World News

Industry news and insights from Europe and around the World

UK News

Latest news and developments in the United Kingdom


Keep up-to-date with the latest new products and technology


General articles, applications and industry analysis

Alarm raised about pre-insulated pipework

UK: Two of the UK’s leading trade associations have called for more rigorous checks on the fire safety of pre-insulated pipework being installed in buildings. 

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and the Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA) have issued a joint statement raising questions about the suitability of pipework that is normally used for underground and buried applications, such as primary heating networks, now being deployed inside buildings. 

They say this is a “fundamental change in product application” and takes the products outside the scope of the quality standards that are normally applied to their performance. Considering the current focus on fire safety in buildings, the two bodies were anxious to draw attention to this issue. 

They explained that building services pipe insulation specifications typically reflect the requirements of BS 5422 to ensure full compliance with the Building Regulations. However, pre-insulated pipework systems typically use either PUR or PE insulants, which do not meet the fire performance criteria typically specified for buildings.  

“In addition, the one-size-fits-all approach to insulation thickness typically undertaken by manufacturers of pre-insulated pipework simply does not allow for the required flexibility to meet individual specification requirements,” the joint statement said. 

Both bodies are particularly concerned about the use of coiled flexible polyethylene insulated piping systems. “We have increasing evidence that these systems are being installed in high-risk buildings, such as large multi-residential buildings,” they said. 

The statement reminded manufacturers, distributors, and installers of pre-insulated polyethylene pipework systems that they had a responsibility to provide evidence of the suitability of these products for the specific application in question. 

Specifiers were also urged to check the thermal performance of the polyethylene system and to ask the supplier how it would meet the heat loss/gain requirements of BS 5422 and Part L of the Building Regulations. It is also vital that each product has the appropriate Euroclass fire rating, they said. 

“This is a critical fire safety issue and both bodies were determined to present a united front to help protect best practice in building services installations,” said BESA’s head of technical Graeme Fox. 

Latest News

20th February 2024

F-gas regulation published in Official Journal

EUROPE: The new F-gas regulation has now been published in the EU’s Official Journal, making it legally binding and entering into force in 20 days.
20th February 2024

Carrier Germany increases heat pump training

GERMANY: Carrier Germany is offering new hydraulics training courses  at its training centre on the IKKE campus in Duisburg to support the growing demand for heat pump expertise. 
20th February 2024

Oceanair acquired by builders’ merchant MKM

UK: Air conditioning and heat pump distributor Oceanair UK has been acquired by MKM, the independent builders’ merchant.
20th February 2024

Carrier to build factory and R&D facility in Saudi Arabia

SAUDI ARABIA: Carrier is to build an advanced manufacturing and R&D facility in Saudi Arabia in a partnership with Alat, a new Riyadh-based public investment fund company.
19th February 2024

BDN offers high level monitoring

IRELAND: The first installation of Bitzer’s Digital Network (BDN) in Ireland is providing high-level monitoring, system diagnostics and optimisation for an award-winning deli food specialist.
19th February 2024

Manchester receives heat pump training boost

UK: Daikin UK in partnership with the Green Skills Academy is to deliver the first heat pump training programme for college tutors and staff at nine Greater Manchester colleges.