To choose which is better between Cement brick & clay brick ?

Building your new home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make and, regardless of your budget, the exteriors of the home deserve more attention than the interiors – hence it is one of the best areas to consider good investments in. Now, if you want your investment to be a smart one you have to understand that the exteriors of your home should be built in such a way that it can provide you higher resale value in the future. And yes, the immediate benefits come along, which includes better protection and lesser maintenance cost or need for repairs due to continuous wear and tear. There are several options available that you can choose for exterior cladding, and it can be quite tempting to select the lesser expensive option. Again, you have the fact that sometimes saving a few extra bucks could cost you more expenses down the road. Today in this blog we are going to compare the two most commonly chosen wall cladding materials for your home’s exterior i.e., Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks.

Top 5’s For Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks Which Is Better

Here’s a 5-pointer comparison for the Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks:

1. Natural Vs. Artificial – Aesthetics

The moment you see your home you should get that proud feeling, isn’t it? And you get that feeling when you successfully create and maintain an excellent curb appeal; something that guarantees you a good return on your investment.

One interesting thing about clay brick masonry homes is that it promises you higher resale value. You may ask why; this is because of brick’s natural durability. Also, the aesthetic value of bricks doesn’t fade, break, crack, age, or grow dated. On the other hand, cement bricks are prone to fading, these have visible seams, can display cracks in the caulking, and has a ‘plasticky’ look which can nowhere match the charm of rustic bricks.

One more thing to note with Cement Bricks Vs Clay bricks is the color options available. Fiber cement siding does come in numerous colors, but clay bricks are available in limitless options with dozens of shades and textures. Clay bricks give us the option to be added even on creative details like around windows and doors, on porches and arches, and much more.

2. Installation Procedure

The brick installation process is tried and tested over generations now, but fiber cement brick installation is known for its complexity. Yes, if not done correctly cement masonry walls may face unsightly and expensive moisture problems. You can do quick research on common cement masonry installation errors to understand more information around it. Our point here is that any faults in the installation can create opportunities for moisture damage resulting in swelling, delamination, crumbling, and loss of paint adhesion.

3. Strongest Vs. Mediocre – Safety And Durability

A brick home provides superior protection from storms and fire. The Brick Industry Association provides this helpful web page with videos and studies that show how well brick performs to keep you, your family, and your investment well protected.

4. Energy Efficiency

Clay brick masonry homes unquestionably lead the way when it comes to energy efficiency. They are known for excellent thermal mass that provides and protects your home’s interior temperature from both cold and heat. Hence, you would save enormously on heating and cooling irrespective of the climate you stay in. Brick wall assemblies involve thermal mass and air space that create its remarkable energy performance.

5. Maintenance

To keep a cement brick masonry, look good, you would need to paint it at regular intervals of 5 – 7 years on an average. Painting your exteriors involves huge expense, along with this you would also need to regularly inspect the caulking used for joints, edges, around windows, and trim; caulking is prone to cracking and wearing down over time. And, if you need to do repairs, it’s hard to keep the entire exterior looking uniform. If you experience damage from accidents, sun fading, or storms, paint touch-ups might end up looking patchy too.

Compare this work to never having to clean, repair, or replace your brick exterior – that’s saving time and money!

Exterior cladding is perhaps the biggest portion of your budget. Brick is generally considered a more expensive option, but when you compare Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks along with the benefits the incremental difference could be huge in terms of longevity and returns – Basically brick saves you time and money over the years.

You can look upon Porotherm blocks. These are hollow clay blocks designed to provide better efficiency, durability, ease of use, and a host of other benefits that aid in cost-effective exterior wall construction.

Source – https://gosmartbricks.com

Green technology is essential for Future Construction

Builders all over the globe are gravitating towards greener technology methods that can make buildings energy-efficient and sustainable. Homeowners are also showing interest in projects that deploy raw material and construction techniques with a lower carbon footprint and that are not detrimental to the environment. These techniques are being extensively used in modern construction right from the inception phase and in every aspect of the project construction; design, selection of raw material, the systems that run the construction, and the operation.

Renewable power

Pic Credits: https://www.treehugger.com/

Renewable energy sources help in the creation of self-powered buildings. These structures generate their own power to support their energy requirement. In most cases, it is done through solar and wind power. The use of solar power isn’t a new technology. It has been around for long, but now it is widely used by builders as an effective and green alternative to traditional energy sources. 

Using the sun’s energy in active solar power generation involves using the solar panels to generate electricity. Passive solar power generation, on the other hand, uses the sun’s rays to heat the houses using the strategic placement of windows and heat-absorbing surfaces. Wind power is being used by skyscrapers that have wind turbines mounted on the rooftops. The strong air currents at high altitudes propel the turbine blades which results in the generation of power.

Green Insulation

Pic Credits: https://theconstructor.org/building/

Thermal insulation of a building plays a very important role in improving the quality of life of the people residing or working there. Using hollow clay bricks like the Porotherm Thermo bricks is one such greener technology innovations in the field of modern construction for green insulation. These bricks are eco-friendly, made from easily available raw material that is clay, and rank high on the sustainability meter. 

