‘El Bloc Dels Mestres’ demonstration building becomes increasingly environmentally friendly – Eurasia Review
Work continues to renovate the Mestres block, a MAISON demonstration building near Barcelona (Spain). The renovation is based on the principles of the circular economy.
The HOUSEFUL project promotes renovation actions to optimize resources and reduce the environmental impact of this residential building.
In August and September, for example, a corkboard insulation known as ETICS was installed manually.
The ETICS covers the existing building envelope and aims to stabilize the interior temperature. This will reduce the need for heating and cooling, thus saving energy.
Currently, the conventional practice within the housing agency of the regional government of Catalonia is to use insulation materials for petroleum-derived ETICS. According to an analysis by the partner of HOUSEFUL iTEC, the manufacture of insulating cork panels consumes 75% less primary energy and reduces the value of the global warming indicator by 90% compared to the conventional solution derived from petroleum. In addition, the installation wastes almost nothing in the case of cork boards. Any fine dust produced is vacuumed up and returned to the manufacturer for other uses. The use of ETICS for cork panels has allowed us to reduce the environmental impact of renovations while maintaining performance and comfort.
The specific cork board selected for this renovation has additional advantages, such as an A + ecolabel on emissions into indoor air. This indicates that the product hardly emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
As previously reported, over the past summer this corkboard insulation was manually installed on the northwest facades of the 8-story building. After the boards were fixed, the cork was protected with natural hydraulic lime mortar and finished with paint, preserving the original color of the facade. This solution preserved the original aesthetics of the building.
An energy simulation of the building carried out by the partner HOUSEFUL AIGUASOL showed that ETICS reduced the transmission value of the original facade by almost 80%, thus meeting Spanish regulations and improving the overall energy performance of the building.