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Author(s): , , ,

Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,

Abstract: When referring to maximizing the energy efficiency of a building, one must first look at the contents of the structure: the make-up of the interior and exterior walls and the contents of the buildings envelope. Generally, when we think of insulation, we think of thermal insulation, which protects us from the blistering, hot days in summer to the dreaded cold days of winter. However, when constructing a building one must also take a holistic approach and look into acoustic insulation, water permeability, its impact on human health and the environment and its resistance to fire. This case study reviewed the characteristics of conventional, alternative and advanced insulation materials. With this comparative analysis, researchers took a holistic approach. The VIPs (vacuum insulation panels), aerogels and GFPs (gas-filled panels) were the most thermally favorable, however they were the less cost effective and could be altered without losing their low thermal conductivity values. All in all, the insulation providing a relatively low thermal conductivity reading, a low health risk to building occupants and the environment is Kenaf, a distant relative of hemp. 

Reference: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 62 (2016) 988 - 1011

DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2016.05.045