Thermguard Cellulose Fibre Insulation: Big benefits

A recent graphic test conducted by Thermguard showed that, held in the hands, a small sample of product treated with a 1 500oC gas torch flame, despite burning on the surface while the direct flame continued, failed to ignite, immediately self-extinguishing once the flame was removed. (Image: Gareth Griffiths)

Thermguard Cellulose Fibre Insulation was developed locally over 40 years ago, based on winning technologies from Europe, North America and elsewhere, with some local improvements. Driven by sustainability and quality, its manufacturing plant is ISO 9001:2015 rated. Thermguard celebrates World Standards Day, held on 14 October every year. In this short overview, the company discusses its contribution towards standards, passive climate control and energy efficiency.

Compliance and environment

We wholeheartedly embrace compliance issues. For example, Conformity International (CI) recently updated and renewed our certification within the scope of SANS 1381-6:2011 – being materials for thermal insulation of buildings – cellulose loose-fill thermal insulation material. We meet the energy-efficiency specifications of SANS10400-XA:2021; in fact we exceed them in most cases.

Thermguard is troubled by the trend in the industry for manufacturers to pay mere lip service to safety and performance standards, focussing only on regulatory requirements, namely SANS10400-XA, the Energy Usage in Buildings Regulation andSANS 10400-T Fire protection. We go beyond this.

As an active founding member of the Thermal Insulation Products and Systems Association of SA, we proudly hold their Certificate of Compliance.  

The rapid advance in climate change is of concern to us, so we constantly do research to enhance our contribution to a low-carbon future using natural fibres. It is in our DNA.


One of the casualties of the prevailing ‘minimum compliance’ trend is the certified fire rating for the insulation product installed in buildings, especially among installers. Architects’ specifications are frequently brushed to one side when it comes to the final stages of a new build.

Thermguard is fire-retarded and classified under SABS10177 as Class B1: not to cause spread of flame in the case of fire in a building. But we go further than that. Our performance is at a higher level. Anecdotally, having cellulose fibre insulation in the roof can save the building in the case of fire. This is superbly demonstrated in a video shot a number of years back by the Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute, which erected three test ‘houses’ – two insulated with a different material and one uninsulated. The buildings were set alight, and after 67 minutes the only building left standing was the one with cellulose fibre in the walls and roof. Locally, one of our most experienced distributors was recently unlucky enough to have an unrelated fire in the roof of his home. He noted that the blanket of cellulose fibre insulation on his ceiling prevented the fire from spreading further into the home. Despite damage to the upper sections of the roof and some trusses, the house and its occupants remained safe – confirmed by the fire marshal of his local fire station.

Thermguard recently conducted a graphic test to demonstrate fire safety in the factory. Held in the hands, a small sample of product was treated with a 1 500oC gas torch flame. In each case, despite the product burning on the surface while the direct flame continued, the body of insulation failed to ignite, immediately self-extinguishing once the flame was removed.

It has been proven through research that, correctly installed, regulation-compliant insulation has a huge impact on a building’s energy performance.

Thermguard promotes the use of recycled natural materials for home and office insulation in South Africa, with all the benefits that it offers. People, Safety and Planet = Sustainability.

We are as green as it gets.

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