Retrofitting an old warehouse using vacuum insulation panels - Hygrothermal analysis and life cycle cost assessment
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Structural engineering and building technology (MPSEB), MSc
Due to global warming and climate change, it is now pressing to reduce the harmful anthropogenic impacts on environment. The daily consumed energy is still mainly from fossil fuels so it represents a major source of greenhouse emissions. Therefore, the building sector, which accounts for 35% of the final energy consumption in the OECD countries, is a sector with a strong potential for abatement measures. In particular, re-insulating old buildings, which are usually not or poorly insulated, is considered as a promising measure for energy savings. Today, the new Swedish and European thermal regulations are getting stricter and keep inciting building owners to retrofit their old deficient building façades. To fulfill these new requirements, several new insulation materials have been developed over the last decades. One of them is the vacuum insulation panel (VIP), a state-of-the art system, containing vacuum encased in a polymer laminate envelope. Thus, VIPs present very efficient thermal properties with a low thickness. This report focuses on a case study: Kajskjul 113, a former warehouse whose retrofitting was ordered by its building owner, a municipal company willing to move there its headquarters. This thesis sought to determine if by using VIPs for the retrofitting, the building owner would fill its most relevant requirements: hygrothermal improvements in the façade materials and cost efficiency. First, a pre-study has established a promising internal insulation following feedback from previous research experiments. Then, the overall cost of the solution has been evaluated using a Life Cycle Cost analysis (LCC) and the thermal improvements as well as the new hygrothermal conditions in the retrofitted façade has been controlled using the software WUFI 2D. It results that the VIPs offer an efficient thermal solution but the implementing VIPs is more expensive that insulating with conventional materials. Owing to this, it seems that re-insulating Kajskjul 113 with VIPs is not the most optimal solution. Indeed, due to their high purchase price, the VIPs are still too costly for conventional insulation measures. It is most probable that due to their thinness and excellent thermal properties, the VIPs would be more adapted to insulating façade elements where the space is limited such as windows or door frames and windows casings.
Building Futures , Byggnadsteknik , Building Futures , Building engineering