Iain Fairnington Technical Director              A Proctor Group              SBE0078

Written evidence submitted by A Proctor Group

A Proctor Group comments

The A Proctor Group (www.proctorgroup.com )are a family run company supplying solution lead innovative products to the construction industry. We excel at the adoption of HAMM (Heat air and moisture management) principles for building envelopes whether floor, walls or roofs in both new build and refurbishment projects. As such we feel passionate about the built environment solutions that are available and feel we can offer comments to this consultation.

The A Proctor Group provide the following comments to the call from the Environmental Audit Committee. Due to the request for shorter comments, we have kept the comments brief. However, we would welcome the opportunity to expand on any of the answers below to show further the solutions are here.

We at the A Proctor Group (APG) believe any improvement in energy efficiency should include improvements to airtightness levels. We support a fabric first approach but energy efficiency can be limited to the traditional addition of thermal insulation which follows a theory of ever decreasing circles when trying to optimise thermal performance. The government should recognise that airtightness is a cost-effective sustainable energy efficient method when taken over the life of the building. The external application of the airtightness layer further increases its robustness and longevity away from the disruption of follow-on trades and occupier interference.

We support the principles of offsite construction due to its many advantages and energy efficiencies due to more control over quality due to factory manufacturing conditions. Timber frame is a great success story for this with carbon capture in a sustainable material as CLT shows similar benefits. Coupled with the appropriate materials this is a forward-thinking solution ton many of the governments concerns over energy efficiency, sustainability and housing shortages.

Building Regulations need to be more receptive to innovation and work at a pace to embrace new technologies that the public are starting to demand. New Fire regulations are urging early engagement with residents and this should be true in sustainable and energy efficient matters as well. A measure of a home should be on its hidden energy efficient measures not the aesthetic kitchen or bathroom. The “race to the bottom” is very evident in these “hidden” measures and lower council tax banding/stamp duty incentives for energy efficient homes would be a step in the right direction.

Refurbishment of buildings has got to be seen by the government as a sustainable way forward. The strive for new build standards of energy efficiency should be off set with the cost of demolishing and rebuilding new homes. There are refurbishment sympathetic energy efficient systems which can improve the reduction in energy use whilst maintaining the healthy building envelope. One example of this would be the A Proctor Group Spacetherm range which has a good embodied energy credentials in its manufacturing and thermal performance. This range maintains breathability at a fraction of the thickness of “traditional “insulation materials.

By a government relaxation for refurbishment (as successfully used in Part E Acoustics) in thermal values creates a balance of thermal performance and moisture management. This is the HAMM (Heat Air Moisture Management) principles adopted by the A Proctor group when assessing any situation.

As described above, a sympathetic realisation of the HAMM principles required for refurbishment is required and should be reflected in building regulation as with Acoustics in Part E. The older buildings can be retrofitted to good standards but the strive for new build values can compromise other areas such as moisture management that does not complement the balance. Give industry a chance to show what solutions they can provide in this arena when the building is judged holistically.

May 2021