Facade evaluated – and found good

Facade evaluated – and found good
An impartial expert’s report on the insulated facade of the 3-liter house shows that its thermal insulation material Neopor is still in very good condition twelve years after the building was modernized. Modernization work on the multi-unit building had included application of an external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS).

This report by Achim Bauer, an accredited expert in the stucco plaster field, finds no visible aging on the plaster facade. Nor does it find any algae growth. Samples taken on the building’s facade and plinth show that both the insulating material and the plaster are in excellent condition. According to the Federal Ministry for Transport, Building, and Urban Development’s evaluation system for sustainable construction, an ETICS generally has a service life of around 40 years.

The facade of this old building owned by Luwoge GmbH, the housing company of BASF, was insulated with an ETICS from Caparol during modernization twelve years ago. This made it the first older building to meet the 3-liter target.

The insulating material was Neopor (EPS, expandable polystyrene) with a thickness of 200 millimeters and a thermal conductivity level of 035. The addition of tiny graphite particles gives Neopor both its silver-gray color and its special performance properties. Neopor’s insulating performance is up to 20 percent better than white EPS insulating material. In 1998, BASF became the first EPS manufacturer to add a gray insulating material to its portfolio.

Besides the insulating material, the evaluation also covered the overall state of the facade. Occasional cracks were located especially around the windows and doors that caught the expert’s eye. The samples taken however were a clear proof that the cracks in the facade were due to processing mistakes in applying the insulation, not in changes to the underlying insulation panels or in other parts of the insulation system.

Non-modernized older buildings require an average of 200 to 300 kWh per square meter per year for heating. The modernization project for the Brunck Quarter twelve years ago was designed to reduce the level of energy required for these older buildings to around 30 kWh per square meter per year. When modernization work began, the Heat Protection Directive (Wärmeschutzverordnung – WSVO) of 1995 was still valid, and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Energieeinsparverordnung - EnEV) did not go into effect until 2002.

When modernized, the 3-liter building had a U-value of 0.16W/m²k, which was 60 percent below the permissible heat transfer coefficient stipulated by the WSVO (0.40 W/m²k). It also undercut the permissible value stipulated by the EnEV in 2002 (0.35 W/m²k) by about one-third.

The energy efficiency of the 3-liter building was measured at intervals during the period from 2001 to 2011, and the results are now being evaluated. In conjunction with Luwoge GmbH, BASF is now also carrying out a survey of the residents of the 3-liter building.

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