Go back
Home Logic Living

Building Code Insulation Requirements: The Essential Guide

building code insulation requirements

Building code insulation requirements are part of the building standards that set the levels of thermal insulation required when carrying out building work. They apply for both new buildings and renovation/refurbishment projects.

Building regulations are a group of minimum standards for design, construction, and alterations to virtually every building. The building code insulation requirements, same as the building regulations are developed by the Government, and then approved by the Parliament.

The building regulations contain a list of requirements that ensures minimum standards for health, safety, energy efficiency, sustainability, welfare, ensuring convenience and comfort. They also prevent misuse, abuse, or contamination of water supplies as well.

In terms of insulation, the building regulations are expressed as a U-value that needs to be achieved. The U-value depends on the location of your building, as well as the intended area of application (floor, wall, roof).

When you plan carefully for insulation, you end up with lower utility bills, as well as an improvement in overall comfort.

With that in mind, here’s how to transform a poor performing property, to an energy-efficient all-rounder, that reduces dependence on devices, and thereby drives down your bills…

Building Code Insulation Requirements: Key Areas

The insulation requirements clearly show where you can add insulation, and where you cannot. They also provide a minimum standard of how much insulation you need. Here is a quick breakdown of where you can add insulation to achieve maximum benefit:

building code insulation requirements

As mentioned previously, the building code insulation requirements are expressed by the U-Values of each material. But you also need to look at the R-value of products as well. The R-value is the thermal efficiency of your product; the higher the R-value, the better the insulation product overall

Building Code Insulation Requirements: Thickness And Density

No matter how much insulation you add, your home will benefit-even if you stick to the minimum standards by the building code insulation requirements. But as mentioned previously, you can always exceed those minimums for a more energy-efficient home.

For example, if your house is over 10 years old, you can easily benefit from loft insulation. The minimum recommended depth for loft insulation is 270mm. Many older homes do not comply with the current regulations.

And while regulations are not retroactive (older homes do not have to comply with the new regulations), you should consider meeting the minimum standards. Of course, if you decide to do a renovation/refurbishing project, meeting the standard is a must.

You can always check whether your home meets the regulations by measuring the distance. But it is a better idea to call professional contractors that will help you. A certifiedcontractor will explain every corner of your home, and how much insulation you need.

For the walls, for example, a minimum of 125mm of high-grade insulation is required to satisfy the building regulations.

That should give you a rough idea of the specifications required. But a contractor will explain it on the spot, and check whether you have any previous insulation installed.

Why Does R Value Matter?

As mentioned previously, the building code insulation requirements are expressed by the U-Values of each material. But you also need to look at the R-value of products as well. The R-value is the thermal efficiency of your product; the higher the R-value, the better the insulation product overall.

While not part of the building regulations, there is an unwritten rule of how high an R-value you need. If you need in a hot climate, an R-value of 30 will be sufficient. In a cold climate, you need an R-value of 49.

Building Code Insulation Requirements: Final Conclusion

There are different types of insulation you can use to meet the building code insulation requirements. Remember: the requirements set the minimum U-value you need to achieve. They do not specify anything about which type of material to use.

But because you want to install a high-quality form of insulation, it is best to do your research. The traditional forms of insulation are fibreglass and cellulose. And while many people still use traditional insulation, there are several better alternatives available. One of those main alternatives is spray foam insulation.

The comparison table between these insulation types clearly favours spray foam. But let’s revisit some of the key benefits of spray foam so you can see how this product excels:

  • Spray foam has an expansive nature. When sprayed, the material expands 100 times its size, filling every crack, hole, and cavity in the process
  • The expansive nature of spray foam results in an airtight seal of the home. This makes spray foam a more effective and powerful insulator
  • Unlike traditional insulation, spray foam does not settle over time; instead, it performs for the life of the building
  • Spray foam also provides a soundproof barrier for your home
  • Most importantly of all, spray foam prevents moisture and damp

Ready to upgrade to a more energy-efficient home? Take the first step to increasing your property’s EPC rating today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or by simply clicking the button below!