VIP technology is one of the most promising technologies for improving building energy efficiency. Buildings account for a large fraction of total carbon emissions (40% of total energy use in the EU). Unfortunately, much space heating energy is lost through the poorly insulated building fabric of older buildings. Yet this problem also poses an opportunity for huge energy savings if such buildings can be retrofitted with adequate insulation.
As governments set aggressive goals to reduce the energy used to heat buildings, a major target is to lower the heat transfer coefficient (U-value) of the building fabric. VIP technology makes it possible to retrofit thermal barriers in older buildings, increasing energy efficiency where it might otherwise be impractical to accommodate thick layers of conventional insulation. For new constructions, VIPs can be “built in” from the start, allowing for sleek designs that offer both space and energy savings.
VIP technology has already been used to insulate floors and doors as well as dormer windows and glazed facades. The technology has also been applied to facades in new construction as well as retrofits, including both exterior and interior facades. One of the most common applications is on the exterior of existing walls. For flat commercial roofs, VIPs have been developed with an expected service life of least 25 years. Other specialized applications include attic hatches and stairs. VIPs have even been used in saunas.
photo provided by Kingspan Insulation Ltd.
A comparison of insulating material thickness shows how space saving and energy efficient VIPs are:
Photo provided by Hanita Coatings