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Retrofit cavity-wall insulation: performance analysis from in-situ measurements

Marc Delghust (UGent), Arnold Janssens (UGent) and Joachim Rummens (UGent)
Author
Organization
Project
IWT Tetra-project 70127: Na-isolatie van Bestaande Spouwmuren: analyse van kwaliteit en geschiktheid van materialen en uitvoeringstechnieken
Abstract
Great potential for the reduction of energy consumption in the Flemish houses can be found in retrofit cavity wall insulation. This is due to the reduced costs and the reduced complexity of the procedure in comparison to interior and exterior retrofit wall insulation and to the vast amount of non-insulated cavity-walls in Flemish houses. Nevertheless, retrofit cavity wall insulation isn’t as widely applied, controlled and promoted in Belgium as it is in countries such as Great-Britain by Ciga and the Netherlands by Venin. This is mainly caused by some bad experiences from the past and a lack of local, well documented exemplary projects, performance analysis and quality control framework. As an attempt to respond to these demands, a study on this technique was launched, putting together several Belgian research institutes. As a part of this study, 25 houses were analyzed as case-studies. This test-group was composed as a sample of the main products used for retrofitted cavity wall insulation in Belgium. Performance analysis was applied on several complementary levels and aspects such as thermal properties, air-tightness, indoor climate, thermal bridges and energy consumption. Therefore, the following measurements were used: heat flux-measurements and infrared thermography, blowerdoor-tests, measurements of indoor-climate and surface temperatures, record-keeping of heating consumption. When possible, measurements were performed before and after retrofitting the walls. These measurements were put against lab-measurements, theoretical analysis and computer-based simulations of theoretical energy-consumptions and 3D-simulations of thermal bridges. The results showed good correlations between theory and practice, except for energy consumption if individual user-related factors are not thoroughly analyzed and taken into account. U-values of the walls were reduced by a factor 2 to 3. Although the changes in air-tightness were relatively small, reductions of the air infiltration were measured in every case-study, regardless of the used insulating material. Retrofit cavity insulation was shown to have a positive, though almost negligible effect on the interior surface temperature at cold bridges. This paper will focus on the measurements made on the case-study-houses. The main goal will be to compare the on-site-measurements with the theoretical analysis, focussing mainly on the thermal properties of the walls, thermal bridges and air-tightness.
Keywords
IWT TETRA-project 70127, retrofit, cavity-wall insulation, in-situ measurements

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Delghust, Marc, Arnold Janssens, and Joachim Rummens. 2010. “Retrofit Cavity-wall Insulation: Performance Analysis from In-situ Measurements.” In Research on Building Physics : Proceedings of the 1st Central European Symposium on Building Physics, ed. Dariusz Gawin and Tomasz Kisilewicz, 297–304. Lodz, Poland: Technical University of Lodz.
APA
Delghust, M., Janssens, A., & Rummens, J. (2010). Retrofit cavity-wall insulation: performance analysis from in-situ measurements. In D. Gawin & T. Kisilewicz (Eds.), Research on building physics : proceedings of the 1st Central European symposium on building physics (pp. 297–304). Presented at the 1st Central European symposium on Building Physics (CESBP 2010), Lodz, Poland: Technical University of Lodz.
Vancouver
1.
Delghust M, Janssens A, Rummens J. Retrofit cavity-wall insulation: performance analysis from in-situ measurements. In: Gawin D, Kisilewicz T, editors. Research on building physics : proceedings of the 1st Central European symposium on building physics. Lodz, Poland: Technical University of Lodz; 2010. p. 297–304.
MLA
Delghust, Marc, Arnold Janssens, and Joachim Rummens. “Retrofit Cavity-wall Insulation: Performance Analysis from In-situ Measurements.” Research on Building Physics : Proceedings of the 1st Central European Symposium on Building Physics. Ed. Dariusz Gawin & Tomasz Kisilewicz. Lodz, Poland: Technical University of Lodz, 2010. 297–304. Print.
@inproceedings{1234083,
  abstract     = {Great potential for the reduction of energy consumption in the Flemish houses can be found in retrofit cavity wall insulation. This is due to the reduced costs and the reduced complexity of the procedure in comparison to interior and exterior retrofit wall insulation and to the vast amount of non-insulated cavity-walls in Flemish houses. Nevertheless, retrofit cavity wall insulation isn{\textquoteright}t as widely applied, controlled and promoted in Belgium as it is in countries such as Great-Britain by Ciga and the Netherlands by Venin. This is mainly caused by some bad experiences from the past and a lack of local, well documented exemplary projects, performance analysis and quality control framework. As an attempt to respond to these demands, a study on this technique was launched, putting together several Belgian research institutes.
As a part of this study, 25 houses were analyzed as case-studies. This test-group was composed as a sample of the main products used for retrofitted cavity wall insulation in Belgium. Performance analysis was applied on several complementary levels and aspects such as thermal properties, air-tightness, indoor climate, thermal bridges and energy consumption. Therefore, the following measurements were used: heat flux-measurements and infrared thermography, blowerdoor-tests, measurements of indoor-climate and surface temperatures, record-keeping of heating consumption. When possible, measurements were performed before and after retrofitting the walls. These measurements were put against lab-measurements, theoretical analysis and computer-based simulations of theoretical energy-consumptions and 3D-simulations of thermal bridges. The results showed good correlations between theory and practice, except for energy consumption if individual user-related factors are not thoroughly analyzed and taken into account. U-values of the walls were reduced by a factor 2 to 3. Although the changes in air-tightness were relatively small, reductions of the air infiltration were measured in every case-study, regardless of the used insulating material. Retrofit cavity insulation was shown to have a positive, though almost negligible effect on the interior surface temperature at cold bridges.
This paper will focus on the measurements made on the case-study-houses. The main goal will be to compare the on-site-measurements with the theoretical analysis, focussing mainly on the thermal properties of the walls, thermal bridges and air-tightness.},
  author       = {Delghust, Marc and Janssens, Arnold and Rummens, Joachim},
  booktitle    = {Research on building physics : proceedings of the 1st Central European symposium on building physics},
  editor       = {Gawin, Dariusz and Kisilewicz, Tomasz},
  isbn         = {9788372833679},
  keyword      = {IWT TETRA-project 70127,retrofit,cavity-wall insulation,in-situ measurements},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Cracow ; Lodz, Poland},
  pages        = {297--304},
  publisher    = {Technical University of Lodz},
  title        = {Retrofit cavity-wall insulation: performance analysis from in-situ measurements},
  year         = {2010},
}