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Energy Efficient LIghtweight-Sustainable-SAfe-Steel Construction

Final Report Summary - ELISSA (Energy Efficient LIghtweight-Sustainable-SAfe-Steel Construction)

Executive Summary:
Climatic changes, massive catastrophic events - like earthquakes or fire blasts – and continuous changes in urban living habits make necessary the provision of building concepts that can reliably address these challenges.

The ELISSA Project developed a solution for modular lightweight construction, which can offer excellent thermal, fire, sound and earthquake protection. The project analysed and optimised prefabricated lightweight cold formed steel skeleton/dry wall systems to reach excellent thermal, acoustic, vibration/seismic and fire performance, resulting from the inherent thermal, damping and fire spread prevention properties of carefully preselected inorganic nano-technology enabled materials (Vacuum Insulation Panels and intumescent paints).

The industry driven consortium comprised two major industries (KNAUFKG, KNAUFIT) and four high tech SMEs, specializing in lightweight steel skeleton modular construction (COCOON), VIPs (Va-Q-TEC), intumescent paints (FARBE) and structural design (WBI), complemented by five research partners (NTUA, STRESS, ULSTER, UNINA, ZAE) providing expertise on property assessment, testing and modeling aiming to develop, optimize and validate the ELISSA elements and systems that enhance structural excellence, human comfort and safety in new and existing buildings.

The prefabricated wall-floor-roof elements and 3D modules developed by the project offer an answer to different needs: (i) Thermal – Fire – Acoustic - Seismic resilience solution for vulnerable areas, (ii) Easy and fast to implement solution for the construction sector and (iii) Volumetric additions within renovation projects of existing buildings. The new ELISSA prefabricated lightweight elements can reach the highest achievable degree of energy efficiency, safety (tested and optimized as load bearing elements), and sustainability for steel lightweight buildings; they are able to create high added value in the whole construction process, from design, construction and operation to maintenance, including components manufacturing refurbishment and decommissioning and improve efficiency and sustainability of the processes involved in the creation, operation and maintenance of the built environment.
The basic ELISSA wall consists of a lightweight steel skeleton of COCOON profiles – which form the support structure - coated with FARBE intumescent paint, is insulated with mineral wool and covered up with KNAUF cement boards. The main seismic resistant systems are shear walls, consisting of cold-formed steel frames sheathed with gypsum panels connected with ballistic nails. The interior lining of the wall consists of va-Q-tec Vacuum Insulation Panels and KNAUF profiles insulated with mineral wool, all covered with a double layer of KNAUF mechanically enduring boards (KNAUF Diamant boards). The exterior façade has an additional layer of underlay foil as protection against moisture and is finished with a ventilated façade system KNAUF Aquapanel cement boards are applied on hat-shaped channels and plastered as a finish.

To minimize damage to non-load bearing building elements and reduce financial losses in case of an earthquake, partners WBI and ZAE have developed an Active Damping Device, which remains fully functional even in case of power failure.
The combination of the wall and ceiling elements forms a fully functional modular residential building, the “ELISSA house”. With up to three-floors, it is adaptable for single or two-families, offices or for other commercial use. Thus, it addresses the users’ needs with low construction- and energy costs, as well as high living comfort and quality. The ELISSA modules are suitable for stand-alone solutions as new prefabricated blocks, up to three-floors, they are adaptable for single or two-families, offices or for other commercial use, or as volumetric addition for existing buildings.

The vision of the consortium for the future is to provide complete urban solutions, based on the ELISSA sustainable living concept, for new and retrofitted buildings, thus offering the optimum combination of design, function, comfort and quality for a modern living.
Project Context and Objectives:
The overall objective of the ELISSA project has been the development and demonstration of nano-enhanced modular lightweight steel skeleton/dry-wall systems with improved thermal, vibration/seismic, sound and fire performance.

The new ELISSA prefabricated lightweight prefabricated elements reach the highest achievable degree of energy efficiency, fire and seismic safety – they have been be structurally tested and optimized as load bearing elements - and sustainability for steel lightweight buildings through:
− Ensuring efficiency and structural integrity under thermal, dynamic and fire loads (due to nanomaterial properties, MEMS and design concept).
− Saving materials, energy and time during construction due to construction concept (pre-fabricated elements resilient construction that doesn’t need repair in case of lower seismic action).
− Saving energy during building operation due to materials (multi-functional elements with suitable insulation).
− Being economic (recycled, re-usable materials, flexibility in architectural design, optimized production-logistics-construction-use chain).

The project has been realized over three years and addressed thermal, fire, acoustic and seismic performance developments of modular multi-layered lightweight elements with research activities ranging from the micro-to the macro-scale.

