Insulation training dates launched

Problems relating to a lack of quality in the design and installation of retrofit insulation are well documented – and to support surveying and construction professionals to identify and remedy the issue, a national trade body is rolling out its Retrofit Insulation Masterclass in 2017.

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The one day programme – first launched last by the Property Care Association in 2016 – is centred around a mix of lectures and practical exercises, all designed to create a broad understanding of the subject.

It is targeted at, but not limited to, those who work with buildings which have been subject to retrofit energy efficiency measures, including surveyors and building professionals – as well as landlords, property managers and contractors.

Steve Hodgson, Chief Executive of the PCA, said: “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 market with a grant system that rewards volume rather than quality.

“The fundamental changes that have been created after installing retrofit insulation has led to growing numbers of homeowners finding problems that only exist because of the inappropriate or defective use of insulation. Though the much anticipated Bonfield report hopes to deal with some of the unanticipated consequences of retrofit schemes, it is clear that the findings of this government report will arrive too late to be fully implemented before further funding for insulation arrives with Eco3 next spring.

“We anticipate that the 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. We also think the problems being faced now are the tip of an iceberg that is still growing.

“With a growing significance of retrofitted insulation in buildings presenting such issues, it is becoming critically important for all building surveyors and other professionals in the sector to be able to identify problems and understand the implications of the defects.

“This course represents a significant step forwards in gaining that knowledge.”

Subjects covered include the challenges of retrofit insulation, regulations, safeguards and risks, as well as unintended consequences.

Building and moisture management, design and application, as well as use and maintenance are also featured, along with a look at walls, roofs, floors, ventilation and airtightness.

Common problems, including identification, sources and solutions are also addressed and the training concludes with practical sessions, which look at the whole building approach taking into account latest case studies.

Delegates are also signposted to further resources and guidance to complete the day.

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)

Dates for the Retrofit Insulation Masterclass in 2017 are 29 March and 20 September. More details can be found at http://www.property-care.org/training-qualifications/training-courses/retrofit-insulation-masterclass/

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