The transfer of energy between the inside and the outside is a determining factor in a building’s energy performance, regardless of the temperature control system used. The first decision regards choosing building solutions for the outside covering that are appropriate for the local climate.

In order to reduce thermal insulation problems in buildings, many European countries have developed insulation systems for application on façade exteriors, whether in retrofitting buildings, where the vertical covering has the aforementioned symptoms (signs of unsatisfactory thermal insulation, etc.), or in new constructions. These systems represent an excellent solution, both from an energy as well as a building standpoint.

One possible solution for use on external walls is the thermal insulation of simple walls using ETICS (External Thermal Insulation Composite System) adhered covering or using the façade, a continual or non-continual independent covering attached to sporadic supports. Another solution is thermal insulation of double walling using insulation that totally or partially fills the insulation space.

The ETICS system presents a high-quality technical solution that is characterized by:

  1. Reduced thermal bridges, which translates into a less thick thermal insulant that has the same global heat transfer coefficient;
  2. Less risk of condensation;
  3. Increased thermal inertia inside buildings, since most of the wall mass is found inside of the thermal insulant. As a result, thermal comfort is improved in the winter (increasing the useful hours of sunlight) and in the summer, due to the capacity to regulate the indoor temperature;
  4. Water savings due to the reduced need to heat and cool the indoor environment through the reduced gradient of temperatures that are subject to the indoor layers of the wall;
  5. Provides for less thick outdoor walls, increasing living area;
  6. Lowers the weight of walls and permanent loads over the structure;
  7. Increased protection throughout the walls regarding weathering from atmospheric agents (thermal shock, liquid water, solar radiation, etc.);
  8. Improved water-proofing of walls;
  9. Allows the look of façades to be changed and placement during construction without disrupting the building’s occupants;
  10. Provides a large variety of finishing solutions.

Application of the ETICS system includes the following phases:

  1. Fitting the starter and side profiles;
    2. Preparation of the glue;
    3. Application of the glue;
    4. Placement of isolation, pure expanded agglomerate in this case;
    5. Strengthening of singular points;
    6. Application of reinforced base layer;
    7. Application of primary layer;
    8. Application of final coat.

The standard dimension of the pure expanded agglomerate board is 1000 mm x 500 mm, but thicknesses can vary between 10 and 400 mm. Expanded agglomerate board of 1200 x 600 mm can also be used. In this case the thicknesses vary between 40 and 400 mm.

Sheets of pure expanded agglomerate are used by attaching them with special glue placed directly over the plaster, with or without mounts. The sheets can be overlapped or use simple application methods. It can also be applied directly to structures (wood, iron, or aluminium).

Furthermore, thermal insulation for simple exterior walls prevents thermal bridges, allowing the necessary thermal inertia in the walls to be used to maintain a more or less constant temperature indoors, regardless of season.

The use of pure expanded agglomerated board on the facade as an external coating becomes a less expensive solution, whereas thermal insulation applied in double walls takes advantage of only part of the thermal inertia of the walls, forcing the correction of thermal bridges. This increases the thickness of the walls, the weight on the structure and the foundations, making it a more expensive solution for these reasons.

For more information and product datasheets, download the Construction and decoration materials manual.


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