The changing market

Thermoseal Group’s sales director, Mark Hickox, talks about energy efficiency and the current market for energy efficient components.

Improving the energy efficiency of buildings has long been on the agenda for the whole building industry in line with changing government targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The UK was, in fact, the first country in Europe to introduce Energy Efficiency Standards of Performance (EESoP) in 1994, which saw various revisions all funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Since the Climate Change Act was passed in 2008, which requires the UK to reduce its emissions by at least 80% by 2050, there have also been various revised strategies put in place to achieve these targets.

‘The Clean Growth Strategy – Leading the way to a low carbon future’ was released in October 2017, and sets out key policies and proposals for improving business and industry efficiency and supporting ‘Clean Growth’ while improving the efficiency of homes.

Whatever our future relationship with the EU, in line with this strategy, manufacturers such as ourselves are to reduce our emissions output and, as a leading supplier to insulated glass (IG) manufacturers, we are bound to innovate and develop our building products portfolio in line with contributing towards improving the efficiency of homes.

Our warm edge spacer manufacturing project began back in 2008 when our first Thermobar warm edge spacer came off the production line. Since then, we have continued to evolve and develop our energy efficient portfolio of products.

In terms of manufacturing, our latest investment of £100K+ to reclaim and recycle almost 100% of our waste plastic will help to contribute towards reducing our carbon footprint. In addition to this, we have also made substantial investments in the systems and processes we use to ensure that our customers receive their order processing paperwork, as well as continual order and delivery updates without any paper involved.

As far as our portfolio of products is concerned, we are continually looking to develop cost-effective and affordable thermally efficient components to help contractors to meet government targets for energy efficiency. We are, of course, all waiting for the findings of the public enquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower, which could affect the specification for building materials and potentially impact on all suppliers to the industry.

With this In mind, we are all bound to continually improve our technical knowledge and examine the technical specification of everything we supply. Following major investment in our technical centre and laboratory to test to EN1279 standards, our chemists and dedicated quality control team can examine all of our raw materials, brought-in goods, and finished products right back to a molecular level to ensure that the composition and properties of our products are ideally suited for IG manufacture.

These tests can also be traced back from customer order to raw material in line with new ISO 9001:2008 standards. These studies help us to ensure the quality of the products we supply and that they last beyond the lifetime of the IG unit.

We then use the research to develop next-generation components. We have numerous new products in development at any one time which are designed with both energy efficiency and longevity in mind.

Several members of our team attend the Glass and Glazing Federation IG Component Group to ensure that we are party to the decisions that affect the future of the IG industry. Our technical manager, Richard Sellman, is the chairman of the GGF Components Group, has attended TC 129 WG4 (EN 1279) meetings, and has been involved in drafting the latest revision of EN-1279 standards, which incidentally have now been published but are not yet sited in the official journal of the EU.

Once sited, these standards will be enforced in the UK, which depending on the Brexit deal may become a harmonised BSEN129 standard.

Thermoseal Group Limited
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