Annual Review 2019
OUR FOCUS ON CUSTOMERS
Knauf Insulation is helping customers navigate the complex world of building fire safety and providing them with the specialist insight to make informed decisions.
Public pressure and high-profile fires such as the devastating blaze at Notre Dame in Paris and the tragedy of Grenfell in London have pushed building fire safety to the top of national and international agendas.
Fire regulations are changing across the world, the European Union is examining issues such as façade fire standards and product regulation while the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which must be transposed by all EU countries by March 2020, places emphasis on fire safety in building renovation.
Issues involved in making a building fire safe are complex and depend on hundreds of factors ranging from the age of a building, its use and location to its layout, conformity to local regulations and applied construction materials. However, when it comes to fire safety and insulation, we have everything covered at Knauf Insulation.
Amaya Osácar, Knauf Insulation’s Fire Safety Manager, supports our teams and customers. She says: “Customers are concerned about making the correct choices such as have the safest products been specified? How are products and systems tested? Is the building in line with regulation? Standards and regulations are being updated, certification and insurance are challenging and buildings continue to change.
At Knauf Insulation we are here to help. We are collecting and maintaining the right data to enable us to support customers and understand their challenges.”
Stephen Smith, Head of Product Management for Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, says: “Development programmes have been organise for our teams to help them support customers make informed choices about fire safe solutions.
For example, understanding the importance of reaction to fire classifications which describe the combustibility of a material — whether it will burn or not — from a scale of A to F.
We want customers to know how products are tested for these classifications and understand how they would behave in a fire. It is also vital that they understand the impact of substituting one product for another with a different classification.”
Building products or systems that have been installed incorrectly can undermine building fire safety. To tackle this, we have opened Experience Centers in Slovenia and Belgium to help installers across Western and Eastern Europe maximise the performance of our solutions and ensure they are installed correctly to take full advantage of their building fire safety potential.
As well as supporting building fire safety campaigns around the world, Knauf Insulation is a member of Fire Safe Europe (FSEU). A total of 39 new Members of the European Parliament from 22 countries committed to FSEU’s #Together4FireSafety pledge campaign to make a difference to the future of building safety.
We also support the European Union’s Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP) which facilitates the exchange of fire safety best practices among Member States.
NEW FIRE RISKS
Urban wildfires: Urban development is extending into natural areas putting more buildings at risk of wildfires. US Forest Service researchers have found that this ‘wildlife-urban interface’ in the US grew by 33% from 1990 to 2010.
Solar panels: There have been reports of fires on domestic roofs, schools and other public buildings involving solar panels. Insurance companies such as AXA have stated that the fire risks of solar panels are not widely understood.
Electric fires: Fire associations urge technology users not to charge mobile, laptop or tablet batteries at high or low temperatures, not to leave devices charging after their charge cycle is complete, never cover charging devices – including power leads – and always use genuine chargers.
Knauf Insulation produces A1 and A2 fire-safe solutions for all building applications including Rock Mineral Wool and Glass Mineral Wool rolls and slabs, Heraklith boards and panels, insulation for HVAC systems, safety doors and garage panels.