The nano-enabled material (M1-M18) developments addressed close to the market Super-Insulation Materials (SIMs) in the form of new encaplulated VIPs, new foil for more robust VIPs, selection of appropriate aerogels for thermal bridge minimization, new intumescent paint formulation as well as new software tools for thermal and fire assessment of SIMs. The research performed resulted in tuned material properties to match the requirements for improved thermal and fire performance of the designed lightweight steel / dry wall elements (called ELISSA elements). In addition, structural tests on steel connections, small scale (material and small sample) thermal and fire tests provided the key material properties needed to model and predict the behavior of the ELISSA wall and house.

The meso-scale research work (M13-M30) concentrated on the thermal, acoustic, structural and the fire performance testing of the ELISSA specially designed lightweight steel/dry wall modular elements that incorporated the previously selected VIPs and intumescent paints via dedicated experiments and modelling. The thermal, acoustic, (thermo)-structural and fire assessment of the ELISSA elements relied on several tests of full scale walls (e.g. climatic chamber tests, hot box measurements, monotonic and cyclic loading structural tests, sound tests, resistance to fire tests) as well as development and implementation of computational tools and approaches.

The macro-scale work (M19-M36) of the project focused on the construction of two mock up buildings (one for thermal and one for seismic testing) and a large scale façade fire test. The two mock ups (one floor building for the thermal monitoring, two floor building for the seismic monitoring) were designed and constructed based on the results of micro and meso-scale level research to provide optimized thermal, acoustic, fire and seismic performance. The work included large scale seismic, thermal and fire testing and monitoring. The thermal monitoring of the mock up started in Feb 2016 and continues after the end of the project (until February 2017) providing thermal data for a complete year. The thermal, hygro-thermal /energy monitoring and seismic testing of the two mock up buildings confirmed the anticipated excellent results in terms of all examined aspects. The major achievement is the real scale demonstration of the capabilities of lightweight –steel frame skeleton construction in terms of energy, fire, acoustic and anti-seismic behavior.

Project Results:
The key S&T results and foregrounds cover from the micro to the macro level:

Micro-level S&T results and foregrounds:
Scientific results:
- The project delivered a database of market available nano-enabled insulating materials (VIPs, aerogels, aerogel blankets) including performances and costs.
- Material characterisation included thermal, structural, conductive and flame resistance aspects having LCA implications in mind. Key thermal, sound and fire property data for VIPs, intumescent paints and plasterboards (after testing specific products) have been delivered.
- ELISSA developed and verified a methodology for evaluation of thermal bridges in steel frame lightweight buildings. Calculations of internal- external wall, junctions, studs, VIP and non-VIP positioning have been performed with clarifying schemes, pictures and drawings. In depth study of configurations and according calculations gave a good insight of insulation performances.

Technological developments:
- Va-Q-tec developed new VIPs foils with better endurance and a novel VIP encapsulated in PU (CombiPlate).
- FARBE developed three formulations of intumescent paints and two modified coatings were extensively tested (fire). Ca. 500000 euro should be invested by the SME for the certification, an amount that is not easily justifiable in terms of market potentials. However, the project broadened the knowledge of FARBE on a market oriented product.
- Thermal characterization of VIPs for broad temperature range up to fire conditions (NTUA)

- Va-Q-tec applied for a patent on “Vacuum Insulation Panel encapsulated into rigid foam” (2016)
- Method to characterize intumescent paints under fire conditions (ULSTER)
- Characterization of fire behaviour of VIPs (ULSTER, NTUA)
- Methodology for thermal bridge assessment (NTUA, ZAE).

Meso-level S&T results and foregrounds:
Scientific results:
In order to assess the thermal, seismic and fire performance of the ELISSA wall (Figure 4.1c) two conventional brick walls corresponding to typical wall configurations in North/Central (same U-value with the ELISSA wall, Figure 4.1a) and South Europe (same thickness with the ELISSA wall, Figure 4.1b) were considered. Figure 4.1 illustrates a schematic diagram of the examined wall assemblies, while Table 4.1 summarizes their technical characteristics.

