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Effective Building Envelope

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B.J. KUPPUSWAMY

Thermal Insulation is an important factor influencing buildings performance including energy conservation and human comfort. Ambient temperatures in India can range from 25o to 45oC up to 50oC in summer in some places and in winters from 10o to 15oC reaching to even 0oC. Thus, it becomes imperative to provide effective thermal insulation on both roof and wall for energy efficient building envelope, says, B.J. Kuppuswamy, Sr. General Manager (Mktg. & Tech.), Lloyd Insulations (India) Ltd.

Importance of Roof Insulation in building energy efficiency

ROOFING & CLADDING WITH LLOYD PANELS AT WINWIND ENERGY LTD., CHENNAI

The typical roof construction in India is with RCC in 100 – 150mm thick or with precast roof element with low thermal resistance .Walls are usually 125 – 225mm brick wall with plaster to cater to the building load and wind load with windows / glazing resulting in high heat ingress. Roof receives the maximum intensity of heat and coupled with low thermal resistance offered by roof element results in maximum heat gain through this element and is as high as 26% of the total heat gained into the building. Insulation of the roof element thus is very important to improve the energy efficiency.
By replacing old AC sheet roofing with prefabricated sandwich panel in one of the major automotive component manufacturing units in Bangalore, we could achieve 3 to 4oc reduction in inside temperature of the hall at floor level. The improved building thermal performance enabled favourable environment for workmen resulting in better productivity,

What are the products available for thermal insulation

Various systems are available for thermal insulation of roof & wall. Most commonly adopted method for roof insulation is Overdeck Insulation which is insulation provided over the Roof Slab.

  • Lloydfoam, a spray applied Polyurethane foam, Polybuild / Polyisobuild (Polyurethane Foam / Polyisocyanurate Foam) slabs are commonly used in Overdeck Insulation
  • Underdeck Insulation with Rockloyd, the bonded mineral wool building roll is popularly adopted in commercial buildings & IT buildings
  • Wall Insulation is normally done from the inside with Rockloyd insulation and systems like ETICS/ EIFS (External Thermal Insulation Composite System/ Exterior Insulation Finish System)

 

Pre insulated sandwich panels

The spray applied Polyurethane Foam Insulation can be provided over the roof slab as well as external walls. They ensure faster application rate and a joint less monolithic insulation with a very high compressive strength to take care of the foot traffic loads on the roofs. The Insulation can be developed to even thicknesses up to 60mm (R15) to meet the requirements of the R Value of the insulation requirement in buildings.
ETICS / EIFS system is one of the latest insulation solutions popular in USA, Europe & China but yet to be adopted in our country in a large way. It involves application of Polyurethane Foam / Polyisocyanurate Foam Slabs on external side of the wall with adhesives and finish mortar. Normal painting can be taken up over the finish mortar.

Insulation solutions for mechanical equipment to achieve optimum acoustics

Vibrating equipment and noise generating equipment need to be insulated from the point of view of noise reduction. Rockwool insulation combined with sound deadening compounds and perforated sheet facings are provided on the mechanical equipment to achieve a good reduction in noise level.

Pre-Insulated Sandwich Panels, applications & advantages

Pre-Insulated Sandwich Panels with Polyurethane Foam Core and Rockwool Core are easily available today and offer a single step solution for insulated buildings. These sandwich panels find application in both steel buildings and insulated cladding of RCC buildings in both industrial and commercial sector. Pre-insulated Sandwich panels ensure quick and faster application rate and are easy to apply as they come in single length up to 12M (restricted only because of transportation). They are also available in various steel colour facings to improve aesthetic appearance of the buildings.

Is there adequate awareness about the Insulation solutions for specific applications

Introduction of ECBC norms though not made mandatory have improved the awareness and necessity of insulation for buildings. Organizations like IGBC and TERI are working on promoting Energy Efficient buildings. Adequate awareness of the new concepts is still not available for specific application of the buildings and it will be necessary to promote these concepts in a bigger way through public media / journals.

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