Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud has cited ‘ultra thin insulation’ as one of the factors which can help Britainachieve nigh on zero carbon emissions by 2050.
He was speaking on Radio 4 on the day of the publication of a report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the government’s independent adviser on the matter.
And his comments have been welcomed by insulationspecialist Actis, creators of a range of thin insulation products which can eliminate thermal bridging and sometimes even achieve Passivhaus thermal standards.
Kevin McCloud told World at One listeners that he believed the CCC’s revised target of nearly net zero emissions by 2050 was achievable.
“The technology is there already,” he said. “The issue really is one of will and determination.”
He said the main problem as far as cutting carbon emissions from housing is concerned is retrofitting our existing stock. “You can build as many eco houses as you like but, goodness me, it’s addressing those 26 million existing homes that’s the big issue.”
The CCC report’s main author, Chris Stark, says the main reason the 2050 target could be altered from its current 80% emission reduction target was the huge drop in the cost of renewable energy prompted by government policies to nurture solar and wind power.
The CCC believes that achieving almost zero emissions depends on low-carbon technologies and changes to industry, and public behaviour. But it says it will only be possible if the government, which is studying the report, backs it with both policies and finance.
Actis national specification manager Dan Anson-Hart said that he was realistic about the role which could be played by the four Actis Hybrid products – a honeycomb insulation, Hybris, insulating vapour control layer HControl Hybrid and a roof and wall variant of insulating breather membrane Boost ‘R Hybrid..
“Clearly the vision to achieve more or less net zero in just over 30 years’ time will need major policy and lifestylechanges as the CCC points out. But good old KevinMcCloud is right – new construction methods and innovative products like ours can make a real difference to the impacton the environment of the new homes we build from now onwards.
“What we also need are financial incentives to help occupants and housing associations retrofit older housing stock and improve their thermal efficiency. We need to do everything we can to help our country’s housing play its part in the fight to cut carbon emissions.”