TIPSASA Fire Registers and Thermal Specification Guide:

TIPSASA Fire Register

TIPSASA Fire Resistance Register

Thermal Specification Guide

Tips on Thermal insulation & TIPSASA PCC Register

TIPS on Thermal Insulation


Click here to download the TIPSASA Retrofit Guide

Retrofit Guide

Ensure that the material:

  • Is in compliance with the application of the South African National Building Regulations SANS 10400
  • Is in compliance with relevant South African National Standard (SANS) i.e. Product standard at SABS;
  • Is appropriate for the intended occupancy class in accordance with SANS 10400 part A
  • Complies with the Fire safety requirements given in SANS 10400 part T and SANS 428.
  • Complies with the recommended R-value for the relevant climatic zones in accordance with SANS 10400 part XA and SANS 204


Safety is the number one priority. Professionals should not compromise the Life Safety Code, by proposing insulation products similar to what has been specified, but cheaper, to cut building cost, with total disregard to fire safety. Similarly specifying sub-standard products as a cheaper alternative exposes the Professional to non-compliance with the required energy efficiency performance requirements.

The Consumer Protection Act is very clear; strict liability is introduced in Section 61 of the Act. It states that any producer, distributor or supplier of a good is strictly liable for any damage caused wholly or partly as a consequence of a product failure, defect or hazard in a good or as a result of inadequate instructions or warnings provided to the consumer pertaining to any hazard. So they could be liable for a person’s death or injury, or a loss or damage to property, or an economic loss. The aforementioned includes the Architect, specifying the product and the Building Inspector signing off the project.

TIPSASA Fire Register – SANS 428 (Click here to download)

TIPSASA Fire Resistance Register – SANS 10177-2 (Click here to download)

Energy Efficiency

The Energy Efficiency Regulations were promulgated in November 2011 yet as little as 5% of all new buildings comply with the “new” regulations. Cape Town and Durban are by far the leaders as far as compliance with the Energy Efficiency Regulations are concerned. The owner of the building is ultimately responsible for the energy performance of the building. It is now mandatory to specify thermal insulation in certain building occupancy classes in accordance with Regulation XA1, XA2 and XA3.

TIPSASA Thermal Specification Guide (Click to download)

Map of Climatic Zones

Click on a coloured zone to view the corresponding data table.



Level of Insulation Required

Recommended Levels of Insulation To Achieve Deemed-To-Satisfy Rule for Energy Efficiency in an Unventilated Roof And Ceiling Construction

Climate Zones123456
Minimum required Total R-value (m².K/W) (for roof solar absorptance of more than 0.55)
Direction of heat flowUpUpDown and UpUpDownUp
Estimated Total R-Value (m².K/W) of roof and ceiling materials(Roof covering & plasterboard only)0.35 - 0.400.41 - 0.530.35 – 0.40
Estimated Minimum added R-Value of Insulation (m².K/W)2.30 – 3.352.15 – 2.293.10 – 3.15
Generic Insulation ProductsDensity Kg/m³Thermal ConductivityRecommended deemed-to-satisfy min thickness (mm) of insulation product
Cellulose Fibre Loose-Fill27.50.040135115100135100130
Flexible Fibre Glass Blanket10 - 180.040135115100135100130
Flexible BOQ Polyester Fibre Blanket240.0381301109013090125
Flexible Polyester Blanket11.50.046160140120160110150
Flexible Mineral/Rockwool60-1200.0331151008011580100
Flexible Ceramic Fibre840.0331151008011580100
Rigid Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)SD15*0.0351201009012080115
Rigid Extruded Polystyrene (XPS)32*0.02810080701006590
Rigid Fibre Glass Board47.50.0331151008011580100
Rigid BOQ Polyester Fibre Board610.0341151008011580110
Rigid Polyurethane Board32*0.025857060856080
NOTE The deemed-to-satisfy recommended levels of insulation can be achieved by the use of reflective foils, bulk insulation or rigid board insulation or in combination with one another. Maximum efficiency may be achieved at reduced thicknesses taking the aforementioned into account.
(*)Thermal efficiencies are dependent on materials thickness, density, age, operating temperature and moisture

R-Values Considered to be achieved by Reflective Foil Laminates   (refer BCA 2007)

Emittance of added reflective insulationDirection of heat flowR-Value added by reflective foil insulation
Emittance of added reflective insulationDirection of heat flowPitched roof (=10°) with horizontal ceilingFlat skillion or pitched roof (=10°) with horizontal ceilingPitched roof with cathedral ceilings
Naturalventilated roof spaceNon-ventilated roof space22° pitch30° pitch45° pitch
0.2 outer 0.05 innerDownwards1.
0.2 outer 0.05 innerUpwards0.590.750.680.720.740.77
0.9 outer 0.05 innerDownwards1.010.921.060.740.640.44
0.9 outer 0.05 innerUpwards0.40.550.490.510.520.53
Note: (a) Reflective foil insulation values inclusive of 15mm air gap. Reflective insulation should work in conjunction with and air gap to be effective. (b) The R-Value of reflective insulation is affected by the airspace between a reflective side of the reflective insulation and the building lining or cladding. Dust build-up reduces R-Values.

TIPSASA Thermal Specification Guide (Click to download)

New regulations in the future – ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE (epc)

The publication of the standard for the Energy performance certificates for buildings was published in December 2014 and shortly that too will become legislation. The design of the building is the responsibility of the Architect and hopefully the Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance will be sufficient to cover any actions taken by the building owner should the design not perform as required.

Our advice to Professionals; see a contract through from beginning to end and do not to succumb to unscrupulous contractors changing specifications for cheaper options without taking performance requirements into account.

TIPSASA Members incur great expenses to ensure that their products are tested and in compliance with the relevant SABS product standard which includes amongst others fire testing, durability and thermal efficiency, ensuring that the products used in buildings are safe in the event of a fire and are in compliance with the Application of the National Building Regulations SANS 10400.

Why should products be tested in accordance with a Standard?

Q: What is a Standard?
A: A standards is essentially a technical document that standardise, generally in terms of quality and performance, and it serves as a form of a benchmark.

Q: Why do we need standards?
A: Accessibility to Standards ensures good quality products.

Q If tested in accordance with a Standard does it mean that it automatically complies with the requirements?
A: No – Many products have been “tested” in accordance with a standard and it might have failed. Always ask for the complete test report to ascertain whether in complete compliance..

Q: “It has been tested overseas”? Why is the test report not valid in SA?
A” It might not comply with our National Building Regulation. Each Country has its own building regulations.

Q: Who does it benefit?
A: Each and every person using a product which has been tested and is in compliance with the requirements of that standard or specification.

Q: Why are standards amended or reviewed?
A: In order to stay current.

Q: Why is the standard date relevant when products are tested?
A: All accredited or any laboratory worth its salt will tell you that the golden rule is: The laboratory shall ensure that it uses the latest valid edition of a standard! Whether SANS, ASTM, EN or any other International Standard – ALWAYS USE THE LATEST EDITION!!

Q: So why is it that some insulation manufacturers still quote outdated standards on their advertising materials, such as “tested in accordance with SANS 1381-4:1985”?
A: Quite simply the answer is: Their products do not comply with current standards or have not been re-tested.

Q: How can we check this?
A: Contact TIPSASA or the SABS