Whitecode Consulting and BSI publish commentary on new Thermal Insulating Materials Standard

Whitecode Consulting and BSI publish commentary on new Thermal Insulating Materials Standard

Whitecode Consulting, a leading engineering consultancy firm, is pleased to announce the participation of its Managing Director, Alex Hill, in the publishing of an expert commentary on the revised British Standard BS 5422:2023, in partnership with the British Standards Institution (BSI) following Alex’s involvement in the committee that amended the existing standard. The revised comprehensive standard provides methods for specifying thermal insulating materials used in pipes, tanks, vessels, ductwork, and equipment operating within the temperature range of -40 °C to +700 °C.

The full revision of BS 5422:2023 takes into account the latest influences on the energy landscape. The objective of the revision is to update insulation types and performance levels to those who currently dominate the market. The revised standard offers improved insulation options, aiming to reduce losses and anticipate a greater future contribution from district heating systems. Additionally, it provides greater clarity on insulation fire performance, ensuring the construction industry’s focus remains on safety.

The main commentary on the revised standard highlights several principal changes. The tables have been simplified, removing thermal conductivity values for materials that are no longer supplied or rarely used. The revision also introduces the use of ‘less than or equal to’ values for all pipe sizes, reducing the need for interpolation and increasing overall thermal efficiency. The standard defines reaction to fire in terms of Euroclass, providing a more comprehensive assessment of materials’ behaviour in fire conditions. Enhanced insulation thicknesses have been captured from the legacy Energy Technology List/Capital Allowances levels, offering further enhancements and aligning with other emerging pipework insulation standards.

Regarding the wider context, BS 5422:2023 is referenced in the Building Regulations Merged Approved Documents, specifically Approved Document L Volume 1 and Volume 2. The standard provides a method for compliance in “limiting heat losses and gains from building services.” Additionally, the revised standard complements other standards such as CIBSE CP1 Heat networks: Code of Practice for the UK (2020).

Alex Hill, Managing Director of Whitecode Consulting, commented, “We are pleased to work alongside the British Standards Institution to provide expert commentary on BS 5422:2023 and expert advice at the committee. This revised standard reflects the latest advancements in thermal insulating materials and aligns with the evolving energy landscape. We believe that this update is a necessary step towards achieving lower carbon emissions while adhering to other parallel normative standards.”

Whitecode recommends several next steps for organisations in response to the new standard. These include conducting a Gap Analysis to assess compliance requirements, informing relevant stakeholders, updating internal procedures and documentation, and reviewing training needs.

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BDC 309 : Oct 2023