Comparing the ELISSA wall with a typical brick wall of the same U-value used in Central and North Europe the following conclusions are drawn:
• The ELISSA wall is approximately 45 % thinner and at least 75 % lighter.
• The total cost of the massive brick wall is 65 % lower than the cost of the ELISSA wall (with VIPs at 71 €/m2). Assuming 40 €/m2 VIP cost, the total cost of the ELISSA wall drops to 199.58 €/m2, which corresponds to –43% improvement in comparison to the brick wall.
• The ELISSA wall has 2.0 times higher energy dissipation capacity and 8 times higher energy dissipation capacity per weight (in case of an earthquake)
• The ELISSA wall satisfies the most stringent fire design requirements for typical multi-storey (120 min).
• The embodied energy (EE) of the ELISSA wall is higher than that of the massive brick wall by 48% and the VIP is responsible for the 35% of the total EE per m2 of the wall. However, these values will change significantly, if recycling of VIP is taken into account, thus decreasing the EE of the ELISSA Wall.
• The massive brick wall produces 4% higher GHG emissions than the ELISSA wall.
Comparing the ELISSA wall with a typical brick wall of the same thickness used in South Europe the following conclusions are drawn:
• The ELISSA wall has at least 60 % lower U-value and is at least 70 % lighter.
• The total cost of the massive brick wall is 120 % lower than the cost of the ELISSA wall (with VIPs at 71 €/m2). Assuming the cost of VIP to be 40 €/m2, the total cost of the ELISSA wall drops to 199.58 €/m2, which corresponds to –93% improvement in comparison to the brick wall.
• The ELISSA wall has 1.4 times higher energy dissipation capacity and 6 times higher energy dissipation capacity per weight (in case of an earthquake)
• The ELISSA wall satisfies the most stringent fire design requirements for typical multi-storey (120 min)
• The embodied energy (EE) of the ELISSA wall is by 98% higher than that of the massive brick wall. For the ELISSA wall, the production of the VIP and galvanized steel are the most energy intensive procedures (35% and 33% respectively of the total EE per m2 of wall). However, these values will change significantly, if recycling of VIP and steel are taken into account, thus decreasing the EE of the ELISSA Panel.

Additional advantages of the ELISSA elements/house based on LCA/LCC analyses):
• Reduction in use of natural resources mainly due to the lower amount of materials used in the ELISSA configuration (in particular for the insulation materials)
• Easy dismantling and fully recyclable materials. Through deconstruction of ELISSA house, direct contribution in circular economy.
• Flexibility in architectural design.
• Time for construction: Approximately two months less time through prefabrication. ELISSA panel is able to generate economic savings up to 48% for the above advantages such as reduction of materials involved in the production process, the construction and the installation time, the transport of materials and the energy consumption.
• Lower mass (further enhancement of the seismic performance).

Thermal Assessment: Thermal analysis of 80 different design Solutions (1D, 2D and 3D analysis without and with SIM/VIP) for the reduction of the thermal bridges have been performed by NTUA. The influence of thermal bridge optimization on ventilation gap has been investigated (required ventilation gap ³ 20 mm (200 cm² per meter) according to DIN 18516-1:2010-06). ZAE performed hygro-thermal simulations of the corner of roof, internal and external walls, ceiling and as shown at several areas an additional insulation is necessary. Also, the “hot box” measurements, performed by ZAE, were in very good agreement with the thermal bridges simulations performed by the NTUA. KNAUFKG and NTUA completed the “climatic chamber tests” for the hygrothermal and thermal bridge assessment of the novel envelope elements.

Structural Assessment: The project assessed the response of the ELISSA shear walls in terms of stiffness, strength and energy dissipation capacity, which are key parameters for the seismic design of this structural typology. Mechanical tests were performed for standard and “long” walls. The tests indicated an average 40% increase in stiffness as a result of the presence of plaster boards (UNINA). Four full scale walls were tested. In all tests, the walls collapsed due to the failure of sheathing-to-frame nailed connections. The experimental results revealed that the cyclic loads gave a reduction of wall lateral strength of 20%, whereas the increase of the aspect ratio from 1:1 to 2:1 resulted in an increase of strength of 35%. The presence of finishing material showed an increasing of strength of about 50%.

Thinning of the walls: Structural tests have been carried out to define the weight reduction (together with material saving) that could be achieved by different improvement methods. The tested profiles showed good, optimized performance for applications as wall profiles (studs) as well as floor profiles (joists). The ELISSA technological advances showed potential to integrate new and innovative fabrication tools into the building process. The intended scope of weight reduction and simplification of the profile range used in a building could be obtained, but the process of fabrication is still in development and thus still too cost-intensive to be a viable alternative. The process of thinning out plates to be formed into structural profiles has to be further optimized and more research has to be done in the field.

Active Damping Device (ADD): The work included development of the Active Damping Device (ADD), the control strategy and hardware as well as the development and assessment of three different electrical designs made up of commercially available components regarding the Supercapacitor based stand-alone Power supply. The developed ADD was successfully tested with a 160 V, 5.8 F Supercapacitor module. All components of the BD.10 work with the DC power of the Supercapacitor. Correct operation was possible with a Capacitor Voltage from 150 V to 65 V. Usable energy content (14.7 Wh) is sufficient. The stand alone power supply, developed by ZAE, can “respond” to an earthquake up to 50 sec. This is enough time to activate the ADD. The ADD could also be coupled to organic solar cells to charge the capacitor. The ADD was also tested in the full scale mock up seismic table at UNINA.

