A nationwide model project titled "Low-energy houses in the housing stock" is being undertaken in Germany by Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena). Within this framework, LUWOGE, BASF's housing company, is employing Neopor® for the interior insulation of a building that is more than 100 years old in the historic factory housing "Alte-Kolonie".

The special feature here is that Neopor®, an expandable polystyrene made by BASF, not only accounts for good insulation but also absorbs sound. The brick building on the Sodastraße in Ludwigshafen is one of 34 old structures throughout Germany that are slated for renovation by participants in this project.

Innovations in thermal insulation and sound absorption

When it came to insulating the wall surfaces, LUWOGE turned to a new composite board manufactured by the Rigips company and made of 8 cm-thick Neopor® laminated to gypsum plasterboard. This system not only provides thermal insulation but also reduces sound levels. "Adequate sound protection is one of the foremost requirements made of today's housing", explains Christian Winter, head of sales at Rigips Dämmstoffe. The roof was upgraded with completely new roof elements that were clad with a 40 cm-thick layer of Neopor® by the Schwenk company. The construction under the roof also used BASF’s Micronal® PCM gypsum plasterboards since this is a material whose latent-heat accumulators can limit temperature peaks during the summer, thus ensuring a comfortable climate indoors. The floor surfaces were also generously wrapped up. New, highly compression-resistant and dimensionally stable floor insulation slabs made of Neopor® were installed under the subflooring. The windows are triple-glazed. All in all, these measures have cut energy costs by about 80 percent.

Low consumption of material

It is often the case that buildings whose façades are worth preserving or that fall into the category of historical monuments cannot be insulated on the outside. "This is where interior insulation comes into action", elaborates Jürgen Fischer of Neopor® Marketing. "The crux of the matter here is to also insulate window frames, ceilings and interior wall joints so as to reduce the formation of thermal bridges." The reasons for using Neopor® were its good insulation properties and the low consumption of material it entails. Unlike conventional insulating materials, Neopor® has infrared absorbers and reflectors that serve to reduce heat conductivity. As a result, a panel made of this silver-grey foam is 20 percent thinner than conventional EPS panels even though it provides the same insulation effect. Since less raw material is needed, costs can be lowered and resources saved. This also leaves more living space.




Interior insulation