Future homes: solid as a rock

How insulation can help you make more sustainable, healthier homes that go the distance

Driven by the upcoming Future Homes Standard, revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations outline that, as of June 2022, UK homes will need to emit at least 75% less carbon than those built to current standards. As such, designing thermal efficiencies into the fabric of buildings is naturally front-of-mind when it comes to new-build and upgrading homes. But, with the heightened focus on combustibility of materials, and health impacts of the increasing noise pollution of modern life, developers have a lot more to consider when specifying insulation.

Choosing products with acoustic, water-repellent, fire-resistant, and thermal properties can help ease the design process. With a range of products for applications throughout the building envelope, stone wool insulation does just this, providing efficiencies during the construction process, and to homeowners in the long-term.

Sustained sustainability

Of course, when it comes to insulation products, thermal performance is key. By regulating indoor temperatures stone wool helps a home to stay warm in winter and cool in summer, making the space more comfortable to live in, and reducing pressure on heating systems. As well as meeting building standards, ensuring a home has good thermal performance also directly impacts future occupiers, who stand to benefit from energy savings and reduced household bills.

ROCKWOOL® stone wool insulation goes even further, with an inherent dimensional stability that has positive impacts on its continuing performance. Building materials naturally expand and contract over time which can lead to the formation of gaps and voids. Stone wool maintains its shape and properties over time across a wide range of temperatures, and has the resilience to accommodate building movement when fitted under compression. It has a proven ability to provide consistent performance – even up to 55 years – without a drop in its thermal properties¹.

Stone wool is manufactured from one of earth’s most abundant natural resources, the offcuts of which can be recycled, and has a lot to offer when it comes to creating sustainable houses. But sustainability is not the only benefit that ROCKWOOL insulation products can offer for creating future-ready homes.

Healthier homes

In 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released findings that noise is one of the top environmental hazards health and well-being in the European Region. They found evidence that tied noise pollution to stress and sleep disorders, increasing the risk for ischaemic heart disease, and other cardiometabolic diseases, including stroke, obesity, and diabetes². ROCKWOOL acoustic panels, rolls and slabs offer excellent sound absorption characteristics, owing to an improved ratio of fibres to trapped air pockets due to their high-density. The random orientation of stone wool fibres means soundwaves get absorbed by friction, moving back-and forth between individual fibres as they try to pass through the air trapped within the structure.

From a fire resistance perspective, ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation is non-combustible, can withstand temperatures in excess of 1000°C, and is classified as Euroclass A1 – meaning that the insulation will not contribute to a fire. Beyond non-combustibility, if exposed to fire, stone wool insulation will not emit any significant toxic smoke.

Stone wool also offers water-repellent properties, keeping buildings warm and dry without any reduction in thermal performance over time. Plus, its vapour-permeability allows trapped moisture to escape, meaning it will not contribute to damp and mould.

With the combination of the above properties, ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation acts as a well-rounded solution to help create safer, healthier homes. But the benefits to developers and homeowners alike don’t stop there.

Installing efficiencies

While the performance benefits of stone wool are well documented and underpinned by extensive test evidence, from an installation perspective it can achieve additional on-site advantages.

With friction-fit and fabricated products for hard-to-reach areas, developers can streamline the installation process by removing the need for many ancillaries. With solutions available for floor, loft, wall, ceiling and envelope applications, ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation is efficient to install and easy to handle.

1: FIW (German test and research institute), Durability Project Mineral Wool, 2016
2: WHO (World Health Organisation, Environmental noise guidelines for the European Region, 2018