In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs). By 2050 all dwellings must comply to Passivhaus standards of 90% cost savings and 80% carbon reduction as directed by the UN.

At present homes are experiencing a U Value of 0.3 (A U value is a measurement of heat transfer from the inner to outer surfaces of a home) to achieve Passivhaus standards we must get that down to 0.1, present insulation would have to be tripled to meet that requirement.

So what will happen in the future? There are two alternatives for home owners and landlords, one is to add an insulation product such as PIR foam to the outside of a home and render over it, this is called cladding. The other is the same process but on the inner walls and to plaster over it. If mineral wool is used as inner insulation then you would typically lose 10% of your living space, with PIR foam between 5-10%, affecting both house value and rent per sqft. Present technologies are looking at alternatives to save on space and cost and the most recent is vacuum insulated panels or VIPs, between 30-60mm in thickness and only encroaching by 3% on living space. Light and fire resistant, less costly and a few claiming a longevity of up to 100 years it is looking like the future is definitely thinner!

With this added insulation layer, home owners will be looking at the most cost effective and best performing to enhance their property for many decades. So issues of damp prior to installation must be addressed first, otherwise the problem will only be compounded and cause further expensive damage to the property. No doubt installers for this future insulation will also begin to appear both good and unfortunately bad, and so like before it is important to check their credibility and certification before any work is undertaken.