2022 has proven to be a difficult year for many, especially those within the construction industry, as we’ve dealt with price increases, labour shortages and supply chain issues. Despite the challenges, many companies across the industry still have plenty of accomplishments to celebrate as we end the year and look ahead to 2023.
In our last post of the year on the KORE Blog, we’ll look at a few of these accomplishments on both the insulation and retrofit sides of our business.
Celebrating 25 Years in Business
KORE Insulation began as Airpacks Ltd in 1997, offering EPS floor insulation, external wall insulation and roof insulation for the Irish market. In 2022, KORE Insulation reached a huge milestone and celebrated 25 years in business.
We’ve expanded our product offering to include the KORE Insulation Foundation System, KORE Void Formers, KORE Fill Cavity Wall Insulation and KORE Flat Roof Insulation, among many others. We’re very proud of all we’ve accomplished over the past two and a half decades and look forward to continuing to innovate for the next 25 and beyond.
Adding New Certifications
In September, KORE added two new certifications: ISO 50001: Energy Management Certification and REDcert2. Our new ISO 50001 Certification builds on our commitment to using energy effectively and efficiently, supporting our objectives outlined in our dedicated energy policy, towards our path to net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
With the introduction of our new low carbon EPS product line, KORE achieved REDcert2 certification at our factory. This certification scheme verifies that fossil fuel raw materials have been successfully replaced with sustainable biomass.
New Product Launches
In 2022 we added a new product to our arsenal, KORE Flat Roof Insulation. Made from high performance EPS, KORE Flat Roof is the ideal solution for warm flat roofs, inverted flat roofs, metal roof decks and tapered flat roofs.
Easily exceeding Part L requirements, KORE Flat Roof offers low water absorption properties and protects against freezing. The product is suitable for residential and commercial applications and offers a third-party verified Environmental Product Declaration.
We’d like to congratulate our technical department for this much needed innovation in the flat roof space.
Lowering Embodied Carbon with KORE Low Carbon Insulation
In August, KORE added a low carbon alternative to our range of EPS insulation solutions. Utilising BASF’s Biomass Balance Approach, KORE’s Low Carbon Insulation is manufactured using raw material produced from organic, renewable feedstock, and certified under REDcert2.
KORE’s Low Carbon Insulation is currently available for a variety of products, including KORE Fill Diamond, KORE Floor Insulation, KORE External, KORE Void Formers, KORE Flat Roof, KORE Lock, KORE Void Formers and KORE Geofoam. Components of the KORE Insulated Foundation System can also be manufactured using the low carbon alternative.
This innovative new manufacturing method will help reduce embodied carbon of the EPS without sacrificing its high performance.
Keeping Busy with Events and Trade Shows
KORE Insulation & KORE Retrofit had a busy year exhibiting at events, running webinars and CPD courses and attending industry conferences.
KORE Insulation started the year by hosting an online CPD specifically designed for engineers interested in working with the KORE Insulated Foundation System. We registered over 200 engineers across the country to attend!
In March, KORE Insulation and KORE Retrofit exhibited at the SEAI Energy Show 2022, taking part in the best practice demonstrations, and showcasing our products and services at our stand over the two days. In April, KORE exhibited at the Hardware Show.
In June, KORE Insulation teamed up with Evolusion Innovation and co-hosted a Modern Methods of Construction CPD at the Carlton Hotel in Blanchardstown, while KORE Retrofit held an online event on SEAI’s One Stop Shop Grant Scheme and how architects can take advantage of the funding.
We capped off the year by exhibiting at the CIF Southern Construct Conference & Exhibition and sponsored the CIF Annual Conference in Dublin. At the same time, we attended the Architecture + Building Expo, showcasing our products and services to architects from around the country. KORE Retrofit capped off the year by attending nearly a dozen community energy events, providing information to property owners about the benefits and grants available under the One Stop Shop Scheme, and exhibited over the course of three days at the Ideal Home Show.
We didn’t stop there! KORE Insulation hosted and co-hosted energy breakfast mornings across the country with companies like SIG, McMahons, Brooks and Unitherm. Needless to say, there was no shortage of events in 2022!
Ramping up on Retrofit
KORE Retrofit had a very busy year, retrofitting hundreds of homes through a wide variety of grant schemes across Ireland and Northern Ireland. The team also spent time educating the market about the supports available through a variety of events and marketing campaigns.
KORE Retrofit implemented a new project management system. With input from the entire team, the system is now up and running and fully integrated into retrofit’s work processes. In addition, the retrofit team worked together to pass the annual ISO audits. We retained our ISO 9001 Quality Management System and become certified for the first time – ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety and ISO 14001 Environmental Management.
Over the summer of 2022, KORE Retrofit launched a new online training platform for contractors wishing to work under the new One Stop Shop Grant Scheme, streamlining the process and ensuring we work with only the best companies across Ireland. The user experience on the KORE Retrofit website was also updated, with the introduction of a new tool to help qualify homeowners interested in the scheme.
The customer service team spent hundreds of hours combined speaking with interested homeowners about the scheme, booking home energy assessments, and walking people through the retrofit process. Because of this work, KORE Retrofit has a strong pipeline of work across all the retrofit schemes that will take us through 2023 and beyond.
