Recticel expert Thibaut Behaegel explains

With flat roofs and terraces, space for insulation is often very limited. This makes it difficult to comply with strict insulation requirements. Ultra-thin vacuum insulation panels offer a solution for this. Thibaut Behaegel, Sales Engineer Flat Roof with Recticel Insulation, explains how, using two different construction problems as examples.

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What are vacuum insulation panels (VIPs)?

Insulating a roof terrace with insufficient space

Vacuum insulation panels, or VIPs for short, are a new kind of insulation material used to meet very high thermal requirements in construction. They have an unrivalled core insulation value of no less than 0.006 W/mK, so panels that are barely 60 mm thick give an R value of 7.50 m²K/W. This high performance insulation is achieved by wrapping a solid core of fumed silica in a high-barrier foil envelope which is then evacuated and vacuum sealed. The combination of this specialised core material and the vacuum makes for an enormous improvement in performance compared with traditional forms of insulation. In this regard it is of course essential for the vacuum to be kept intact, so you absolutely must not drill through it.

The best way to make the most of this high insulation value of the panels is to completely encapsulate them before they leave the factory. In this way the risk of damage is limited. Recticel Insulation protects the core with high-density board. This makes it much safer to use the panels in construction work.

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CONSTRUCTION PROBLEM 1

Insulating a roof terrace with insufficient space

What do you do if you have to insulate a roof terrace to a particular R value but there is not enough space?
Thibaut Behaegel: “If the available space is limited and you also want to keep the renovation within bounds, the traditional PIR‑insulation boards are not good enough. In this case you should opt for vacuum insulation panels. Thanks to this vacuum insulation you achieve the required R value and at the same time make sure you can easily open the terrace door without extra work or modifications. For simple and efficient installation Recticel Insulation can provide you with a tailor-made panel laying plan.”

CONSTRUCTION PROBLEM 2

Insulating a gutter on a roof terrace

How can you insulate a gutter on a roof terrace to a given R value if the available height is not enough?
Thibaut Behaegel: “This construction problem is indeed quite a challenge, but you can solve it by insulating the gutter with vacuum insulation panels. In this way you achieve the same R value in the gutter as on the roof terrace. Major thermal performance losses through the gutter become a thing of the past. You can meet the insulation requirements with vacuum insulation panels just 45 mm thick.”

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