Partnership brings innovative home insulation to market

Dr Jim Parker

ARC Building solutions has launched a two innovative insulation and fire safety products as part of a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP)  with Leeds Beckett University’s Leeds Sustainability Institute.

Under the two-year, Innovate UK-funded partnership, the Leeds firm has created a new product department, bringing to market a retrofit eaves insulator originally developed and patented by former Leeds Becket academics Dr Matthew Brooke-Peat and Professor Christopher Gorse.

The insulator could benefit up to 7.7m UK homes built with solid walls.

Dr Jim Parker, reader in the Leeds Sustainability Institute, said: “Delivering practical, applied research solutions is central to the LSI’s success – working with ARC on this KTP project was a natural progression for over a decade’s worth of in-depth investigations.

“The KTP has seen deep academic understanding of damp and mould growth at building junctions manifest in a real-world market-ready solution that can help to minimise cold-bridging in vulnerable spaces, in homes that are in the most need.”

The KTP has shifted ARC’s business model into the rapid development, design and manufacture of its own brand products. The company can now collaborate with industrial partners to solve challenges across the new build, retrofit, low-rise, high-rise, and insulation sectors.

The NPD team generated multiple new ideas and innovations during the partnership – including the TCB Square, which restricts the spread of smoke and flames within the internal wall cavity. The team are now preparing the new product for release in the market.

Dr Alex Boote was recruited as a full-time KTP Associate by Leeds Beckett for the duration of the project – and has now been employed in the permanent role of Product and Innovation Manager at ARC. Alex was supported by Dr Kate Morland in the practical delivery of the project, which was led for Leeds Beckett by Dr Jim Parker.

Neil Weeks, CEO of ARC, said: “Working with LBU and Dr Alex Boote has been instrumental in implementing our new product development process. The new process uses a cutting-edge approach and means we can involve everybody within the business at the right time and with the right information.”

A team of Leeds Beckett University marketing students supported Dr Alex Boote in the market analysis, brand awareness and promotional campaigns for the REI. Two of the marketing students have now been recruited as KTP Associates, leading their own Management KTPs for Leeds Beckett.