Energy efficiency is a key ingredient in the global initiative to combat the effects of global warming that are causing climate change. It is important in mitigating the social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change on the economic growth of developing nations. Energy efficiency is also needed to help stabilise South Africa's appetite for increased energy usage.
One company, Eco-Insulation, believes itself to be the definitive cost-effective solution for housing projects and retrofits. According to the company's Richard Ellis, 'Our promise is energy efficient, on time and on budget. Hence we aim to save the project manager and ultimately the property owner money. There's no arguing about that! '
Eco-Insulation believes that there would be no incentive for a landlord to do a refit unless there is a demand for the upgraded space to be energy efficient, or a demand from occupants to lower their operating costs. 'The best things about our recycled cellulose fibre insulation is that it is an extremely easy and efficient retrofit. The client calls, and we install. As simple as that.' says Ellis.
Eco-Insulation might be made from fire-retarded recycled newsprint, but this belies the high tech and robust nature of its performance. The product is both SABS-approved and fire-rated, meaning no spread of fire in the roof where the it is installed. Professionally installed, it is rapidly and efficiently pumped into place in the roof, cavity wall or even under the floor. Due to the fact that it is professionally and correctly installed, it meets all the specifications prescribed by the Thermal Insulation Association of South Africa (TIASA), and SANS building codes. Eco-Insulation's GM, Richard Ellis tells us that the product is ideal for roofing in a multi-home residential development. “Rats, mice and other household pests find it very difficult to nest inside a roof that contains Eco-Insulation – in fact they are repelled by it. So this makes the product an ideal solution for low cost areas where such animals naturally reside and where little prospect for maintenance exits!”
Ideal for Low Cost Housing, too
The insulation industry is challenged by the entry of unaccredited low cost low delivery new installers. Industry association TIASA, strives to make a difference but at present new operators are not obliged to join. In the case of insulation, there is also the ever-present (electrical) downlighter fire hazard above the ceiling. Eco-Insulation has produced some innovative ways of minimising this risk, but some surprisingly well established conventional insulation products still carry heavy risk if downlighters are not treated correctly.