Exterior walls represent a very significant part of all heat losses and gains in buildings. This could be minimized by applying insulation materials that presented superior technical benefits, when compared with internal insulation methods.
Despite their efficiency, traditional envelope external insulation systems still pose several environmental and life-cycle cost issues, especially concerning its durability, performance and maintenance. Moreover, conventional systems are still associated to hard labour installation procedures.
To strengthen research, technological development and innovation.
The GELCLAD project aims to generate an affordable advanced external wall insulation system for building envelopes. GELCLAD will be a sustainable lightweight, ready-to-use composite product, made of a distinct aerogel insulation core and a weatherproofing eco WPC skin panel in one single and easy to handle unit, able to attain high energy efficiency goals and specially designed for the major building renovation action desired for EU.
• 45% improvement on insulation performance;
• Service life time over 30 years;
• Easy and fast application;
• Competitive cost/performance;
• Retrofitting oriented;
• Respect for sustainable principles.
The project achieved several results with significant potential impact on the building insulation market. The main exploitable results were:
1. A especially formulated ambient pressure drying (APD) foamable silica aerogel-based core material having low thermal conductivity and capable of being extruded and/or injected (density around 130 kg/m3 and a thermal conductivity of 15 mW/mK, processed by an innovative extrusion technique at industrial-pilot scale);
2. A novel, eco-friendly and waterproof skin frame made of ecoWPCs and functional additives;
3. Different industrial manufacturing pilot lines, namely advanced co-extrusion, on-line filling and lamination technologies, allowing the simultaneous combination of functional aerogel core and skin frame layers;
4. A modular designed façade panel/façade system with a nano-insulation core and eco skin frame, designed to achieve easy industrial production, fast installation and high performance (e.g., water-tightness, wind load resistance, fire and impact resistance);
5. Smart adaptive ventilation module with ambient-sensitive smart-shape-memory materials helping to control the ventilation of façade systems.