Energy efficiency is the key feature of a sustainable building and consists of achieving a design that ensures a low energy demand over time. Optimal thermal insulation of the building envelope plays a fundamental role, together with the closing of gaps. The treatment of thermal bridges, the limitation of air infiltration and proper controlled ventilation are factors that will also make the difference.
Design and choice of materials
In the design phase, all these elements must be taken into account, as well as the need to maintain performance over time, that is, the durability of the installed systems.
From the equipment, we expect a revision and maintenance plan; but from the constructive elements that make up the envelope, we expect them to last the whole life of the building, with the same performance as the day they were installed.
Thermal insulating material in contact with rainwater, moisture from condensation and air infiltration might suffer deterioration, which is a risk when it comes to ensuring the energy efficiency of buildings.
High energy-efficient buildings
High energy-efficient buildings require robust constructive solutions: a wet insulating material is not effective. Moisture absorption as low as 1% in volume, either by water seepage or by vapour condensation, can cause some insulating materials to double their thermal conductivity, which means that their thermal resistance is halved.
It also leads to a loss of strength and a deterioration of their integrity and stability. In practice, it will become an area where energy losses are concentrated.
Air infiltration is another factor that causes deterioration. The external environment affects the properties of some insulation materials, causes the accumulation of dust, dirt, and ultimately the loss of the performance associated with the dry, clean, and intact product that was installed on the first day.
The case of polyurethane foam
Polyurethane systems have the best properties to achieve buidings with a high thermal performance.
The thermal conductivity value of polyurethane foam makes this thermal insulation material very robust against any other effect such as the presence of humidity, dirt, lack of air tightness, the presence of gaps in the insulation, deterioration or lack of physical integrity.
The cellular structure of sprayed polyurethane foam guarantees:
- Impermeability to water.
- Impossibility of particles entering the interior structure.
- Air tightness.
- Absence of joints.
- Preservation of the physical integrity of the product.
Would you like to get more information about Synthesia Technology's insulating polyurethane systems? You can download the product catalogue or contact us directly.