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 06-08 March 2018 / ExCeL, London

SUSTAINABILITY THAT LASTS

Thursday 10 March
As my Grandfather was fond of saying many years ago ‘Waste not, want not’. This was before the word sustainability was invented, CO2 was something you learnt about in chemistry lessons and Climate Change was when you went on holiday to seek some sun after another disappointing summer at home. Now, of course, the word ‘Sustainability’ is much used, perhaps over-used and its definition is by no means consistent throughout society. In the world of construction, due to the impact of buildings on the environment, both during construction and in-use, Sustainability is everywhere. In these modern days of taking a ‘whole house’, ‘whole building’, or, to use another popular phrase, ‘holistic’ approach to construction, product manufacturers need to take a much wider look at proceedings. Many manufacturers are already used the idea taking a global view when they have a life cycle assessments (LCA) carried out to determine the environmental impact of a product. Everything from raw material extraction, transportation and energy used in manufacture, through to disposal of the product at the end of its life is taken into account. This data gathered throughout the product journey is invaluable when investigating ways to innovate current and future products to ensure they reduce their environmental impact. However, this broader view of a products environmental impact is now extending to the buildings in which the products will be installed. Gone are the days of sending a product out to make its own way in the world. The product LCA may have shown it to be of very low environmental impact, however manufacturers are realising the benefits of ensuring that the requirements of all customers throughout the project life cycle are understood. Customers that either interact with the product directly through specification, distribution, installation and maintenance, as well as end users who benefit from living or working in the final buildings, need to be considered if a manufacturer is to truly contribute to a sustainable future. The ‘waste not want not’ approach is as true now as it was back in my Grandfather’s day. Wasted product, wasted energy, wasted time, wasted resource – they all add up to a building that will find it hard to be regarded as anything other than a sustained wasted opportunity. Manufacturers now find ways to help their customers address a key source of this waste - the much discussed Performance Gap. This is where the designed building performance is not achieved post construction. To help to close that gap, Celotex ensure that detailed product information is readily available across many formats and platforms so the right product can be chosen for the right application. Recognising that product selection should not be done in isolation, Celotex have tools available at the design stage to evaluate the whole buildings energy and CO2 impact and offer bespoke details around junctions to ensure that parts of the building are joined together in way that reduces heat loss to a minimum. We invest in technical service and energy assessment departments to assist, guide and carry out vital checks to ensure the building fabric is correctly designed in a way that prevents harmful condensation build up, reduces thermal bridging and includes the right products to optimise energy conservation. Correct installation of products is vital if they are to perform – information on installation is available in printed guides, through on-line data and via instructional videos. Our new Celotex Academy is being launched to give all our customers the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of topics related to the manufacture, selection and use of our products to ensure that the final building not only complies with building regulations, it goes beyond that and performs as well. Performance of buildings today is challenging enough and we would expect recently constructed buildings to still be with us in 60 years’ time. Given the acceleration in climate change the environment of the future will be harsher than today. Already buildings that have complied with today’s building regulations are suffering from overheating so bespoke overheating assessments will become the norm. Equally flooding is taking its toll as the frequency of damaging storms is increasing leading to extra demand for flood resilient materials. Manufacturers will naturally innovate to meet these challenges, however, new products in isolation are not enough. To truly take strides towards a sustainable building that will cope with the challenges of tomorrow, the provision of comprehensive advice, guidance, training and assessment to all those who interact with product from specification to construction is needed. Not to do so would be a wasted opportunity and we would not want that. Rob Warren, Head of Technical, Celotex
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