Photo in the header: The installation of Knauf Insulation Glass Mineral Wool with ECOSE Technology® allowed the 80 Ann Street building in Brisbane, Australia, to successfully achieve the required Green Star points while meeting the high acoustic performance and non-combustibility requirements that contribute to deliver a high level of fire safety and hazard mitigation. © Woods Bagot, woodsbagot.com
In line with the country’s ambition to reduce carbon emissions by 42% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, tough new national energy efficiency requirements for new homes and new regulation for existing homes in New South Wales have been introduced following years of campaigning by Knauf Insulation and its industry partners. The requirements for new homes are the first in 10 years and, coupled with the benefits of on-site renewables, are expected to reduce national CO2 emissions by 14.1 million tonnes. Meanwhile, the renovation regulation is expected to see annual savings of up to a $970 per household in regional New South Wales. Knauf Insulation’s public affairs efforts will be aiming to accelerate stricter energy efficiency regulation for homes well in advance of their next planned update in 2028, as well as introducing the New South Wales requirements to other Australian states.
Campaigning by Knauf Insulation and its industry groups has played a key role in the introduction of new energy efficient building code requirements for new buildings in New Zealand. From 2023, new homes will need to be 40% more energy efficient than homes built under the previous code and new non-residential buildings will be 23% more efficient. Our public affairs efforts are now directed to working with the government to introduce new requirements to reduce the embodied carbon content of buildings.
In Slovakia, Knauf Insulation was one of 22 signatories supporting a call by the association Buildings For The Future to include renovation in an action plan to reduce dependence on Russian gas.
As a result of the call and additional advocacy activities, the Prime Minister’s Office issued Energy Saving Recommendations for Public Building Managers with a strong emphasis on insulation. In addition, the Recovery Plan unit is now drafting a REPowerEU chapter heavily focused on energy efficiency of buildings.
Knauf Insulation Northern Europe has made progress with its public affairs efforts to embed real performance measurement in UK Government policy.
Government efforts to validate these technologies continued throughout 2022 with Knauf Energy sitting on a UK Government technical group to understand how pay for performance’ approaches in subsidy programmes can work in practice.
The company’s key target remains ensuring a regulatory role for real performance in time for the 2025 Future Home Standard. Ensuring the real-world benefits of Mineral Wool are valued is crucial as regulations push key markets toward ever tighter elemental U-values.
Knauf Insulation’s latest field study on an estate of new homes, built to theoretically high energy efficiency standards but performing poorly in reality, has further demonstrated the need to verify home buyers get the performance expected.
The absence of measurement at scale is not delivering genuinely efficient homes that can help resolve the cost of living, energy security and net zero crises that the country is facing. Well installed mineral wool supported by real performance measurement can resolve this performance gap.
Knauf Insulation’s public affairs team is campaigning for the stabilisation and harmonisation of incentive schemes for the energy efficient renovation of Italian building stock and for building fire safety.
It is also working on building circular economy related issues such as the publication of the new CAM – Minimum Environmental Criteria – decree.
In 2022 two important regulations were published that for the first time introduced obligations for the prevention of fire risk in façades and roofs of civil buildings.
In addition, Knauf Insulation played an important role in driving the success of the Superbonus scheme that finances 110% of building renovation and has seen more than 240,000 interventions totalling almost €40 billion in investment.
Greece has been working on a public consultation for the Regulation for Fire Protection of Buildings in or near forests following campaigning by the Hellenic Institute for Fire Protection in Structures (ELIPYKA).
Knauf Insulation, as an active member of ELIPYKA, has been campaigning for this regulation and has sent its opinion to the public consultation. The regulation was expected to come into force in Greece within 2022.
Since 2020, France has strengthened its ambition in terms of energy efficient building renovation. The latest climate law plans to eradicate all buildings classified F and G. A major public financial aid scheme called MaPrimeRénov has been set up to finance specific renovation work. Despite a promising start, the over-funding of heating systems has raised questions about the real performance of these renovations. Furthermore, the government’s decision to eliminate specific financial aid for loft insulation has put a stop to the Blowing Wool market in France. As the only renovation item not to be financed by public aid schemes, our public affairs strategy is to stabilise private aid schemes (energy certificates) and to include loft insulation in MaPrimeRénov. The debate around the French finance law should allow us to underline the importance of insulation and redirect future financial funds towards loft insulation.
Knauf Insulation is backing a call by 26 members and supporters of Fala Renowacji — the Polish Renovation Wave Association — urging Poland’s Prime Minister to put energy efficiency in buildings at the centre of the country’s energy policy programme.
As part of an expert roundtable on the implementation of REPowerEU plan, Knauf Insulation presented results of a study by the Building Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) highlighting how insulating buildings could save nearly 40% of the energy needed to heat homes in Poland.
Knauf Insulation has also initiated and supported a study by the Reform Institute analysing a current 'Clean Air' subsidy programme and contributed to a report by Fala Renowacji on recommendations for renovation schemes.
In June 2022 the Slovenian government launched a new implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive at local level. The move followed two years of active content contribution to the directive by our public affairs team. The final version provides important opportunities for building energy efficiency improvements such as better U-value requirements for facades, pitched roofs, lofts and flat roofs. New legislation will also provide comprehensive changes to building physics software which Knauf Insulation has been using to support architects for several years. The team is now in the middle of updating it and new Knauf Insulation building physics software will be available in 2023.
In Germany, our public affairs team has been working to ensure national funding of over €14 billion for building renovation and energy efficient new buildings.
In future, funding is expected to stablise at around €13 billion to €14 billion annually and our teams are campaigning to put high performance Mineral Wool insulation in every building to ensure energy security and climate resilience.
Putting energy efficiency first by improving the envelope of buildings ensures that the buildings are ‘heat pump ready’ paving the way for the scaling up of clean renewable energy.
The government is already discussing an upgrade to the existing renovation programme New Green Savings to support quick and easy partial renovation measures that can be carried out before the next heating season.
Photo: The installation of Knauf Insulation Glass Mineral Wool with ECOSE Technology® allowed the 80 Ann Street building in Brisbane, Australia, to successfully achieve the required Green Star points while meeting the high acoustic performance and non-combustibility requirements that contribute to deliver a high level of fire safety and hazard mitigation.
Photo: FKD-S Thermal, Smart Roof, Akustik Roll and Natur Board Venti were installed in the NOX hotel in Ljubljana, Slovenia, to improve the quality of internal air and contribute to the building’s energy efficiency and fire safety.