The challenges surrounding construction site waste have been well documented and whilst most contractors have introduced Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP’s) there is a still much that needs to be done – especially if zero carbon building is to become a commercial reality. To help achieve a zero waste construction industry, the British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturer’s Association (BRUFMA) conducted tests to see how polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation might be recycled and the initial results are very encouraging.
Looking at how insulation waste might be recycled to offer alternative uses, BRUFMA has conducted laboratory testing which has found that recycled PIR insulation offers desirable acoustic properties when used as a fill material in party wall applications for attached houses and flats.
Forming part of the Low Carbon Building Technologies Gateway project on behalf of BRUFMA, the comprehensive tests at the Building Performance Testing Centre (BPAC) test facility in Glenrothes, Fife looked at the effect of recycled mixed crumb size PIR particles as an option for separating walls for attached houses and flats.
The sound insulation tests were conducted on party walls and conformed to the requirements of the Building (Scotland) Regulations, 2010, and Approved Document E – Resistance to the Passage of Sound, 2003. The aircrete, lightweight aggregate and timber frame party walls were tested with and without the presence of the PIR Granules within each wall cavity and in all instances the walls tested met the requirements of both sets of sound insulation regulations.
Chris Hall, BRUFMA’s Chief Executive commented: “Many end-of-life options exist for PIR/PU insulation waste. The use of recycled PIR as an alternative to other insulation materials on this application is just one of a number of options we are pursuing. This test was a world first and the results prove that recycling and recovery solutions have proven technical feasibility.”