Sustainable Homes undertook pioneering assessment for British cavity wall insulation manufacturer

November 27, 2018

  • Sustainable Homes undertook a life cycle assessment quantifying the carbon emissions associated with cavity wall insulation product energystore superbead.
  • energystore superbead LCA is the first of its kind in the UK, demonstrating energystore’s commitment to transparency and environmental performance
  • Sustainable Homes identified energystore superbead, an expanded polystyrene (EPS) product, as having the “lowest emissions per functional unit” when compared with other cavity wall insulation products.
  • Life cycle assessment is an effective tool for industries with high embodied carbon emissions, such as the building and retrofit industry, used to evaluate environmental impacts, enhance performance and reduce costs

Sustainable Homes’ latest report sets a precedent for the UK building and retrofit industry, acknowledged as a high embodied carbon industry, with the ultimate aim of enhancing the sustainability performance of the housing sector.

The carbon emissions associated with a product prior to its use. In the construction
industry, . The concept is useful for understanding the full
environmental impact of a product beyond its use, and for determining the effectiveness of
energy saving products.

Cavity wall insulation (CWI) plays a vital role in improving the efficiency of buildings, thereby reducing emissions and saving money. Thermal insulation is often the first port of call for improving the sustainability of UK houses and it can help to reduce fuel poverty, where residents are financially unable to adequately heat their homes. However, the full environmental impact of an insulation product, and its overall net emissions, can only be understood if the ‘embodied’ carbon across the product’s entire lifecycle is taken into account.

Sustainable Homes has undertaken a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of energystore superbead, the first of its kind in the UK, quantifying the carbon emissions of energystore superbead to determine its full environmental impact. This assessment provided the overall annual carbon emissions associated with EPS transportation, manufacture and installation. It compared the emissions with other insulation types and indicated the overall lifetime savings expected from the insulation, taking into account the emissions released in manufacture and transportation, as well as energy saved following installation.

Highlights of energystore superbead’s LCA:

  • Raw material production is the largest source of emissions in the manufacturing and distribution process accounting for 3/4 of embodied emissions
  • The carbon payback period post-installation is 5 months
  • Compared to other insulation studies, energystore superbead had the lowest embodied emissions per functional unit.

Connor McCandless, Director – UK Operations at leading cavity wall insulation manufacturer energystore, said:

“This insightful life cycle assessment of energystore superbead sets the bar high for the industry and UK manufacturers. Understanding the environmental impact of our manufacturing and distribution process allows us to identify and address the stages that need improvement as well as enhancing performance and potentially deliver costs savings.”

“Our commitment at energystore is towards a more transparent, responsible and sustainable sector and the key outcomes of this LCA confirm that we as an organisation are on the right track, which is hugely encouraging.”

Life cycle assessment report for energystore superbead can be downloaded here


Media contacts
For more information, interviews and comment:
Joana Malato, Marketing & Communications Manager, Sustainable Homes, 020 8973 0405 or

Notes to editors
Sustainable Homes supports the housing sector through research, accreditation and consultancy. We are a not for profit organisation who influence policy, deliver learning to the sector and provide insight through our events and conferences. Find out more at

For further information please contact Joana Malato 0208 9730 405 or

Joana Malato

Joana Malato