New training launched to address retrofit insulation concerns

A new training programme dedicated to the emerging issue of problematic retrofit insulation is being launched this month.

The Property Care Association (PCA) has reported a growing number of issues created by a lack of quality in the design and installation of retrofit insulation.

Now, in response to the issue, the PCA has developed a one-day workshop, which takes place for the first time this month.

Targeted at anyone who works with buildings that have been subject to retrofit energy efficiency measures including surveyors and building professionals – as well as landlords, property managers and contractors – the course takes place at the PCA’s Huntingdon practical training centre on Thursday, 19 July.

It has been designed to enable professionals to learn how they should approach looking at buildings that have been subject to retrofit insulation and what they need to look for when surveying such buildings.

Explaining the background to the course, Steve Hodgson, PCA Chief Executive said: “’With an ever-growing focus on making our homes more efficient, the insulation market has grown rapidly in recent years.

“There has been a particular emphasis on retrofitting older, traditionally constructed housing, but in many cases a lack of understanding and a drive towards economical, large-scale solutions has led to problems both in building fabric and occupant wellbeing.

‘As a result, with such problems now seen more commonly in building inspections, it is essential to be able to identify root causes and solutions.”

Combining the theory and best practice principles of retrofitting older buildings with practical case studies and exercises throughout the day, delegates will understand how traditional buildings work, what happens to fabric and internal conditions when insulation is added and regulations and controls.

Appropriate and inappropriate upgrade methods, common problems to look out for, their causes and solutions and best practice in retrofitting older buildings will also be addressed.

The PCA first raised concerns over retrofit insulation in 2012 with a White Paper (http://www.property-care.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Feb-2012-Insulation-and-Condensation-white-paper.pdf) and a further White Paper was issued two years ago (http://www.property-care.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/PCA_WhitePaper_Problems-with-Cavity-Wall-Insulation.pdf)

Mr Hodgson added: “The retrofit insulation industry has grown quickly on the back of government subsidies and some contractors chasing grant funding have allowed the quality of installation, the suitability of a building and the particular needs of a site to become secondary considerations.

“Well intentioned Government intervention has helped create a false market with grant systems that reward volume rather than quality.

“This has led to growing numbers of homeowners finding problems as a result of their cavity wall insulation.

“Many properties now seeing the effects of water penetration, condensation-related mould growth and cold bridging are not doing so because the insulating material has failed but because the specification, process or product was wrong for that building in that location or that the installation is faulty.

“As a result, with a growing number of retrofitted buildings presenting such issues, it is becoming critically important for building surveyors and other professionals in the sector to be able to identify problems and understand the implications of the defects. This new course represents a significant step forwards in gaining that knowledge.”

Full course details are available on the PCA website: Retrofit Insulation Masterclass

To book please email Jo@property-care.org or call 0844 375 4301 or download a booking form from the website (link above).