Types Of Thermal Insulation For Facades

Types Of Thermal Insulation For Facades

In passive houses or houses with almost zero consumption, one of the key points is insulation. In fact, it is surely the best known or most widespread. Thermal insulation understood as a way to protect the home from external climatic conditions. Thus trying to avoid energy losses in the home. And therefore reducing energy consumption in this way.

And there the most important point to thermally insulate are the facades, as the main part of the house envelope.

What does it consist of thermally insulating a house?

Thermally insulating a home means protecting our house from external agents, avoiding unnecessary losses of heat and interior air. This will not only result in lower energy consumption in our bills. But also in greater comfort inside our homes. With a more stable temperature and better air quality.

Internal or external thermal insulation?

Good question that will condition the concrete solution foreseen. And there are many types of thermal insulation on the market depending on whether they are inside or outside the home.

External thermal insulation

Always the recommended option since with it the best values ​​of thermal insulation of facades are obtained. By being able to completely “embrace” the façade even during the floor steps, it is easier to avoid thermal bridges. A continuous thermal insulation is projected, without spatial limitation as it happens inside, achieving better results. In addition, the interior space of the home is not reduced nor does it affect the interior of the home during its installation.

Against it must be said that for a better solution it also has a higher cost. And that also changes the exterior appearance of the facade, which must be allowed in the urban regulations. Especially if it is in the historic center or it is a listed building. This is important when we talk about rehabilitating an existing building without sufficient thermal insulation.

On the other hand, in new construction homes, thermal insulation is always considered on the outside of the base. Whether it is an SATE system, a ventilated facade… but it is a sufficiently validated and widespread solution. In Passive or almost zero consumption homes, with better energy performance than required by regulations, there are even greater thicknesses of insulation. And it is important because if the house is also Passive Certified, this issue is calculated and checked to ensure that the house is built as planned. Giving full guarantee of the good energy performance of our home.

Internal thermal insulation

Isolating the interior of our home is another simpler and cheaper solution. But in the same way, the same results are not achieved as isolating from the outside. In the end we can trasdosar or isolate glued to the facade, between the walls, floor and ceiling that we see. But, for example, we cannot insulate the slab fronts or pillars, which entail thermal bridges or spaces that will have greater energy losses. In addition, since it is not necessary to work from outside the building, it results in less specialized and simpler jobs that can be carried out by more companies. On the other hand, it consumes space inside the house.

It should not always be seen as an alternative solution to external insulation, since they can be compatible. Plastering a wall with insulation towards the interior of the house avoids rubbing and installations passing through the façade, which improves the behavior of the house. In addition to self-supporting cladding, which is the most widespread, polystyrene plates can be used together with laminated plaster or even with plaster on the plate itself.

Main types of thermal insulation for facades

And after briefly analyzing the above issues, we proceed to describe the main types of home insulation. Not because of its location but because of the type of concrete solution. Thus naming the most used and the best results they provide.

External insulation SATE

The SATE is the most widespread Exterior Thermal Insulation System today among all types of thermal insulation in homes. It is placed on our enclosure base (thermoclay block, concrete) and is made up of the following layers. Thermal insulation (EPS, XPS, mineral wool, graphite) mortar with mesh and fine finish. In addition, it must be fixed to the support both chemically and mechanically.

In this way, the main thermal bridges are eliminated, condensation due to lack of insulation is avoided, and without reducing the interior space. Going outside, it confers the image of the building itself.

Within the types of thermal insulation for exterior facades, the SATE system has a lower cost than the ventilated facade alternative. And it presents very optimal insulation values. That is why it is the most common solution by result/investment.

Exterior thermal insulation with ventilated facade

As with the SATE system, they are insulations that are located on the outside of the building envelope. And in the same way, they confer the image of the house.

The main difference is that in the ventilated façade there is an air chamber between the insulation (glued to the support) and the outer cladding layer. This is done in order to provide a space for evacuating water without directly affecting the insulation and improving its performance and maintenance. All this makes the thickness of the facade increase compared to other solutions.

To do this, a metal substructure is provided that, in the strictest cases such as Passive homes, must be protected in its fixings to avoid small thermal bridges. Then, the exterior cladding, normally ceramic or stone, will be fixed on that substructure, which must be slightly separated between pieces by the space of the staples. In addition to controlling dilations and contractions. And this also gives the home a premium look.

It is a more expensive system both for the installation and for the external cladding materials of the ventilated façade.

Internal thermal insulation through self-supporting cladding

It is a fairly simple and relatively inexpensive solution to install within wall insulation types. In fact, it is used only in the entire envelope on a specific wall (normally living room or rooms) even in comprehensive housing reforms. It is no longer a solution as technical or specialized as the rest of the alternatives that we have seen. And in this way any plasterboard company can do it.

The system is assembled as a plasterboard partition glued to our facade from the inside, placing thermal insulation inside, normally rock or glass wool. On the contrary, the solution consumes some useful surface inside the house. And it still has the limitation of thermal bridges in the joints of our house with the floor or lateral partitions.

Thermal insulation of facades by means of chamber injection

It is a somewhat particular situation that without being the best, it is true that it has been used a lot. And that is why we describe it. In Spain it has been quite common to build the facades of buildings with two sheets of brick with an air chamber between them. This peculiarity has been used in rehabilitation to isolate a posteriori by filling that chamber with insulating materials.

The solution consists of making a series of holes through which the insulation is injected. Although it is relatively cheap and does not consume space inside the house, it presents other problems. The main one is that it is difficult to inject insulation evenly. And that we still have the limitations of the slab fronts and vertical partitions on the façade. To this we can add that the cameras are not always completely clean or in good condition. It is increasingly a residual solution for insulation in homes.

Advantages of thermal insulation of facades

The objective of thermally insulating our home is clear:

  • Avoid thermal bridges
  • Reduce the demand for our housing
  • Reduce the energy loss of our house
  • Combat unwanted air infiltrations
  • Avoid indoor humidity due to condensation
  • Improve the transmittance of our facade
  • Improve the acoustic insulation of the home
  • Gain comfort inside the house
  • Reduce energy consumption in air conditioning bills
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