The ‘Specification drop-down section’ illustrates the wide range of uses of insulated panels in both external and internal applications, including specialist activities such as cold stores. Panels with PIR/PUR insulation dominate the external roof and wall market and are increasingly used internally. EPS and XPS cored panels are predominantly used internally. MW insulated panels have been used on external walls and also internally.

In total approximately 2/3 of panels in use have been manufactured with a PUR or PIR core, 25% using EPS or XPS and the remainder MW and a small amount of PF cores.

Recycling of the insulation core from all types of metal cladding systems is problematic and economic solutions are still being sought. Research has concluded that current demolition practice generally results in the insulation going to landfill – whether it is PUR, PIR, EPS, XPS or MW.

Panels with ODP cores and regulatory requirements

It is the insulating core that determines the treatment and disposal of Insulated Panels at end of life. Approximately 60% of all panels are subject only to the standard restrictions covering construction waste and landfill including all panels with cores of MW, EPS, XPS and PIR from 2004 onwards.

PUR cored panels and the majority of PIR panels manufactured before 2004 used either CFC or HCFC blowing agents, which are classified as gases with ozone depleting potential (ODP). The ODP gases are required, by Regulation, to be captured and destroyed ‘where practical and economically feasible’. (see EPIC Guide for details). However 2/3 of these are less than 15 years old and under normal circumstances with current life expectancy are unlikely to enter the waste stream until 2025/2030 at the earliest.