Thermo-structural assessment: Thermo-mechanical simulations of the fire behavior of the Cocoon C147 load-bearing stud with CFD (ANSYS CFX) and FEM (ADINA) have been performed by NTUA. The ELISSA wall behavior was assessed under standard fire conditions provided by the ISO 834 temperature-time curve under simultaneous static loading and fire by using a combination of CFD and FEM tools. The thermal-numerical simulations were carried out for an exposure time of 180 min. The temperature of the unexposed face was, @ 180 min., lower than the threshold of 180°C (as per normative).

Fire assessment: NTUA performed a medium scale facade test (¼ scale of ISO 9705 room apparatus) measuring the temperature at different positions at the interior of the fire compartment and the opening. ULSTER examined the effect of intumescent coatings on the burning behavior of different samples (gypsum and fire boards) using cone calorimeter. Lab–scale fire tests indicated that the tested intumescent paint formulation is not as effective as expected at elevated temperatures (char degrades above 500 oC). ULSTER has also performed furnace test on VIPs according to ISO834 standard curve and the results showed that the weakness of VIP material is the edges where no insulation material exists.
Three full scale furnace tests were conducted by ULSTER for (i) the ELISSA wall, (ii) the ELISSA wall modified with a 20 mm VIP and the (iii) ELISSA with the VIP panel and also intumescent coatings applied on the Diamant board around the steel profiles. The ELISSA walls achieved more than 120 minutes resistance to fire. The VIP panel alone has very limited effect on increasing the fire performance of the wall system. The test with both the VIP panel and intumescent coatings showed an increase in the time to failure by 10 minutes compared to the other two cases and also a significantly delayed increase in the temperature on the unexposed side. For the unmodified ELISSA wall the temperature starts to increase after 50 minutes, which is delayed to 100 minutes in the presence of VIP and intumescent coatings.
KNAUFKG performed fire tests on internal walls with Diamant boards that resulted in REI 30 and REI 90 tests to be passed successfully. The test performed with the FARBE type A intumescent paint indicated that the presence of the intumescent paint results in lower deformation of the metal studs.

Acoustic Assessment: Sound insulation and acoustic testing of ELISSA internal and external walls, with and without the presence of VIPs (performed by KNAUFKG), resulted in the generation of a performance database that permits choice of wall configuration on the basis of required sound insulation and acoustic characteristics.

Technological developments:
- ELISSA developed a basic engineering design concept that was validated with the use of FEM models for structural integrity of the wall elements. The FEM models were optimized regarding static and especially seismic performance. The static and seismic performance of the ELISSA walls was verified by FEM simulation.
- The development of an Active Damping Device (ADD) with active control with MEMS combined with standalone power supply (OPV and supercaps) creates the possibility of further enhancement of the seismic performance of the ELISSA walls and modules.

- KNAUFKG processed a patent application on “Drywall-System with spring profile” (2016). Improvement of the sound-insulation properties of a (drywall system) light-gauge steel construction by implementing spring profiles between the light-gauge steel profiles and the paneling on one side of the construction. The sound-insulation is achieved by decoupling the paneling from the construction profiles. According to the invention the spring profiles are orthogonally fixed to the construction profiles but paneling is fixed only to the spring profiles and not to the construction profiles.

