If from the constructive point of view modern architecture has produced the buildings energy-intensive, it is said that with some changes we can not improve this aspect. The large losses of heat in our buildings, in fact, represent a further significant impact on costs that we support for our comfort and well-being, which is difficult to give up, because our house is the place where we spend the most time.
We speak of renewable energy, for the production of photovoltaic electricity, solar panels for hot water production, energy saving systems, but is neglected at the same time a simple and inexpensive technology that is the starting point to get the best those that precede it.
Its cost, when construction of a new building affects very little (5/10%), while it is significant at a later time to improve an existing building: however, this cost is recovered in a few years as a result of the reduction in heat consumption.
In any case, the main reasons why we should decide to equip our building optimal thermal insulation, are:
• The thermal insulation is a source of energy
We can talk about clean energy. That produced by renewable energy, but we know that the energy is really clean first of all that which we do not consume!
The insulation acts in this case reduces the consumption of energy produced for example for heating and at the same time will decrease harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
We know that the air temperature is ensured by heating but perhaps there is clear that the thermal insulation has a direct on the temperatures of the surfaces. A well insulated building, also reaches optimum comfort when the air temperature reaches 20 ° C, as well as quantitatively reduce the heat losses to the outside. The standards of insulation of passive houses are the ones to take for example, integrating with doors and windows with high thermal and passive use of solar energy.
It 'also important to choose the right type of insulation based on the characteristics of:
• Thermal conductivity: λ. The lower this ratio, the better the insulating ability of the chosen material).
• Heat transfer: U. The lower the U-value of the structural element, the less its heat loss.
There are more or less insulating ecological? Starting from the consideration that each material has its scope is hard to tell, if only we think that the material that composes part of a process of primary energy consumption in its production, manufacture, transport, installation, emissions and road saying. But we can consider this short list that enumerates the main characteristics and application areas of some insulating materials, taking into account renewable materials, energy expended in their production and levels of harm to humans.
Styrofoam: has very good thermal insulation properties and is resistant, which leads him to last more than 30 years of life. It is used for the insulation of the cellar, but also in sound insulation in the floor. It can be finally used for the facades and also in the application of thermal coats and roofs. Its production is polluting than natural materials, but is recycled in the form of pure and can therefore be reused. In this category can add extruded polystyrene, which is used mainly in a very damp and integration ounces green, terraces and floors.
Expanded perlite: it is an insulator in granules, which is used in the cavities or under the floor, for the production of insulating plaster. The use of perlite tarred However, due to air pollution by harmful substances.
Linen: It is used in thermal insulation of roofs, in the insulation and the insulation by trampling. It is in the list of renewable raw materials.
Glass wool: it is part of the family of insulating mineral fiber and has many fields of application except for the walls in direct contact with the earth. Is an inexhaustible resource being mineral in nature. Although lately its possible carcinogenicity has done much to discuss, scholars, and experts say that if his dust have a sufficient degree of biodegradability should not pose a risk to human health.
Calcium silicate: is used for the remediation of damp walls, for the elimination of mold and the insulation of the interior. It 'available in inexhaustible quantities and for its production are not used propellants or organic additives. It is used by the bio-architecture and has very good insulating properties.
Hemp is used for most common applications. Insulation panels for the facade, ceilings with wooden beams, such as infill material for cavities and acoustic panels. Tear-resistant and moisture, is a great item for organic farming and can be reused.
Fiber panels of wood applied in the attic, under the beams, in front or in the partition walls are impermeable to water vapor with a good ability to heat accumulation. The energy consumption in the processing is high but it is also here of an unlimited resource and is an environmentally friendly product, as a good alternative to plastic or mineral fiber.
Cork: Used acoustic insulation or glued panels on the wall, it has a high heat storage capacity (ten times greater than mineral fibers). And 'insensitive to pests and fungus and its production energy use is reduced. Its cultivation is ecologically advantageous.
Sheep wool: in the form of insulating felt, floor mats for insulation between rafters and interior or exterior walls or as infill material for joints and cavities, it is excellent for construction in wood, it absorbs a large amount of moisture. With good insulation and soundproofing, seems to absorb a certain amount of harmful substances in the air.
Cellulose produced from recycled newspaper is used for padding between the wood floor, and in the insulation between the rafters. From the ecological point of view is a good insulator, the other side is a good compensator moisture and absorbs sound.
Cellular glass: the panels in this material are used along the exterior walls, terraces, under the plinths or on flat roofs. Does not absorb any moisture because it is tin vapor, although in the production phase is consumed much energy. On the other hand does not contain harmful gases to the ozone layer and prevents the penetration of radon.
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