The introduction of SANS 10400-XA regulations relating to the energy usage in buildings, as part of the wider code of practice, gives substance to South Africa’s National Building Regulations as far as energy efficiency within a building is concerned.
Improved energy efficiency means less use of energy-consuming heating and cooling devices, which means less coal burned or fuel combusted to provide power. This is leading to a reduction in greenhouse gas production, which is an objective of the regulations.
The SANS10400-XA standards require various thermal resistance values (R-values) to be achieved inside the roof of a building; and these depend on the climatic zone where the building is located.
The effect of this standard has been far-reaching, even with developers of low-cost housing and a homeowner or contractor renovating an existing building having to comply.
Cellulose insulation, typified by the well-known brands Thermguard and Eco-Insulation, both industry-leading brands, represents a very quick and efficient way of getting a roof’s R-value up to the national standard. These brands are installed by established and approved subcontractors, who enjoy distributor rights from the manufacturer in both the new build and retrofit situations.
Professionally manufactured cellulose-fibre thermal and acoustic insulation is fire retardant. It is also South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and industry-association certified as causing “no spread of fire”, while its manufacture is ISO 9001 certified.
Environmental and economic benefits
Cellulose roof insulation is made from recycled newspaper waste, milled to a consistent density and treated with inorganic nontoxic fire-retardant salts. Hence, recycled paper which could otherwise have gone to landfill is used and upcycled into a new role – one which lasts for the lifetime of the building as insulation. Significantly, the material is “Made in South Africa” in all senses of the word and not an import, thereby boosting the local economy.
The recycling of existing and waste materials into new usable products is an important way of reducing the embodied energy (and carbon) of a building material, by allowing it a close-to-zero “recycled content” embodied energy entry point to its new life as an upcycled building material.
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