Macro-level S&T results and foregrounds:
Scientific results:
- A large-scale compartment-façade fire test was performed to investigate the fire behaviour characteristics of the "ventilated façade" concept used in the ELISSA external wall configuration. The obtained experimental data were used to validate the CFD tool that was used to simulate the same large-scale fire test. Additional CFD simulations allowed estimation of the impact of the "ventilated façade" concept on the fire spreading characteristics. An extensive parametric study was performed using a CFD tool to estimate the main flame dynamics characteristics established in the ELISSA 3-room demo building.
- Construction and monitoring of the ELISSA prototype thermal mock up (Figure 4.2 - left). The results from the thermal monitoring period revealed the excellent thermal performance of the ELISSA’s wall. The effective thermal transmittance (U-value) of the wall was measured equal to 0.12 W/m2K, including the effect of thermal bridges due to the metal studs. This value is very close to a passive house requirement. Moreover, the heat transfer coefficient of the whole mock-up building was estimated to be approximately 13 W/K. The hygro-thermal measurements also reveal that the barrier of the VIPs intercept the humidity transfer.
- Thermal and energy simulations of the ELISSA thermal mock up showed that the additional VIP layer reduces the energy consumption by approximately 21% at any climatic condition. The contribution of the thermal bridges (metal studs and 2D/3D junctions) on the energy losses was ca 30% in the case without VIP and ca. 40% in the case with VIP at the external walls of the building.
- Construction of the ELISSA prototype seismic mock up (Figure 4.2 - right). The full scale seismic table tests, up to acceleration of 1g, confirmed the excellent seismic performance of the ELISSA house. The full scale test results indicated that the maximum inter-storey drift was very small (0.97% for first level and 0.58% for second level), the shear walls exhibited a good seismic response and horizontal diaphragms (floors and roof) behaved as rigid in their plane. Comparing the performance of the ELISSA structure to the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake, it can be deduced that the ELISSA mock-up would have survived the earthquake amplified up to 1.5 times (scaling factor of 150%), without apparent damages in both structural parts and finishing material.
- The performance of the Active Damping Device (ADD) has been assessed in the seismic table. The influence of the ADD on the inter-storey drift has been investigated in terms of random noise and seismic excitations. The reduction of interstorey drift is up to 60% for random noise and up to 20% for seismic excitation.
- Simulations of the two storey module of the ELISSA house have been performed by a detailed 3D FE model to define the seismic shaking table tests. After the tests additional simulations with the actual applied input signals were carried out to verify the goodness of the FE model. Although differences in the fundamental Eigen-period between simulations and tests were observed due to non-structural components (i.e. non-structural wall claddings) and degradation under ground-motions with higher seismic intensities, the time-history analyses performed before the shaking table tests and the tests itself show that the structure remains mainly elastic under the design earthquake. The 50 % L’Aquila earthquake has a similar seismic intensity as the design earthquake.

Technological developments:
- Assembly and deconstruction of prefabricated modular steel/dry-wall elements: compilation of information that related to the assembly and disassembly of ELISSA seismic mock-up; The parameters considered were: Sequence of element/component/material assembling and dismantling, Equipment needed for assembly and disassembly, Personnel needed for assembly and disassembly, Time for assembling and dismantling each element/component/material, Amount of waste generated during the assembly and disassembly/ materials that can be separated for further recycling after the disassembly.
- The industrialization and market penetration potentials of the nano-material enabled lightweight steel/dry wall systems and the related technologies, developed during the ELISSA project have been examined in terms of their technical, economic and environmental performances. The market study focused on Italy due to its versatile social – technical and climatic conditions and recent earthquake experiences
- The outcome of the “vertical” (environmental, economic, safety) studies within ELISSA have been combined “horizontally” through the implementation of Multicriteria Analysis with the purpose to provide the widest possible assessment of the “global” performance of the ELISSA concept system. The ELISSA panel was assessed against the same alternative concepts, used in the thermal-fire-structural-investment analysis. The multicriteria method was applied to every combination of group weight factors (environmental, economic and safety), producing a ternary diagram depicting the prevailing system for each of the objective combinations (“Decision Map”). The “Decision Map” provided critical information on the trade-offs between the safety, the economic and the environmental performance of the ELISSA concept system and its competitive context. A global conclusion from overlooking the results of the assessment cases examined is that the ELISSA wall is more likely to be preferred under high heating demand conditions. The analysis highlighted that ELISSA concept fits to countries with quite cold weather conditions and high seismicity. Taking into account global maps for the average temperatures and the seismicity (Figure 4.3) examples of these countries could be Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Japan etc. (Middle East and Asia countries), Alaska and Canada (USA and North America countries).

Potential Impact:
Impact of ELISSA on European industry and the market
In the core of the ELISSA project stands the development of prefabricated building elements that can be directly used for the construction of highly efficient modular steel skeleton (CFS) – drywall lightweight buildings. The designed and tested elements ensure the highest possible level of thermal – fire – sound and structural/seismic performance.

