When it comes to unused potential for saving energy, buildings can’t be beat: They are responsible for 28 percent of the world’s energy consumption, a figure that rises to 45 percent when only Western countries are taken into consideration. According to the German Environmental Agency (UBA), an energy retrofit can reduce a building’s primary energy demand by up to 90 percent. The EU has responded by strengthening its directives for the overall energy efficiency of buildings: Starting in 2021, for instance, all new buildings in the EU are to be constructed to meet virtually the same standards as zero-energy buildings. These buildings produce electricity and/or energy in an amount corresponding to their energy consumption.
While good thermal insulation is key for making buildings more efficient, growing building efficiency demands are resulting in thicker and thicker insulating materials. However, space is particularly limited and expensive in city centers, and fire-safety standards here are high. For this reason, architects are on the lookout for lean solutions that can meet both of these demands while leaving as much room as possible for creative design.
Recognizing this trend, Evonik launched a silicon-based heat insulation panel almost three years ago—a semifinished product sold under the name CALOSTAT® which is made of synthetic, amorphous silica.