CORPUS Magazine

SLENTITE® in Action: Period Villa with Modern Home Comfort 

Is it possible to energy-upgrade period buildings without losing stylistic features subject to monument preservation? The potential of SLENTITE® high-performance insulation material is illustrated by the current practical example of modernization of a period villa in Hamburg. CORPUS is following the refurbishment and renovation work.

Cutting energy consumption and improving home comfort – two key goals of an energy upgrade. With the right insulation this is feasible even in period buildings listed as monuments. According to the Federal Statistical Office, over 50 percent of buildings in Germany were built before 1960. But anyone who chooses a home with a history can expect to invest work in the building’s upkeep. To preserve the house’s charm and comply with the demands of monument preservation, it is essential to leave certain building features in their original state. Consequently, energy upgrades are often necessary yet challenging at the same time. A typical feature of period buildings is their high energy consumption, due above all to insufficient insulation and thermal bridges in the facades. With modern rehabilitation techniques, major energy and cost savings can be achieved – thus contributing directly to climate protection. In addition, good insulation is capable of boosting home comfort and coziness enormously for the building’s inhabitants. So where’s the problem? Conventional insulation materials often take up so much space that they fail to meet the requirements for preservation of the building’s style. The fact that there are alternatives is illustrated by a current practical example in Hamburg – this is where slim SLENTITE® high-performance insulation has been instrumental in the modernization and renovation work in various “problem areas” of a period villa for the first time. CORPUS has been following the construction work on site.

1: On site: CORPUS has been covering the modernization and renovation work right from the start.
2: Freshly numbered from the pilot plant, the SLENTITE® panels are put to use in the Hamburg period villa.

The three-story residential building erected in 1937 is outdated both technically and energy-wise. The backlog of modernization is now being worked off with extensive refurbishment work – with renovation also having to comply with monument preservation guidelines. These include above all the retention of the original facade of typical Hamburg red brick, which rules out external insulation. Inside there is also plenty to admire – and protect: Elements such as the windows with wooden embrasure and the radiator recesses typical of the period and the associated radiators. This is where SLENTITE® takes its cue: Thanks to its exceptional insulation value, this innovative material from BASF can be used in thickness range between 10 and 15 mm. As a result, thermal bridges as could arise due to poorly insulated radiator recesses can be prevented without impairing the character of the room. „One of SLENTITE®’s strongest advantages is the fact that it offers a broad spectrum of design freedom to architects“, underlines Dr Marc Fricke, SLENTITE® developer and project manager at BASF. „Effective insulation and aesthetics are no longer mutually exclusive.“

1: Putting an end to thermal bridges, uninsulated radiator recesses are being lined with SLENTITE® in the course of the energy upgrade.
2: The insulation panels are easy to process and are swiftly fitted – they can be bonded to the substrate like conventional insulation materials.
3: The aerogel panels are simple to handle without generating dust, so they are easy to cut to size and precisely fit.
4: It is a matter of preserving not only radiators typical of the period, but also the original lattice windows so that the house retains its character – the slim insulation is also used here.

With SLENTITE®, an aerogel-based insulation material has been made available in panel form for the first time. The material is well on the way to market launch, and in the villa in Hamburg its special properties can already be witnessed. All the rooms are to provide the desired room comfort after modernization. With SLENTITE®, this is absolutely no problem. A fitness room and a work room are being created in the basement – precisely where room humidity is particularly high. Here again, the openporous structure of the polyurethane aerogel ensures effective moisture regulation and so creates the conditions for a pleasant interior climate.

A house with a history – and two goals in its modernization: creating maximum home comfort and at the same time preserving the period villa’s original features.

Work on the period building is in full flow, and the building will soon be ready for occupancy. A large proportion of the cellar and radiator recesses on the first floor have already been insulated, and the process is continuing on the upper floors. It is precisely SLENTITE®’s ease of handling and straightforward processing that make it the ideal insulation material for a residential project of this kind. It can be cut to size without generating dust, swiftly bonded in place, and plastered without difficulty. CORPUS will soon be reporting again on the outcome and the experience with the high-performance insulation material on site.

SLENTITE® offers architects and designs vast design freedom, as it is incredibly space-saving and applied in thicknesses of 10 to 15 mm.
To ensure the preservation of the typical red brick façade, exterior insulation is out of the question.
With an insulation value of 17 mW/m•K, SLENTITE® permits 25 to 50 percent slimmer insulation – the original radiators can be re-installed despite the new layer of insulation.

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Thermal insulation has an important role to play to conserve resources. Efficient insulation reduces energy costs and has a positive impact on the carbon footprint. As a heavy-duty panel SLENTITE® combines low thermal conductivity with anopen-pored structure – an insulating material to be used in new buildings as well as in modernized ones. Sample quantities for joint customer projects are being produced in the pilot plant at BASF in Lemförde.

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