The particular developments of ELISSA that will have an impact in the European industry and market are:
− New Cold Formed Steel-drywall elements for external/internal walls and ceilings. First investigations on prefabrication logistics have been performed as part of the project. The load bearing ELISSA prefabricated elements could enter the market after certification. Their direct use a prefabricated walls in European regions with high seismic activity is currently not possible because Eurocode 8 does not account for anti-seismic construction with CFS skeletons. The same is not true for other parts of the world (e.g. USA, Japan). The industrialisation of the prefabrication procedure (e.g. up-scaling of manufacturing process for mass production) needs significant investment (ca. 40 million euro) that goes beyond the current market needs. However, the ELISSA elements could be manually assembled – the project provided the relevant know how – for individual projects. As a result of the project KNAUFKG and COCOON established a new joint venture (2015).
- New flexible high quality prefabricated modules (consisting of the ELISSA elements) that can very reliably serve citizen needs in e.g. high risk or disaster met areas. The limitations for entering the market are the same as for the ELISSA elements. Technical problems that still remain to be solved before the commercialization of the prefabricated modules relate to the inter-connectivity of the modules, especially for renovation and vertical or horizontal extension applications.
- New Super Insulation Material: VIP-Combiplate® (VIP panel inside an accurately shaped and sharp cornered PU-foam cover with standard dimension of 60x100 cm in three thicknesses). Va-Q-tec has applied for a patent (2016) with the title “Vacuum Insulating Panel (VIP) encapsulated into a rigid polyurethane foam for protection during handling and installation”.Va-q-tec received the prize for “va-q-safe” as “innovation product for architecture and building praxis” at Munich building fair, BAU 2015.
- New sound insulation technique. KNAUFKG have applied for an international patent application (2016) related to sound-insulating light-gauge steel constructions for load bearing walls involving the use of spring profiles.
- New formulations for intumescent paints. FARBE developed three formulations of intumescent paints and two modified coatings were extensively tested (fire). Ca. 500000 euro should be invested by the SME for the certification, an amount that is not easily justifiable in terms of market potentials. However, the project broadened the knowledge of FARBE on a market oriented product.
- Active Damping Device (ADD) with power supply: Partners WBI and ZAE developed a novel Active Damping Device (ADD) with self-powering capability as part of lightweight construction. The ADD is especially developed for lightweight construction. The ADD can potentially be integrated in anti-seismic design. Now-a-days, design codes (especially in seismic counties) do not account for “mechanical damping” effects. The project highlighted the positive impact that mechanical damping could impose on anti-seismic design techniques. WBI needs about three more years to bring the new ADD to a commercial level and talk to important stakeholders (e.g. insurances). New potential markets e.g. in bridges, high rise buildings.
The design and construction practices of the elements and ELISSA modules, as well as the new encapsulated VIPS (CombiPlate), the two new intumescent paints, the ADD and its power supply can be independently applied to various segments of the construction market.
The direct and indirect economic benefits of ELISSA are multi-sectoral and extend far beyond the direct market impact of the particular demonstration building examined and optimized within the project. They have a very wide application market, with a size that is difficult to estimate.
The new developments improve the contribution of lightweight dry-wall steel skeleton modular buildings to energy savings and citizen safety (fire and earthquake) and will increase the international market share of this type of construction.

Market analysis:
The industrialization and market penetration potentials of the nanomaterial enabled steel/dry wall systems and the related technologies, developed as part of the ELISSA Project, depend on their technical, economic and environmental performances. The ELISSA project paid significant attention on the commercialization potentials of prefabricated modular buildings constructed on the basis of the ELISSA wall concept (Cold formed steel frame with several layers of Dry wall systems, Vacuum insulation Panels and intumescent paints).
As Italy offers a versatility of social – technical and climate conditions and had recent earthquake experiences, the market survey was focused on Italy with contributions from the ELISSA partners. The market was defined as the construction industry for new houses or apartment buildings up to 4 floors (according to the ETA 11/0105 of the Cocoon Transformer System). The survey targeted architects, engineer, manufacturers, contractors and end users already experienced with prefabricated construction solutions.
The market analysis showed that there is a potential for the commercialization of the ELISSA project offering in the Italian market. The prefabricated market of Italy is growing and it is estimated of approx. € 8 billion. Wood constructions (also prefabricated solutions) have - due to fast construction time and seismic performance - already a good positioning in certain areas of Italy. The ELISSA project offering could benefit from this background. There is a readiness in the market to pay more for better performance.
The investment analysis performed by NTUA for the ELISSA concept (lightweight steel skeleton drywall construction) for three different cities in Europe, i.e. Athens (Greece), Geneva, (Switzerland) and Stockholm (Sweden) indicated that the ELISSA offering fits to countries with quite cold weather conditions and high seismicity.
Overall, the ELISSA panel is able to generate economic savings up to 48% for the advantages such as reduction of materials involved in the production process, the construction and the installation time, the transport of materials and the energy consumption.

Exploitation Potential for SMEs.
The load bearing base of ELISSA elements is the metal framing. When combined with plasterboards can ensure fire retardancy. The incorporation of VIPs in the multi-layer assembly limits damages of the insulation material and significantly reduces the thickness and weight of the wall. The VIP of va-q-ted and the intumescent paint development of FARBE have been integrated in the actual Elissa element development. They therefore have a preferred position in the exploitation phase of the Cocoon-Knauf-Va-Q-Tec ELISSA modules.
Cocoon attained significant technical know-how through the project (seismic behavior of load bearing CFS, thinning of metal studs, mechanical performance of connections etc). The project opened new collaboration horizons for COCOON. A joint venture was established with knauf.
Farbe: The new intumescent paint formulations can be also exploited outside the ELISSA project. The project provided know-how for FARBE on the behavior of their paints on steel, VIPs and plasterboards, which can open new markets for FARBE.
WBI will further examine the exploitability of the ADD in high rise buildings, bridges, tunnels and other construction applications.
Va-Q-Tec created a realistic opportunity for high volume VIP utilisation in construction by its strategic cooperation with important players like Cocoon and Knauf.

