In addition to the election of the new Board and the welcoming of new members, a number of current issues were on the agenda at the EAE Members’ Meeting that took place in Rotterdam in mid-October. These included opportunities for the recycling of polystyrene insulating materials and the commitment of the EAE in connection with the European standardisation of ETICS. The Dutch ETICS association PGB hosted the EAE Members’ Meeting for the first time and provided a fascinating insight into the Dutch ETICS market.
Honour to whom honour is due – Following their age-related departure, Dominique Delassus from the French ETICS association Mur Manteau and Werther Colonna from the Italian equivalent Cortexa were presented with certificates of honorary membership by President Ruud Van Eersel (IVP ETICS, Belgium) and Managing Director Ralf Pasker. During the election that followed, the remaining Board members were unanimously reappointed. Prof. Zuzana Sternova from OZ ZPZ (Slovakia) was promoted from the role of Chief Financial Officer to Vice President of the Board. Ruud Van Eersel remains EAE President, while Dr Clemens Hecht (QG WDS, Austria) will continue in the role of Chief Technology Officer. Alessandro Siragusa (Cortexa) and Philippe Boussemart (Mur Mantau) were elected as new members of the Board in the roles of Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer, respectively.
As new members, Radu Grigorescu, Executive Director of the Romanian ETICS association QETICS Romania, and Werther Colonna, Managing Director of the Italian IVAS Group, were presented with the EAE membership certificate by Ruud Van Eersel and Ralf Pasker.
The EAE’s efforts to push forward with the European standardisation of ETICS represented an important item on the agenda in the area of technology. The new quality guidelines for EPS, mineral wool and PU insulating materials, which have been drawn up in Germany, were also looked at by the Technical Committee in order to ensure a high and reliable level of quality across Europe. The EAE’s involvement in the activities of EOTA (European Organisation for Technical Assessment) was also addressed.
As the issue of sustainability is becoming increasingly significant, participants were presented with a comprehensive approach vis-à-vis the life cycle of ETICS, starting with the raw materials and ranging from the production and application of ETICS to their removal and recycling, covering different insulating materials such as polystyrene and mineral wool as well as polyurethane and phenolic rigid foam.
In connection with this trend, Jan Noordegraf presented the expectant audience with a project of great future potential – the “Polystyrene Loop”. A pilot plant for the complete recycling of polystyrene insulating materials is scheduled to start operations in the Netherlands in 2018. It will be able to process EPS with old and new flame retardants and in doing so cleanly separate the flame retardants using the CreaSolv method. The project is being supported by, among others, the EAE, the German Fachverband WDVS, the European EPS association and EAE member Eumeps. The objective is to achieve a closed material cycle at the end of the ETICS life cycle.
In this context, EAE members discussed the changeover of flame retardants used in EPS insulating materials. The new flame retardant Polymer FR is available in sufficient quantities and has been used as HBCD substitute for some time. The current exemption regarding the use of HBCD for a consortium that had feared supply bottlenecks was thus met with incomprehension. The European raw material producers have responded in the meantime and announced in a press release that they have left the consortium. The European market will now only be supplied with HBCD-free EPS. In Germany, this has already been the case for two years.
The Dutch PGB association hosted the EAE Members’ Meeting for the first time and provided the event's participants with a look behind the scenes of the local ETICS market. A special feature of the local architecture are brick facades. As PGB President Stefan van Strien put it: “You are in Brick Country”. Here too, however, interest in facade insulation is on the rise – in no small measure thanks to the current funding programmes aimed at increasing the energy efficiency of buildings. Van Strien put the current market volume in the Netherlands at approximately 480,000 m² to 500,000 m².
The relaunch of the website in December 2016 was addressed under the “EAE marketing activities” item. The website “ea-etics.com” is an important marketing tool for the European association. The “Energy Saving Guide 2016” constitutes yet another means to bang the drum for the EAE’s activities. With this compendium aimed at policymakers both at European and national level, the EAE points to the opportunities and enormous potential offered by the energy renovation of Europe's existing buildings with regard to climate protection, amongst other things. The Guide has been made available to many MEPs, employees of the European Commission and other contact partners. Interested parties can download the publication in English and German from the EAE website. At the end of the meeting, participants were asked to “save the date” for the 4th European ETICS Forum, which is set to take place in Warsaw in 2018.