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Kingspan: There is a need to educate the market on the benefits of pre-insulated ducting

Company official emphasises that updated UAE Fire and Life Safety Code allows for only UL 181 pre-insulated ducting

| | Oct 13, 2019 | 9:20 am
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Paul Barnard

DUBAI, UAE, 13 October 2019: In 2019, the HVAC UAE market changed totally to accept only UL181 listed pre-insulated ducting (PID), said Paul Barnard, Head of HVAC Specification, Kingspan Insulation, who pointed out that the updates to the UAE Fire and Life Safety Code meant that no PUR or PIR pre-insulated ducts can be used. Barnard said that in view of the new regulations, it was important to highlight to the market that not all pre-insulated ducts are banned. “With the new 2019 changes, not everyone was aware that the UL 181 Phenolic Duct was still acceptable,” he emphasised, pointing out that UL 181 requirement has improved the quality of PID due to the rigorous testing required to achieve the UL listing.

Barnard pointed out that it is important to raise awareness on the issue to ensure compliance with existing UAE codes as well as to avoid potential project delays. “What I often try emphasise to consultants is to try to update their specification to phenolic to UL 181, as per the new regulations, and then the contractors will quote accordingly at the tender stage, and then there are no delays in jobs due to incorrect pricing,” he said. Barnard added that Chapter 18 of the UAE Code focuses on Stakeholder Responsibility, which should encourage greater due diligence among people when it comes to specification and is meant to raise standards within the HVAC industry.

This is one of the many issues that the market should be made aware of, said Barnard, who highlighted that there is also a need to raise awareness on the benefits of installing pre-insulated ducting (PID) over traditional sheet metal. Considering PID is a hybrid and combination between ductwork and insulation, Barnard said that the solution is a two-in-one system and that it would solve a lot of the issues faced by traditional ducting. Barnard said that he also wanted to highlight the intangible benefits associated with choosing PID, most notable in relation to space, weight and time.

Elaborating further, Barnard said that with PID, there is no need to allow for additional space required of traditional insulation covering the ductwork, thus providing greater space for other services. “Architects love reduced services space allowing them more design freedom, however this can sometimes affect space for ductwork,” he said. “So, PID is a perfect solution for space-saving ductwork.” Barnard added that the speed of installation in relation to PID, is four times faster when compared with traditional ductwork and insulation. This, he says, leads to important intangible benefits that stakeholders must be made aware of with regard to project delivery. “A hotel can open up earlier and start accepting guests earlier than expected, thus generating income earlier for the client, “ he pointed out. “The contractor completes the job faster and, thus, gets paid quicker and is on to the next job.”

Barnard added that when it comes to PID, concerns relating to damage should not serve as a concern, as it has proved itself robust, once installed and that in the event of damage, it would be easy to fix.

Currently, Barnard said, PID still has only around  30% of the ductwork market compared to traditional sheet metal plus insulation. “Having said that, Dubai is probably has the largest PID market in the world,” he said. Overall, Barnard pointed out, that the adoption of PID continues to have positive momentum and is gaining strong popularity in the market, adding that Kingspan has recently opened a new Phenolic line in Dubai, which, he said, reassures the HVAC market of traceability and local availability of UL 181 Phenolic Ductwork.


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