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Thermal insulation of buildings

The question of constantly rising energy prices solves more and more people. Energy consumption for heating represents 60% of total energy consumption, thus it is necessary looking for solving of energy saving in this area.
Economically and also environmentally the best solution is insulation system, whose impact be felt immediately.
The benefits of insulation:
  • savings hating cost,
  • installation of new energy source with lower power in the new buildings,
  • elimination of thermal bridges,
  • elimination of condensation on inner surface, which would by eliminated one of the most common causes of mold,
  • shift the freezing point from masonry to insulation layer, which would by eliminated masonry breaks by freezing,
  • opportunity to use accumulation properties of a building,
  • significant improvement in thermal comfort during high temperatures in summer,
  • thermal insulation system improves acoustic properties of building,
  • extend the life of structures,
  • new look of building,
  • emission reduction.
According to the type of insulation materials, insulation systems can be divided into contact and ventilated. Difference lies in the implementation anchoring and bearing construction. Contact thermal insulation system is glued directly to insulation surface. Insulation material could be additionally anchored with the anchored dowels. The great advantage of this system is compact insulation envelope, which leads to eliminating thermal bridges. Ventilated thermal insulation systems used wooden or metal grid that is anchored to the facade. Thermal insulation is subsequently inserted to the grid. Next layer could be installed on the thermal insulation. (glass, wood, stone, ...). Between the thermal insulation and cladding occurs ventilated air gap. The advantages of this system are mainly facing life, its removal and follow repairability, but also ventilation, which is drained moisture passing through the insulation of the building. Disadvantage of this system is price.
Envelope can be insulated from the outside as well as inside.

Thermal insulation from the outside leads to improved accumulation masonry skills, while the masonry is protected from freezing. Outside insulation of masonry shift the dew point into isolation layer, there for there is no mold growth. Disadvantage of this system is that it can not to be applied at historic buildings.

Thermal insulation of exterior walls on the inside is often used for thermal insulation of historic buildings. This type of insulation is low-cost, but we have to mention disadvantages as well. Disadvantages are: reduce the interior dimensions of insulated rooms, envelope remains exposed to adverse weather. Condensation of water steam occurs in masonry, there for there could be appears mold growth.
Thernal insulation types
A - Expanded polystyrene (EPS) - is one of the most widely used thermal insulation materials in the construction industry. Its advantage is low weight, minimal water absorption and low price. The unadjusted EPS has a high flammability. Slabs of polystyrene are produced with the addition of flame retardant (self-extinguishing). It is used in thermal insulation of floors, walls, ceilings, roofs. Thermal conductivity is between 0.035 to 0.04 W / mK
B - Extruded polystyrene (XPS) - production of this material is quite complicated, so it is considerably more expensive than EPS. This material achieves higher strength characteristics compared to EPS. Higher density increases the compressive strength. It also features low water absorption and excellent thermal insulation properties. It is used in thermal insulation of floors, walls, ceilings, roofs, insulation as thermal bridges, the supporting structures of prefabricated building components. Thermal conductivity is 0.034 W / mK.
C - Mineral wool - MW is produced by melting slag-basalt mixture at a temperature between 1350-1400 ° C. It is among the most widely used thermal insulation materials with a wide range of uses. It is used to insulate floors, walls, roofs. Mineral wool is non-combustible, therefore it could be used in addition to thermal insulation of buildings and as a fire insulation technology equipment. Thermal conductivity of mineral wool is between 0.035 to 0.045 W / mK
D - Fibreboard - It is made ​​of soft wood chips and it is fully recyclable. They can be divided into soft (without compression), semi-hard and hard (pressed). They are suitable for the construction insulation of external walls and floor, respectively, it could be used in floors (as aligning, supporting and resilient layer). They have excellent sound-insulating properties. Thermal conductivity is 0.040 to 0.050 W / mK
E - Polyurethane is a new insulating material. It consists of microscopic closed cell structure, which makes the polyurethane foam with excellent thermal insulation and waterproofing properties. It is very suitable for roof insulation. It is used for foaming in opening structures as well. The polyurethane foam is prone to moisture, but in hard state does not absorb water. Thermal conductivity is 0.024 to 0.028 W / mK
F - Polyethylene foam - This material is characterized by low thermal conductivity, flexibility, chemical resistance, mechanical resistance and moisture resistance. It is easily workable, recyclable and achieves long life. It is used as a base for floor coverings, thermal and acoustic insulation of roofs and walls of buildings and thermal insulation of pipelines. Thermal conductivity is 0.04 W / mK.
G - Cellulose insulation - Cellulose insulation consist from cellulose fibers. Insulation is applied by blowing on insulation surface, which allows you to copy surface inequalities of isolated object. The advantages of the system are easy to handle, quick application, mechanical strength, stability, high heat accumulation ability, material processing with almost no waste. It is used to isolate the attic, exterior walls and partitions. Thermal conductivity is 0.039 to 0.043 W / mK
H - Expanded perlite - lightweight natural material with excellent thermal insulating and sound-insulating properties. Expanded perlite is used for the production of thermal insulation slabs, blocks, lightweight construction materials for the preparation thermal insulation mortar, plaster, concrete, as well as sprinkled insulation in floor constructions. Thermal conductivity of expanded perlite is 0.048 W / mK
I - Foam glass - glass waste ground into a fine powder mixed with a blowing agent. The result is a lightweight porous material that looks similar as crushed stone. Due to its internal structure, foam glass is high load-bearing, non-absorbent, non-freezing, fireproof, resistant against adverse weather. It is suitable for isolating base plates, and it is not necessary to further insulate the building from the ground up. The material is eco-friendly and recyclable again. Thermal conductivity of foamed glass is between 0.075 and 0.095 W / mK
J - Hemp-flexible insulation is one of the natural materials using for insulation. Hemp fiber has the unique ability to absorb moisture and release it again into the interior. This isolation has good thermal insulating and sound-insulating properties as well. It can be used for thermal insulation of floors, exterior walls, roofs. Thermal conductivity is 0.040 W / mK.

At present the two most widely used insulation materials are mineral wool and expanded polystyrene (EPS). Each of these two materials has its advantages, but also disadvantages.
The main benefit of polystyrene is its low price. Additional advantages of polystyrene compared with mineral wool are also its excellent processability and low density. Polystyrene has a high diffusion resistance, which can lead to incorrect ventilation effect. Polystyrene can be used only to 25m high, because its fire resistance is low. From this height is polystyrene replaced by mineral wool, which is non-combustible. Polystyrene is not suitable to use in places where the temperature could rise above 70 ° C.

Mineral wool is made from melted stoneware, which is added to the recycled glass and coke. The main advantages of rockwool are mainly fire resistance, acoustic insulation, vapor permeability, mechanical strength and easy accessibility. The disadvantage of this insulating material is its workability and worse handling. Production of MW is high energy consuming, because production of MW needs very high temperatures.
Complete insulation of all building envelope can be achieved energy savings for heating, depending on the type and material composition and construction of the facility. In principle, the insulation design on a low thermal insulation properties of enevelope saves more energy as insulation structure with improved thermal insulation properties of envelope with the same material and thickness of the thermal insulation.