Sustainable construction with insulation based on renewable raw materials / AT

Written by Jakub Jirku

To construct a more energy-efficient home, to buy an old house and recover the former charm of the building through renovation while reaching the state of art… there are many reasons to use thermal insulation. In many cases a thermal retrofit of the entire building shell leads to financial difficulties or simply is too much work is too high of expenditure of work and is financially excessive. Therefore, insulating the ceiling against unheated roof space is a good alternative first step. In most cases this form of renovation can be done in one’s own initiative with a low financial input.
For keeping the basic structure of a building it is important to adapt the building materials. In case of old-building renovation this includes the application of ecological insulating material. But the problem is that most people have never worked with these materials and also don’t know how to use them. Therefore the focus of this thesis is to offer a user-oriented description of the application of ecological insulating materials, especially by protecting the blanket against the unheated roof space. For this reason comprehensive research about different application areas and characteristics of applicable ecological building materials has been carried out in the first step. The details concerning the practical applications of the materials are hard to find in books and online platforms. Therefore, in a course of an internship at “GrAT-Gruppe Angepasste Technologien” (scientific association of TU Vienna) and while collaborating in the dissemination project “Renew building” different restoration projects have been chosen. In these projects the ceilings were insulated against unheated roof space with ecological building materials. Through interviews with the responsible architects, different producers of building materials and some building owners, the experiences with the materials were collected and converted to a sort of handbook for the practical use of ecological insulation materials. This handbook includes a general description of the respective buildings, a detailed demonstration of interesting constructions as well as the ceiling mounting with the help of GEQ-software, which includes the calculation of thermal transmittance and the condensate formation. For the practical applications of the building materials helpful advices were developed for each insulation material. The application of ecological and conventional building  materials differs in many points. Through the distribution of existing experiences and explanations of the advantages of ecological materials these products should gain the capacity to compete in future. Ecological insulating materials will be permanent solutions in the sector of new and old buildings including several advantages like lower transportation costs, offering local jobs and of course quitting the waste of non- renewable, exhaustible resources.

Author: Claudia Pasteiner, bachelor thesis on Universität für Bodenkultur Wien

Date: 27. January  2013


About the author

Jakub Jirku