The EU project RECO2ST: More energy and cost efficiency and sustainability in buildings

To use intelligent synergies of most innovative, pollution free building materials, in order to save energy and thus resources, to reduce the CO2 balance in the building sector and to increase the health and the well-being of the inhabitants – these goals apply to reach it with the RECO2ST project. It started in January 2018 and was set up for a period of 42 months. The project investigated, for example, how various components of a so-called retrofit kit can be used to optimize the energy efficiency of existing buildings.

A component of this retrofit kit are vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) of va-Q-tec AG. The practical test of this technology was carried out on a building at Brunel University in London. VIPs were attached to the outer walls. The measurement of the temperatures at different places (outer wall, inner wall and the space between the insulation layer and the wall), which was started in August 2019, showed a clear result: By insulating with va-Q-tec’s VIPs a lot of room heating energy can be saved – as the IR image proves. It shows the outer wall of the building in winter. It can be seen from the yellow color that the uninsulated building wall radiates valuable heat (>7 °C). The blue rectangle is the VIP-insulated area, which has a temperature of -2.1 °C.   

Source: K. Rottenbacher, H. Singh, J. Tavares, F. A. Almeida, M. Kolokotroni, R. Caps, 2020, Vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) for use in buildings, ADVANCED BUILDING SKINS CONFERENCE Bern (Switzerland) 2020

In this context, the extent to which a novel, extremely fine-pored polymer foam as filling material for vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) can improve the insulation of buildings was also examined.

In combination with other components such as photovoltaic systems, smart building components and an intelligent building energy management system, the energy efficiency of buildings is increased. Further practical tests are to take place in Denmark and Spain. VIPs will also be used here and will also demonstrate their cost and energy efficiency and their positive effects on the environment and indoor climate.