Time for insulation

Hürriyet 08.11.2008

ISTANBUL- As people have begun to feel the effects of rising energy costs, there is a growing awareness of the benefits of investing in insulation.

The exorbitant markups in natural gas and electricity prices have people looking for new ways to cut costs.

It is this need that compelled the Temperature, Water, Noise and Fire Insulators Association, or İZODER, to launch their new “insulation investments” campaign.

İZODER Board President Levent Ürkmez pointed out that even basic water insulation could be of utmost importance in an earthquake-prone region such as Turkey.

Even in buildings that are not very resistant to shallow earthquakes, water insulation may help.

“The fact is that water insulation can protect building materials from corrosion and, therefore, postpone or avert pending tragedies,” said Ürkmez.

“In order for water insulation to be effective and efficient, it should be implemented during the construction of the building. With water insulation, a building is spared water damage from the roof down to the foundation.” 

When asked of the cost benefits, Ürkmez replied, “In technically proficient installations, we can achieve a 50 percent reduction in heating and cooling costs.”

Houses without insulation suffer considerable losses of energy, according to Ürkmez. “These losses come from the walls, windows, roof and foundations that are not insulated.

If you insulate just one part of the building but not the others, it does not work. You have to consider the whole building, only then can you achieve the most efficient results from the insulation.”

Ürkmez said another advantage of insulation was its impact on the environment, “Lower energy consumption means fewer greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere, especially these days, when global warming and climate change are on everyone’s mind, heat insulation is really emerging as a solution,” he said.

“But it does not end with just the energy savings and the reduction in harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Heating insulation also makes living conditions much more comfortable and healthier. This is why insulation has become an indispensable part of modern buildings,” said Ürkmez.

When you look at a history of insulation in Turkey, 2000 was the pivotal year. According to Ürkmez, “After the TS825 code became mandatory in new buildings, growth in the industry really took off.”

He also pointed out that had the 480,000 new buildings that went up between June 2000 and October 2006 been built to regulation, energy savings of up to $1.5 million would have been made.

“We can assume most were built to code as the TS825 passed in June 2000 but not all were built to specifications,” said Ürkmez. “İZODER and its members are concentrating on creating awareness. In this time we have made great strides in numbers.

In 2002 insulation material sales were at 2.5 million cubic meters. In 2007 that number reached 7.3 million cubic meters. This means that our sales tripled in five years,” said Ürkmez.

“Growth in the water insulation industry is similar. Their numbers have climbed from 30 million square meters to 75 million square meters.

“We have not reached the same point in insulation that the West has. In the European Union, the average use of insulation materials is 0.7 cubic meters. In our country that number has just reached 0.1 cubic meters,” Ürkmez said.

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