The use of insulation and passive design in buildings will gain momentum as the cost of energy rises and energy demand exceeds supply, says expanded polystyrene producer Automa Multi Styrene project manager Dirk Cajada.
Buildings consume up to 40% of energy produced, mostly through heat- ing, cooling, heated water, lighting and cooking.
“To reduce this energy consumption, insulation should be examined during the design of new buildings,” he says. Existing properties may also be retro- fitted with insulation solutions for improvements in occupancy comfort and energy consumption.
Further, Automa believes the amend- ments to the national building regulations, which were promulgated in August and focus on energy efficiency in new building developments, will result in more construction companies and architects looking to insulation solutions to reduce energy consumption.
Automa GM Dirk Grobler says the company is installing a new block- moulding machine at its Isando branch, in Gauteng, to cater for the increased demand in the insulation industry. The latest machine is expected to be commissioned this month.
Meanwhile, Cajada says the increasing use of lightweight building methods has become a trend. In line with these needs, Automa is developing a lightweight building system.
“Currently, Automa is undertaking small-scale production of these panels; however, the company expects to start commercial production of this building system within three months,” says Grobler.