Impact of ELISSA on Academic-Research community
PhD students
The following Ph.Ds have been undertaken in the frame of the project:
1. Eleni Asimakopoulou, NTUA, 2016: “Numerical and experimental investigation of ignition, spread and suppression of fires in buildings”.
2. Ioannis Mandilaras, NTUA, 2015: “Development and implementation of experimental and numerical methodologies for energy efficiency assessment of building components with phase change”.
3. Ioannis Atsonios, NTUA: “Experimental and computational methods for the energetic assessment of building envelops with “Super-Insulation” Materials” (to be completed in 2017).
4. Konstantinos Chotzoglou, ULSTER: “External Flames on Façade Fires”(to be completed in 2017).

Undergraduate/Postgraduate diploma theses
The following is a list of theses completed in the first eighteen months of the project in the frame of the research tasks undertaken in ELISSA.
1. Stilianos Siontas, NTUA, 2015: “Environmental impact in metal frame building”.
2. Georgios Semitelos, NTUA, 2013:“Investigation of performance of building materials and wall assemblies under fire conditions”.
3. Andreas Skandalis, NTUA, 2015:“Numerical simulation of the thermal performance of dry wall construction applying conventional and “super – insulation” materials”.
4. Paraskeuas Tsagetas, NTUA, 2015: “Construction and study of an experimental set up for measuring the thermal conductivity of building materials at high temperatures”.
5. Aris Manolitsis, NTUA, 2015:“Effect of innovative insulation materials in the energy performance of building envelop with the use of computational tool EnergyPlus".

1. George Vlagoulis, NTUA, 2013: “Numerical simulation of flow and thermal phenomena in under ventilated fires”.
2. Nikos Vasilas, NTUA, 2015:“Multi-criteria analysis of lightweight building with innovative high energy performance envelope”.
3. Dimitris Pikiokos, NTUA , 2016: “Numerical Simulation of Compartment Fires: Investigation of Opening Flow Characteristics”.
4. Marino Bracci (Architecture student), UNINA:“Lightweight buildings in cold-formed steel – experimental tests on connections and an application of volumetric system for a day surgery unit” (in Italian).
5. Antonio Domenic D’Avanzo (Engineering student), UNINA:“Experimentation and numerical modelling of seismo-resistant CFS walls sheathed with gypsum boards” (in Italian).
6. Federica Zappalà (Architecutre student), UNINA:“Cold-formed Steel Buildings: from the hysteretic characterization of detail components to the application of volumetric system for vertical additions.”
7. Dominik Schott, WBI, 2015: “Development of a Vibration Reduction System for Building Structures under Earthquake Excitation”(Masterthesis TU Darmstadt/Wölfel).

In the frame of the joint sharing a number of actions have been undertaken that enhanced the impact of the project. The main dissemination activities are:
- International Symposium on “Earthquake Safe Constructions with Lightweight Steel Structures” in Tashkent, Nov 2014. It has been organized by KNAUF with the participation of COCOON, UNINA, NTUA (reported in ELISSA 2nd e-newsletter)
- New book “Lightweight steel drywall constructions for seismic areas” to published by KNAUFKG in April 2015 with contributions from UNINA and NTUA (reported in ELISSA 2nd e-newsletter).
- BAU 2015 – Munich building fair. Va-q-tec received the prize for “va-q-safe” as “innovation product for architecture and building praxis” at Munich building fair, BAU 2015.
- 1° Münchner Kolloquium on modular construction. Organised by KNAUFKG with participation of COCOON, 25 Feb 2015. Press release on modular lightweight construction. Invited spekers from all over the world (Europe, USA, Japan) covered all modular construction topics (from design, logistics to social acceptance). Participation by invitation. More than 100 experts from the German speaking academia and industry attended the Kolloquium.
- Certificate of Honor for the paper entitled “Determination of the Thermal Conductivity of VIPs at Fire/Elevated Temperatures” of the authors Dimos A. Kontogeorgos, Georgios K. Semitelos, Ioannis D. Mandilaras, Roland Caps, Libor Kubina, Maria A. Founti was awarded by the scientific committee of the 12th International Vacuum Insulation Symposium (IVIS 2015).
- ECOBUILD 2016, 8-10 March in London. Alll visitors were highly interested in the project results and the main advantage of ELISSA: shorter building times, light & thin constructions, quality improvements trough prefabrication and high seismic, fire & thermal behaviour of buildings. A press release for ELISSA at ECOBUILD 2016 was prepared and advertised in the project website inviting people to visit ELISSA stand at the exhibition. The stand explained the ELISSA concept, prefabricated load bearing lightweight modular elements with excellent thermal performance and improved fire resistance and seismic resilience. The fair was a successful dissemination activity for the project and for all involved project partners, attracting more than 200 visitors at the ELISSA stand.
- COCOON presented ELISSA at the “Intrakustik Fachschau” in Stuttgart on 14th April 2016, Intrakustic is a specialised fair targeting construction companies for dry construction and insulation and ELISSA results were presented on LCA Workshop at Ravenna on 23-24 June 2016 by STRESS, through a poster and an oral presentation. The workshop was attended by ca. 200 experts.
- KNAUFKG in collaboration with all Industrial partners prepared a commercial video for the new ELISSA wall panel that is available on the project website and on YouTube via the URL:
- The ELISSA market flyer has also been prepared by KNAUFKG and NTUA. ELISSA market flyer provides information about ELISSA new developed materials and technologies that target planners, engineers, architects, private and public investors and construction companies interested in future-oriented ways to construct buildings.

