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BREEAM backing boost adds to insulation awards credibility

This November will see the first ever National Insulation Awards (NIA) ceremony and like any other new event, the first year might be expected to be a fairly humble one, a minor event that will grow in importance over time.

However, it seems the event will do much better than that, as it has shown increasing signs of capturing the imagination of the insulation, construction and renovation sectors. In an age where the energy efficiency of buildings is being widely acknowledged as a matter of such huge importance, the role insulation can play in reducing emissions and cutting the amount of fuel needed has become increasingly recognised. 

With the closing date for nominations fast approaching, a range of major bodies have come on board as sponsors of the event. The latest is BREEAM, the international benchmark system for rating the energy efficiency of buildings. In terms of focusing on the issue of energy efficiency, there may be no more significant organisation. Indeed, in the press release announcing BREEAM's involvement, issued via trade publication Industry Today - organisers described BREEAM as "the ultimate title sponsor".

Expressing his delight at the latest news, event founder Colin Heath said: "To say we are over the moon to get BREEAM on board to this level is an understatement. It’s a huge endorsement that these awards are long overdue and much needed by the insulation industry."

Launched in 1990, BREEAM has assessed over 2.2 million buildings around the world, with over 562,000 BREEAM-certified developments. Used in over 70 countries and with an 80 per cent market share in Europe, BREEAM assesses buildings in nine categories and considers not just new buildings, but also refurbishments. It also provides an adaptable means of making assessments that take into account local conditions. 

Perhaps appropriately, one of the buildings it has assessed is the East Midlands Conference Centre and Orchard Hotel in Nottingham, where the event will be staged on the evening of November 30th. Perhaps appropriately, the hotel has an 'excellent' BREEAM rating. 

The other sponsors on board include the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC), Graco, the Committee on Climate Change, Recticel Insulation, BRUFMA, the BBA, and the National Energy Foundation.

BRUFMA president Kevin Bohea will be one of the awards judges for the awards. He said: "At last, an awards event recognising the very important contribution that insulation makes to building performance. I am really pleased to be supporting an event that will recognise the importance of insulation in high performance buildings.
"The reduction of energy consumption is vitally important to our future and insulation has a key role to play in this arena. I am honoured to be supporting the NIIA event and looking forward to helping choose the winners in each category."

He urged anyone considering a nomination for any of the 19 awards to do so now, with the deadline for doing this fast approaching on August 25th. 

The customer or client satisfaction category will be sponsored by the NHIC, which was announced as a backer of the awards at the start of June. 

Speaking at that time, NHIC sponsorship chief executive Anna Scothern said the occasion "is a truly unique event and one which for the insulation community, offers a wonderful opportunity to generate exposure and network".

On the night itself, TV personality Nick Knowles will act as host for the black tie event. With BREEAM now on board, the first edition will now be an occasion that the whole industry is likely to be interested in.