One great challenge of the 21st century is meeting the world's growing energy demands and reducing dependence on fossil fuels. The European construction sector must address energy consumption by retrofitting building insulation using cost-effective state-of-the-art vacuum insulation panels (VIPs). The EU-funded VIP4ALL (Highly sustainable and effective production of innovative low cost vacuum insulation panels for zero carbon building construction) initiative worked to develop a cost-effective VIP concept using natural mineral and/or renewable organic by-products as core materials. VIP4ALL aimed to not only cut the price of VIPs in half but also improve performance and sustainability. Project partners developed a database of raw material characteristics, leading them to identify two envelope systems and four hybrid core designs for further investigation. VIP4ALL showed that the proposed core designs were able to insulate buildings as successfully as conventional VIPs. The researchers also developed and tested a new protective layer for the envelope. The technology will provide a welcome alternative for the construction industry, which contributes 10 % of total EU gross domestic product and is the leading industrial employer in Europe. VIP4ALL will make a major contribution to the viability and competitive position of this critical pillar of the EU economy.
Building insulation, insulating material, construction industry, vacuum insulation panels, VIP4ALL