The main training activities included:
− The Special School on fire engineering that was organized by NTUA and ULSTER in collaboration with the Greek Fire Academy in Athens on 16-17 May 2016.
− A technical workshop was organized by UNINA, on Wednesday 6 July 2016, before the full scale seismic tests aiming to present and explain the design and construction characteristics of the two-floor ELISSA seismic mock up, which is a replica of the so-called ELISSA house. Presentations were given by partners UNINA, COCOON, KNAUFIT and WBI.
− The Workshop on “Lightweight steel drywall constructions in seismic areas” was organized by UNINA/KNAUF Italy in Naples on July 7th, 2016. It aimed to disseminate the results of the ELISSA project and to make known the thermal-acoustic and fire/seismic safety advantages of lightweight steel skeleton/dry wall system construction. The workshop was attended by ca. 70 experts. An exhibition with the project results and ELISSA dissemination material was organized by KNAUFKG and UNINA. All attendees received a copy of the book “Lightweight steel drywall constructions in seismic areas”, which was written with contributions from several ELISSA partners. Finally, the workshop was announced in the local Italian press and interviews were conducted with several ELISSA partners for the Italian press.

Several clustering activities were organized, such as the AMANAC Financial Opportunities Workshop and the Industrial Advisory Board Workshop, where partners of the ELISSA (NTUA, COCOON - D. Seiler from ELISSA is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board within AMANAC) were present. ELISSA outcomes were presented in the AMANAC parallel sessions organized within the frame of the Smart Façade Materials Conference in the WSED 2016 on February 24-26, 2016 in Wels, Austria. ELISSA was one of the five “Success stories: Advanced materials and solutions for low carbon energy and more sustainable buildings in Europe” that was presented in the AMANAC and EMIRI Association joint Seminar in the Sustainable Energy Week - EUSEW2016 on June 16th, 2016 by Prof. M. Founti (NTUA) with 56% of the 70 attendants declaring interest in the ELISSA solution.
Furthermore, the ELISSA concept was presented in the CSA-ABRACADABRA (Assistant Buildings’ addition to Retrofit, Adopt, Cure And Develop the Actual Buildings up to zeRo energy, Activating a market for deep renovation) workshop.
Throughout the period of the project, more than 20 scientific papers were successfully submitted in journals and conferences, while in total partners participated in several conferences, fairs, exhibition etc. The project website was regularly updated and all dissemination events were advertised on “News” page. Statistical results of the webpage showed that views were continually increasing.

Exploitable results (detailed description provided in
The exploitable results that have been achieved by the consortium of the project are listed below:
1. Methodology for thermal bridge assessment for lightweight construction (ZAE, NTUA)
2. New VIP based insulation panel (Patented, va-Q-tec)
3. New intumescent paint (FARBE)
4. New intumescent paint -development of a methodology for characterising the expansion behaviour of intumescent coatings (ULSTER)
5. Four lightweight dry wall construction elements/partitions with nano-materials (Internal wall, External wall, Roof, Floor), (COCOON, KNAUFKG, KNAUF ITALY, VA-Q-TEC)
6. Active vibration damping device (Sensor/actuator), (WBI)
7. Power supply for active damping device (ZAE)
8. Three modules/containers - Design Concept (COCOON, KNAUFKG, KNAUF ITALY, UNINA,)

List of Websites:
ELISSA website:
Project Coordinator: Prof. Maria Founti,