We’d like to congratulate the entire KORE Retrofit team on a job well done, and we look forward to seeing all the great work that will continue in the years ahead.
A Focus on Sustainability & Continuous Improvement at the KORE Factory
At KORE, sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do. We had another productive year as we work towards achieving net-zero by 2030.
As we continue to grow, KORE submitted planning permission to build a new shed. This addition to the factory will allow us to keep up with demand and give us extra space to grow. As part of the addition, KORE completed a new electrical substation to allow for this future expansion (no pun intended)! The team also added ISO 50001 Energy Management certification, proving our commitment to the environment and sustainability.
In March, KORE completed a water recycling project. This system allows us to take leftover water from the EPS mold process and filter it back into the steam creation process. To aid this, we also linked rainwater harvesting into the system. Since March of 2022, KORE have recycled over 750,000 litres of water. That’s the equivalent of filling nearly 420 standard bathtubs full to the top!
Additional improvements and achievements at the factory include:
- Optimising the block size for the foundation to reduce off-cut waste and added the ability to make specific cuts to foundation pieces
- Changing the storage of blocks for the foundation to a FIFO system, ensuring aging is more optimised and to keep up with customer demand
- Lowering the production line to improve manual handling
- Updated chain design on the production line to reduce downtime
- Product-specific silos added, allowing KORE to add up to 10% recycled product to high density products
- Lean training for employees – with 17 white belts completed in 2022
- Cross training of operators leading to a more flexible workforce
- Vertical storage unit added for spare parts
In 2023, KORE plans to add an electrical vehicle fleet for our sales team members.
Huge Strides with the KORE Insulated Foundation System
KORE saw exponential growth of the KORE Insulated Foundation System in 2022. The foundation was utilised on a wide variety of sites, from on one-off self builds, to large-scale developments with hundreds of homes in places like Offaly, Cork, Dublin and Galway.
We’ve heard from our customers that have switched from traditional foundations to the KORE System, and many are starting to realise the benefits that come along with installing an insulated foundation. This includes reduced operating costs on-site, a reduction in skilled labour by eliminating block work in the substructure, and the speed increase by planning and building in batches with a fully engineered system.
The foundation system has allowed contractors to build 25% more units annually while reducing waste on-site by as much as two-thirds – and these benefits are just the tip of the iceberg.
Our technical department also added a wide range of reports and technical details, including a finite element analysis, transient thermal analysis and additional foundation details to our technical database.
With a very strong pipeline heading into 2023, we can now see the shift in thinking as builders and developers start embracing modern methods of construction, including the KORE Insulated Foundation System.
New Website Launch
KORE was pleased to launch its new website in April of 2022. The changes to the website have increased the user experience and reduced the number of interactions required to receive information on the various products and services we offer, or to request a product-specific quote. We are excited to announce additional changes to the website experience in 2023.
In addition to the new website, we also launched a new technical download centre, making it easier to access technical documentation without the need to speak with a member of the team.
KORE also continued to improve its online training platform for KORE Fill Cavity Wall Insulation, and installer and engineer training for the KORE insulated Foundation System.
Increasing our Community Engagement
Both KORE & KORE Retrofit were very active in the community throughout 2022. The teams participated in numerous charitable events, including 280,000 Steps for Laura Lynn and a Couch to 5K challenge, and made donations on behalf of our staff and customers to the Lighthouse Club and SOSAD Ireland, to name a few.
The team also sponsored numerous community organisations, including the Wanderers GAA Club, Lacken Celtic GAA, Castleconnor GAA Club, Crosserlough GFC, Adam King and Football 4 All team in Youghal, Co. Cork.
In addition, we also took part in several events to raise awareness for different causes, including CIF’s Safety Week, the Lighthouse Club’s Mental Health Awareness Week, World Green Building Week, Earth Day, World Environment Day, International Women’s Day, Earth Hour, Energy Awareness Day, World Mental Health Day and the KORE World Cup Customer Charity Sweepstake, with a €500 donation to the charitable organisation awarded to the winner.
KORE in the Press
KORE were shortlisted in two different awards in 2022, the Guaranteed Irish Awards for the construction, engineering and manufacturing category, and at the Cavan Business & Tourism Innovation Awards for Innovation.
Pauric Kavanagh, KORE’s operations director, spoke on RTE Radio 1’s Morning Ireland, discussing our experience as part of SEAI’s One Stop Shop Grant Scheme, and Radio Kerry’s 11 to 1 Club Show representing both KORE Insulation & KORE Retrofit.
KORE also found itself in numerous publications, including articles in Passive House Plus magazine, SelfBuild Magazine, RTE, Irish Independent and the Irish Times. On television, KORE was featured on RTE’s Build Your Own Home and DIY SOS.
That’s a Wrap!
As 2022 comes to an end, we’d like to thank all our employees for another successful year. Like past years, we weren’t afraid to try new things. We had some really great ideas from all our staff, and while some worked and some didn’t, we’re better off for it with lessons learned that will guide us in the future.
To our customers – we wouldn’t be here without you! Thank you for your continued support. We’re excited to see what 2023 will bring, as we continue to innovate and provide sustainable, high-quality services and solutions.
We wish all our employees, customers, suppliers, family and friends a very Happy Christmas and a Wonderful and Prosperous New Year. See you in 2023!