The British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers Association's well-attended annual conference was a refreshing change from many construction-industry events that are often marred by poor attendance or visitor apathy.
The anticipatory din of the pre-conference exhibition seemed to promise the launch of an ultra economic, hi-tech insulant with zero ODP and no embodied energy. Although, alas, no such product was unveiled, the conference was notable for both the enthusiasm of the delegates and the erudition of the speakers.
The optimism pervading the proceedings was, thinks BRUFMA chief executive Wilf Ball, symptomatic of an industry facing a bright future as a result of its high-performance polyurethane (PUR) and polyisocyanurate (PIR) foams. These can satisfy increasingly stringent thermal and fire-performance requirements and - with further tightening up of standards likely in the not-too-distant future - the demand for these products can only increase. 'With such a great variety and diversity of products, ' adds Ball, 'the industry has the right product.'
In his brief opening address, BRUFMA president Tom McGuinness confirmed that legislation was driving performance developments in the rigid-foam insulation industry. One of the main purposes of the conference, he added, was to see how the industry was responding to the recent challenge of implementing the new Parts L1 and L2 of the Approved Document. Clearly, given the high thermal efficiency of the products, they are ideally suited to implement the new higher requirements.
This supplement summarises papers from the conference and includes exhibition highlights.