Pushing the Envelope

 

To achieve a truly energy efficient building, you have to begin by looking at the envelope. It doesn’t matter how much you incorporate renewable technology or adopt efficient operational practices – if the building envelope isn’t up to scratch, the building won’t be fit for purpose. Put simply, an airtight, thermally-efficient envelope is the foundation for a better building.

Fortunately, getting an optimised building envelope is relatively straightforward. By following a holistic design process, and choosing products carefully, it is possible to get an envelope that is the hardest-working element of the building in terms of energy efficiency.

The four key things to consider are below:

  • Determine appropriate panel thickness based on building energy consumption
  • Understand thermal transmission at junctions
  • Minimise air leakage through installation
  • Optimise the roof design to balance natural lighting through rooflights, thermal performance, and space for rooftop solar photovoltaics

Fundamental to this process is getting the right insulation. Choosing the right product and system, and making sure it is installed properly, reduces air permeability and improves the overall thermal performance of a building.

The effects of this improved thermal performance lead to more comfortable buildings, better environmental credentials and significant reductions in heating and cooling costs; both operationally and in terms of the capital investment required for smaller HVAC plant in better-insulated buildings. This leads to further efficiency investments, as reduced costs boost yields and asset values – a virtuous circle.

Using insulated panels with an IPN-QuadCore insulation core helps to create the most advanced, high-performing building envelopes in the world. With its unmatched thermal performance, fire certification, environmental credentials and long-life guarantee, IPN-QuadCore sets a new standard for insulation that, in turn, makes the business case for a better envelope even more compelling. A recent study by energy consultants AECOM showed how IPN-QuadCore can reduce building annual energy demand by up to 14% compared with a notional Part L2A warehouse, when incorporated as part of an optimised building envelope design.

As the market evolves, and building owners, tenants and society demands more from the performance of our built environment, the spotlight will fall on building envelopes more and more. Innovations like IPN-QuadCore, used in market-leading insulated panel system technology like Kingspan’s, are helping to meet this growing need. IPN-QuadCore is redefining what insulation can and should do for a building.

 

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