West-Yorkshire based company, Corksol Ltd, receives a six-figure grant from the Sustainable Innovation Fund to develop an internal insulation solution for the future
Corksol Ltd, the Brighouse-based company that exclusively distributes Corksol SprayCork to approved applicators across the UK, has received a £150,000 grant from the Sustainable Innovation Fund to develop a next generation coating that will protect homes against heat loss and damp from the inside out.
Developed in partnership with scientists at Teesside University and a network of approved applicators, this innovative new project aims to create an affordable new coating that will have a positive impact on the UK housing market, tackling the nationwide issue of fuel poverty, while reducing the negative health impact of cold homes.
The new thermally augmented cork-based thin insulation coating, known as TACTIC, is being funded through Innovate UK as part of the Sustainable Innovation Fund, whose aim it is to help rebuild all sectors of the UK economy and create new opportunities following the fallout of the global health pandemic.
Joff Ward, managing director for Corksol, explains: “The nation is facing real problems and Yorkshire is very much part of that. The UK housing and construction market is one of many industries negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, while ageing homes and fuel poverty are ongoing issues that need to be addressed.
“By innovating and pushing the boundaries of our current cork product, we aim to deliver a ground-breaking solution that could answer the needs of 7.7 million hard to treat homes in the UK that suffer from a lack of insulation, leading to poor health and ever increasing fuel bills.
“It’s time to safeguard the future of those living in ageing properties and fight the fight against known respiratory problems caused by poor insulation.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed underlying vulnerabilities across the UK housing market, with millions of ageing properties offering poor accommodation and a severe lack of insulation. Not only does this lead to insurmountable energy bills and individual cases of fuel poverty, these living conditions can also result in underlying health issues such as asthma or bronchitis – health conditions that are currently linked to Covid-19 and other similar viruses.
While today’s new builds are designed with effective insulation, retrofit solutions are required to insulate existing properties in order for them to meet the Government’s target of an EPC rating of C or above.
Through the development of TACTIC, Corksol and Teesside University aim to develop a solution with enhanced thermal properties that can be used on the millions of hard to treat, uninsulated homes. By taking the existing cork coating and enhancing its thermal performance to allow a 8mm coating to have the same equivalence as 50mm of mineral wool, the team will be able to manufacture a new form of sustainable coating that can be retrofitted to interior surfaces to improve insulation, improve the condition of the structure, and help improve the overall health of occupants.
Over the next nine months, the team will trial and test new developments using the natural cork coating product, testing new formulations both in the laboratory and in situ, where it will be applied using Corksol’s existing spray method. The project is already underway with academics from Teesside University harnessing their technical skills to work on the product reformulation needed to create the nation’s next generation insulating coating.