Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ADAPTIWALL Report Summary

Project ID: 608808
Funded under: FP7-NMP
Country: Netherlands

Periodic Report Summary 2 - ADAPTIWALL (Multi-functional light-weight WALL panel based on ADAPTive Insulation and nanomaterials for energy efficient buildings)

Project Context and Objectives:
Achieving EU’s energy-efficiency targets (2050 goals) depends on the right measures to retrofit existing building stock, which is dominated by residential buildings. Approximately 85% of the existing dwellings were built before 1990 with poor façade and roof insulation. Due to this weakness much energy is wasted when operating auxiliary heating, ventilation and air conditioning installations. Current retrofitting attempts by increasing envelope thickness bring negative consequences like too high airtightness, over-heating, poor ventilation and loss of space due to voluminous retrofit units.
ADAPTIWALL solves this problem by using nanotechnology to develop a multifunctional and climate-adaptive panel for energy-efficient buildings. This novel panel consists of 3 elements: 1) lightweight concrete with nanoadditives for efficient thermal storage and load bearing capacity; 2) adaptable insulation for switchable thermal resistance; and 3) total heat exchanger with nanostructured membrane for temperature, moisture and anti-bacterial control.
ADAPTIWALL panel is innovative due to its lightweight design and quick low-cost installation; switchable thermal resistance for heat exchange and storage; highly improved energy efficiency; and suitability to be used for façade or roof in cost-efficient retrofitting and new buildings in different European climate regions. When used for façades, ADAPTIWALL panels reduce the building’s energy consumption by more than 50% in comparison with conventional retrofitting. Their ventilation and heat exchange properties significantly contribute to create a healthy and comfortable indoor climate, while eliminating the need for auxiliary installations.
The ADAPTIWALL research project focuses on developing adaptive (nano)materials; applying the materials in a lightweight panel; enhancing the panel’s structural, fire safety and sound insulation properties; and demonstrating the novel prefabricating systems to European construction industry.

Project Results:
In the first two years, the work focused on material development, energy performance simulations and labscale performance testing of the separate components, resulting in the final selection of the materials & concepts to be used for the three components. In the third year the developed components were integrated in 1 m2 labscale prototypes to test the thermal behavior of the ADAPTIWALL concept. Based on the results a real scale demonstrator is now designed.

Four lab-scale prototypes were built in Spain, at the Algete Demo Park of ACCIONA, for experimental assessment of the thermal behavior of the adaptive insulation-buffer combination. The THEX was tested separately in France at CEA.

The adaptive insulation-buffer concept consists of a type of solar collector, bypassing a static insulation component for energy storage in the concrete buffer and a type of radiator for exchange with the indoor environment. Results of the testing of the adaptive insulation concept show the “proof of concept”: energy is transmitted from the outside facade to the buffer of the ADAPTIWALL, temporarily stored and transferred to the indoor. The amount of energy that can be transferred is similar as what came out of the one room simulations, which predicted overall energy savings of at least 50% compared to traditional retrofitting (Rc = 5 m2K/W).

Based on a concept patented in 2012 by CEA and developed further in Adaptiwall, prototypes of a membrane separator for the THEX have been manufactured and characterized. A dedicated mockup and an experimental loop were set up for this.

In a counter flow configuration, the THEX appliance consists of a stacking of a moisture selective membrane and separator. The separator is optimized to enhance thermal transfer, preserve mass transfer area and assure a perfect supporting of membrane. The prototypes were built in polymer by 3D additive method.

Tests of membrane characterization showed a good improvement of global transfer and recovery efficiencies in comparison with state of the art technology. The open honeycomb web separator with a pitch of 20 and 30mm gave the higher efficiencies. An increase of energy performance between 10% and 15% can be expected with the new technology comparing to the state of the art HVAC and THEX technology.

Demonstration activities
Based on the test result of the 1 m2 labscale prototypes, the Adaptiwall concept is now optimized and designed for 2 real-size (approximately 10 m2) demonstrator panels including the THEX. Designed total thickess of ADAPTIWALL panel is 35cm.

The next step is the manufacturing and testing of these demonstration panels on the PASSYS cell test facility of CEA at Bourget du Lac (France). The panels will be fully instrumented such that different scenarios (for example different user behavior) and control strategies can be tested. Main objective of this demonstration is to characterize the dynamic behavior of the façade and thereby to verify the energy saving objectives of Adaptiwall.

Potential Impact:
This is still confidential. Will be updated after period 3.

List of Websites:

Related information


Wietske Van kanten, (Projectmanager)
Tel.: +31 88 8663238
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