Fire Resilience
Standards & Regulations

What is BS 5422?

Will Wigfield
Will Wigfield
November 11, 2023

Having supported the latest review of the BS 5422 standard, Will Wigfield, HVAC & Fire Protection Product Manager at ROCKWOOL sums up the changes and the impact for the building services industry.

In summary, what is the purpose of BS 5422?

BS 5422 serves as a method for specifying thermal insulating materials used in various applications within buildings, including pipes, tanks, vessels, ductwork, and equipment. It covers temperature ranges from -40°C to +700°C in domestic, non-domestic, and commercial buildings. This standard provides guidance for designers, specifiers, contractors, and manufacturers of thermal insulation, helping them determine the minimum insulation thickness required to control heat losses and gains from building services.


What are some of the specific applications covered by BS 5422?

BS 5422 addresses a range of applications, including:

  • Conservation of energy for both cooled and heated systems.
  • Preventing slow freezing of contents.
  • Controlling condensation on cold surfaces.
  • Protecting personnel from exposure to extreme surface temperatures.
  • Managing process or service temperatures.
  • Limiting the effects of a system on indoor building temperature.

When did BS 5422:2023 come into effect, and how does it affect existing projects?   

The British Standards Institution (BSI) published the latest edition of BS5422: 2023 which came into effect on June 30, 2023, replacing the 2009 version. For new projects, including those with planning permission granted after this date, BS 5422:2023 applies. However, for projects where tender documentation was issued or contracts were awarded prior to the update, BS 5422:2009 continues to apply.

How does BS 5422:2023 address the balance between economic considerations and CO2 savings in terms of energy conservation?

BS 5422:2023 aims to strike a balance between economic factors and CO2 savings. By applying enhanced performance standards, building owners and operators can achieve lower operating costs and reduced heat loss, leading to environmental benefits through reduced energy consumption.

hvac, teclit

What factors do specifiers and designers need to consider when planning insulation for building services systems according to BS 5422:2023?

Specifiers and designers should take into account several factors, including thermal performance (thermal conductivity and bridging), service temperature, surface emissivity, and fire performance. These factors help ensure effective and safe insulation for building services and HVAC systems, aligning with the updated standard and building regulations.

To help specifiers and designers get more to grips with the latest standard, ROCKWOOL has created a CPD on the topic ‘A Guide to HVAC Standards and Applications’ which is available in our ROCKWOOL Learning platform.

Webpage history

Our experts continually review and update our articles when legislation changes or new information becomes available. 

First published: 10/01/2024