Prevention is better than cure – key finding of insultation report

Cold store construction companies can reduce total cost of ownership by investing in quality work up front and with particular attention paid to pipe insulation.

That’s the key message in a new report published jointly by Cold Chain Federation members The P&M Group and specialist contractor PLG Insulations.

The report states that companies will enjoy more efficiency over the lifespan of their facilities by ensuring that pipework is properly designed, installed and maintained, with good vapour sealing.

The results will be minimal condensation, reduced ice build-up, better system performance and increased safety. There is also an environmental benefit, with reduced energy usage and longer building lifespan requiring fewer materials, transport and construction inputs, reducing whole-life carbon emissions of the facility.

“Typically, the consequences of poor insulation are only apparent when it is too late,” said Oliver Wall, Commercial Manager at PLG Insulations. “By then, businesses are already counting the cost of repairs and of course, potential personal injury.

“As professionals in this space, it is frustrating to see projects where cut-price insulation has been installed in the belief it will save money. The reality is that many of these businesses are soon confronted with huge bills because of damage and degradation resulting from poor thermal insulation.

“Consequently, we are keen to play our part in changing the narrative and encouraging a move away from focusing on price and towards prioritising long-term value. That means recognising the true value of insulation.

“Unfortunately, the industry has been neglected over recent years. Fewer apprentices are entering the trade and skills are a major issue. If we are to support the sustainability agenda and reap the rewards of energy efficiency, the industry needs to wake up to the value of thermal insulation. Only then can we ensure the coldstore infrastructure is fit for purpose for the long term.”

PLG Insulations is a division of cold store specialists The P & M Group, which also comprises ISD Solutions, QuayTherm Manufacturing and S Tysoe Installations.

Together the group is publishing three reports over coming months, in partnership with the CCF. These will cover thermal efficiency, air tightness and door installation and usage – all in a bid to advise end users on the design, maintenance and operation of these specialist buildings, to increase longevity, safety and efficiency.

The report itself can be read and downloaded here.

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