Delegates at the Futurebuild conference learned how plastics have a role to play in the circular economy, alongside discovering how next-generation Ravatherm XPS X ULTRA 300 SL insulation is helping architects create attractive, versatile, and sustainable buildings.
Thousands of specifiers attending the Futurebuild conference at ExCel in London were challenged to set aside their preconceptions about plastic-derived construction products and appreciate how these materials can enhance the environmental credentials of a building when used responsibly. Visitors to the Ravago Building Solutions stand, located within the Green Roof Organisation (GRO) pavilion, encountered signage proudly proclaiming “plastic can be the future of sustainable construction”, with the company encouraging delegates to learn about how high-performance Ravatherm XPS X ULTRA 300 SL thermal insulation boards, designed for inverted flat roofs, are being used to deliver buildings with impressive environmental credentials.
“We were determined to make a statement about the critical role that plastic-derived products can and will continue to play in sustainable construction,” said Richard Powell, Roofing Sales Manager for Ravago Building Solutions. “As the construction sector strives to achieve its net-zero ambitions, we should take a more nuanced view of the environmental impact of different construction materials and avoid falling into the trap of casting plastics as some sort of irredeemable pantomime villain. The right products when used responsibly can help architects create attractive, versatile, and sustainable buildings that will stand the test of time and could help with the realisation of a circular economy.”
Next-generation Ravatherm XPS X ULTRA 300 SL insulation offers architects and specifiers a design lambda of 0.028 and declared lambda 0.027 W/mK across the whole thickness range (80 to 205mm), allowing them to achieve ambitious U-values with thinner or fewer layers of insulation.
Several projects using Ravatherm XPS X ULTRA 300 SL were showcased during the show, including Howgate Close, a sustainable, eco-efficient housing estate located in Nottinghamshire. Based on ‘The Autonomous House’ philosophy and designed with the aid of the project team responsible for the pioneering Hockerton Housing Project, Howgate Close uses double layers of Ravatherm XPS X ULTRA 300 SL insulation together with triple glazing and earth-coverings to create a highly efficient building envelope. The nine homes constructed in 2022, achieved SAP ratings placing them in the top 0.01% of UK properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
Ravago also highlighted the material properties of XPS insulation, a thermoplastic that theoretically can be remoulded and reused without limit. Last year, the company invested in a new plastic pelletiser at its King’s Lynn manufacturing plant, taking an important step in the pursuit of a circular economy for Ravatherm XPS X products. The new equipment provides the opportunity for Ravago to go beyond simply recycling rejected boards, presenting the possibility of sourcing off-site waste thermoplastics.
“This new equipment has been transformative, significantly increasing our recycling capacity and has allowed us to invite our customers to be part of Ravago’s sustainability journey,” said Joan Ferrer, Commercial Director UK and Ireland for Ravago Building Solutions. “Offcuts produced during installation can now be returned to us for recycling and currently our boards can include up to 40% recycled material. We are eagerly working with partners to identify how we further increase the proportion of recycled materials in our products, aiming to eventually achieve the necessary consistency in recycled pellets to eliminate the need for virgin plastics. One day we hope to reach the stage where we are accepting decommissioned insulation from buildings at the end of their life, allowing Ravatherm XPS X insulation boards to become almost 100% circular products.”
Learn more about how Ravatherm XPS X ULTRA 300 SL from Ravago Building Solutions can help architects create attractive, versatile, and sustainable buildings: https://ravagobuildingsolutions.com/uk/en/product/ravatherm-xps-x-ultra-300-sl/