Practices

Significance of thermal insulation - Arguments aimed at overcoming misunderstandings

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The significance of thermal insulation_front cover

The preamble of this interisting publication describes perfectly the relevance of its content:

 

"The energy renovation of existing buildings represents a key component of the “Energiewende” (energy revolution). The building envelope and the system technology used within the building itself form a single unit. Prior to a building renovation project, these two aspects should thus in principle be analysed together. Within this publication, however, only the building shell is to be addressed, with a focus being placed on thermal insulation. The authors provide their views on the most frequent objections, prejudices and misunderstandings in connection with structural thermal insulation and the use of insulating materials."

 

As there are still doubts in the functionality of thermal insulation of buildings' envelopes, the authors clearly point out the variety of possible benefits (see Chapter background):

 

"Structural thermal insulation

  • is necessary in order to prevent building damage resulting from the formation of moisture on the inside of external building components (hygrothermal insulation),
  • prevents the build-up of mould, which can be a contributing factor in building damage and health risks (hygienic thermal insulation),
  • guarantees sufficiently high surface temperatures on the inside of external building components during the winter, contributing to ensuring a feeling of comfort inside the building (comfort-promoting thermal insulation); this allows for the same level of comfort to be achieved with lower room air temperatures and thus less energy consumption,
  • reduces undesired heat input and thus the overheating of rooms during the height of summer (summer thermal insulation),
  • contributes to reducing energy consumption in summer and winter (energy-saving thermal insulation),
  • supports the preservation of resources and reduces the burden placed on the environment (environmentally-driven thermal insulation),
  • supports the durability of the building structure, contributes to the rectification of structural damage (sustainability-driven thermal insulation), facilitates a reduction in heating and cooling costs and ensures that the property's value remains stable (economically-driven thermal insulation,
  • can be used to enhance the design of facades (design-driven thermal insulation),
  • can be implemented economically – especially when combined with renovation measures that are required in any case."

 

After describing the technical backgrounds of building physics, the authors deal with 13 most prominent objections brought forward against thermal insulation. All arguments are easy to understand and should help to overcome those objections.

 

The brochure finally concludes:

"Ultimately, improved thermal insulation contributes to providing for the future and supply security. It leads to the preservation of resources and reduces undesirable environmental impacts."