Since early 2015 our Insulation business line concentrates solely on the production and commercialisation of high-performance and durable thermal insulation boards in rigid closed cell polyurethane - (PU/PUR) and polyisocyanurate foam (PIR) for the construction sector. Our products are used in a wide variety of construction applications. Our insulation boards thermally insulate walls, floors and roofs in either residential, commercial, industrial, public, logistics as well as agricultural buildings.
Today our Insulation division operates from 4 state-of-the-art production sites in Wevelgem (Belgium), Bourges (France), Burntwood (the United Kingdom) and in Stoke-on-Trent (the United Kingdom), with local sales offices in Germany, Poland and The Netherlands.
This segment, the smallest of our Group, accounts for 16.3% of total combined sales and has the highest growth potential.
We sell our insulation products mainly to contractors, building promoters and wholesale distributors. Sales and marketing efforts are also made towards architects and the end consumer.
Since the sale of the division Industrial insulation early 2015, the Insulation segment is limited to building insulation, where PUR/PIR foam boards are manufactured to thermally insulate walls, floors and roofs. These products find sales markets in residential, commercial, industrial, public, logistical and also agricultural buildings. In addition these insulation panels can be used in new builds and in renovation projects. The division has three production sites: one in Wevelgem (Belgium), one in Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom) and one in Bourges (France).
STRATEGY AND PROSPECTS
Increased awareness regarding global warming and the associated new and stricter European energy and insulation standards are structural factors for the business line which will support further future growth in the medium to long term. These topics are so important today that they are in principle crisis resistant.
22% of the energy consumption goes to the heating and cooling of buildings. It is generally known that a great contribution to the reduction of CO2-emissions can be made with better thermal insulation. Insulation now provides better opportunities for saving CO2 compared with other building technical efficiency measures. So it can roughly be stated that 1 barrel of crude oil for the production of insulation boards will in the long run provide an energy saving of approximately 150 barrels of crude oil. In addition, the perception that energy prices will presumably increase further in the future or remain high in the meantime needs to be taken into account.
If insulation equals energy conservation, then better insulation is in many cases synonymous with using larger volumes of insulation material. These possibilities are however limited for certain insulation materials due to the increase in weight and the associated volume. Polyurethane foam which insulates better with the same thicknesses and also remains limited in terms of weight is an undoubted solution. In fact Recticel expects that the market for polyurethane will grow more strongly in the years ahead than for the other insulation product groups which will thus gradually be replaced by PU material.
In addition to the insulation solutions for traditional standard buildings, Recticel now also has solutions for energy efficient building styles such as the passive house or zero-energy housing which can be erected in timber frame construction and solid construction.
The passive house is an improved version of the energy efficient building and low energy housing. It is a comfortable and very energy efficient building, both in summer and in winter. The heat losses are so low that no conventional heating is necessary. No active ventilation system is needed either in order to enjoy a pleasant internal temperature in summer.
Recticel is indeed a pioneer in the 'massive passive house' concept. This unique building concept combines the economic and ecological benefits of a passive house with the sustainability and comfort of a well-insulated home with brick and rigid PUR insulation boards. With a massive passive house a classical cavity construction is started from where the choice of building materials is extremely important. Solid materials are thus always used for internal and external walls. Thanks to the optimum insulation this home also consumes 75% less energy than a traditional new build home erected according to current standards.
The massive passive house concept can today be regarded as a trendsetter in energy efficient home building. As an innovator in insulation Recticel has developed future focused solutions (especially sustainable insulation boards in PUR and PIR) in order to provide a response to the demanding insulation regulations. Recticel has also had a Keymark quality label since 2003 as the only manufacturer of rigid insulation panels in polyurethane. In this way all Recticel products meet the highest European quality standards.