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Thermal insulation of walls

Heat always flows from warmer spaces to colder spaces. When it is cold outside heat goes toward outside colder air; the colder outside, the faster heat goes from the building. That is why thermal insulation of walls is one of the main sources of energy conservation. Insulation of walls with high quality up-to-date heaters results in significant decrease of heat losses. The accurate effect of this measure, both energy effects and economic effects, depend on many conditions, beginning with climate where the building is located, shape of the building, and ending with current tariffs for heat energy. Therefore, we recommend bringing this issue to experts who make accurate assessment of the result of thermal insulation and its cost.

Heat transfer resistance (R) is a thermal technical characteristic of building envelope. It is evaluated in m2•K/watt (heat-transfer coefficient (K) is used in European Countries and evaluated in Watt/m2•K). The higher heat transfer resistance, the better thermal insulation characteristic of walls. According to Ukraine’s current building norms, these coefficients are fixed depending on various climate zones in Ukraine. For example, heat transfer resistance of walls of a building under construction shall not be less than 2,8 m2•K/watt for climate zone 1 (Rivne, Zhytomyr, Ternopil, Khmelnytsky, Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Chernigiv, Sumy, Cherkassy, Poltava, Kharkiv, Kirovograd, Lugansk, Donetsk Oblasts) and not less than 2,24 m2•K/watt for a building under thermal modernization. In Ukraine, for most of multi-apartment residential buildings where thermal modernization was not conducted, heat transfer resistance of walls varies between 0,7 and 1,2 m2•K/watt.

See also
Insulation materials chart - thermal properties and environmental ratings, by Energy Saving Trust

Thermal insulation of walls with modern wall heaters that decreases general heat transfer resistance (or heat-transfer coefficient) is the best way to decrease heat losses. Thermal insulation of walls also prevents creation of thermal (or cold) bridges. Thermal bridging is created when materials that are poor thermal insulators come into contact, allowing heat to flow through the path of least thermal resistance (R-value or a materials effectiveness in resisting the conduction of heat) created, although nearby layers of material separated by airspace allow little heat transfer.

Thermal insulation of walls can be exterior and interior. In old building where facades shall be preserved, the preference is given to internal insulation, with much attention paid to thickness and quality of heaters as well as on insulation works in order to avoid moisture and condensate on interior walls. Special attention is paid to walls with problems with condensation. In no circumstance one shall “hide” damp sections of walls under interior heat insulation. This is to say that only professionals may advice on the thermal insulation method.

Not insulated wall Interior insulation of a wall Exterior insulation of a wall

See also:
Thermal imaging and express analysis of building envelope


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IQ energy - a programme designed by the EBRD and financed by E5P & Sida and supported by the EU.
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