SANS 428 when tested in accordance with SANS 10177-10 for classification and such classification have been confirmed in accordance with SANS 10177-11 with regard to use and application.

NOTE The requirements contained in SANS 428 are intended to evaluate the fire safety performance of thermal insulated building envelopes. The test protocol makes provision for both horizontal and vertical applications and with or without the use of a fixed water extinguishment (sprinkler) system.

Thermal Resistance = R-Value
All insulation materials are rated for their performance in restricting heat transfer. This is expressed as the R value, also known as thermal resistance. The R value is a guide to its performance as an insulator—the higher the R value, the better insulation (i.e., resistance to heat flow) it provides.

R values are expressed using the metric units m².K/W, where:
• m² refers to one metre squared of the material of a specified thickness;
• K refers to a one degree temperature difference (Kelvin or Celsius) across the material;
• W refers to the amount of heat flow across the material in watts.

Use the nominal R-values as listed by the manufacturer on the packaging of the insulation to determine the performance.

Products which have the same R value will provide exactly the same insulating effect as each other, provided they are correctly installed.