Sustainable raw material

Pic Credits: https://greenbuildingelements.com/

Using bio-degradable raw material is one of the ways of creating a sustainable structure. A lot of waste products and toxin materials are generated during the construction of a building. This waste piles up in landfills for centuries before degrading. We can avoid this by going in for bio-degradable raw materials like bamboo, recycled glass, and organic paints. A relatively newer but effective sustainable material that can be used is eco-concrete. It is practical, durable, strong, and acts as an air purifier with its smog-eating properties. These raw materials do not pose any threat to the environment and improve the productivity and health of people. 

Water-efficient systems

Pic Credits: https://www.homeonline.com/hol/home-tips

Using water-efficient technologies in the construction process is one of the green and sustainable ways of making the structure adhere to green standards and green technology. These technologies include re-use and application of efficient water supply systems and deploy methods like rainwater harvesting, dual plumbing, grey-water re-use, and water conservation fixtures. The use of these water-efficient technologies can lower water wastage by as much as 15%.

Cool roofs and smart glasses

Pic Credit: https://energyhawksusa.com/

Cool roofs reflect more of the sun’s rays than other roofs and prevent the warm or cool air inside from escaping through the top of a building. A cool roof keeps the temperature inside a building low (a cool roof can cut that down by more than 50 degrees) that reduces the strain on the air conditioning systems. This, in turn, reduces the emissions from the heating and cooling units. 

Smart glass is an electrochromic glass that uses a tiny burst of electricity to charge ions on a window layer. It controls the amount of light that the glass will reflect. It is different from the low emittance windows that block partial radiation of the sun as with smart glass, you can choose the amount of light you want to block. This technology is especially beneficial for skyscrapers that use a lot of glass in their façade. The smart glass windows tint automatically during peak sun hours and become transparent in the evenings, night. This glass is expected to reduce HVAC costs by almost 25 %.

A structure becomes great not only by its design but also by its impact on the environment. It is time for the buildings to enter into a symbiotic and healthy relationship with the environment by using green technology-based construction methods. 

Source – gosmartbricks.com

Understanding all about Roof Insulation & its importance

The insulation of a roof is just as important as the outer material. Insulation is important to the longevity of your roofing system and has been used for centuries. Over the years, insulation has changed and adapted, but its purpose is the same; keeping heat inside when you need it and outside when you don’t.

The Importance of Roofing Insulation

Insulating the roof of your building 2saves you money every year. By controlling the internal building temperature insulation saves the need for energy. You no longer need as heating and air conditioning. Insulation reduces the amount of energy needed to run the building. Using less energy means you are keeping money in the bank and protecting the environment by leaving behind a smaller carbon footprint.
Roofing is exposed to more environmental pressures than any other part of the building, especially weather. Rain, snow and sun exposure wears away roofing and can cause damage which interferes with insulation and energy savings.

1] What Is Roof Insulation?

Unquestionably, the roof is an integral part of any building structure as it protects the structure against extreme weather. Without it, the walls and even the foundation of any structure are defenseless to damage. A roof that is well-maintained can act as an excellent defense element for the building shielding it from all harsh elements – hence roof insulation is imperative.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy heating and cooling home accounts for approximately 48 percent of the overall energy consumption. And a typical house loses nearly 44 percent of the available energy to poor insulation. Explaining in simple words, deprived of any material blocking it, warm air would rise upwards naturally and cold air will descend – Resulting in abrupt interior temperatures. There may also be significant heat gains through roofs during the summer. This means that insulating a loft, attic or roof is a simple and effective way of reducing heat loss, the size of heating and cooling systems, energy usage and so carbon emissions. Hence if you wish to improve energy efficiency in a home, you would need to work on your home insulation.

Here is a simple video that explains roof insulation:

2] Different Types Of Roof Insulation

There is a range of different materials available that are easily available for roof insulation, a few of which are comparatively cheap and can be installed without any specialist expertise:

·Blanket Insulation Or Matting Insulation

One of the most common and easiest to install is blanket insulation. These generally come in foil-backed rolls or rafters, and are held in place using timber battens between the rafters or joists. Blanket insulation is usually made of glass wool or mineral but sometimes these are also made from plastic fibers and natural fibers like cotton and sheep’s wool.

·Foam Boards

Rigid panels of insulation that are first cut and then fitted in place. Commonly foam boards are made of polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, and polyurethane.

·Radiant Barriers

Radiant barriers constrain heat transfer by thermal radiation and are more effective in hot climatic conditions. These can be easily stapled to the underside of the rafters. According to studies, this type of roof insulation can significantly gain heat.

·Blown-In Insulation

This type of insulation involves cellulose mineral fibers being blown into a void in the roof space. These demand specialist equipment and expertise, but again, these are very quick to install and are very effective for spaces that have limited access, like the gaps between roof joists.

·Spray Foam Insulation

Here, spray foam is formed of polyurethane, and then it is sprayed as a liquid which slowly expands to up to 100 times its original volume. Once it sets, it creates an effective thermal and noise insulating layer.

3] Advantages Of Insulation

As a homeowner, there are multiple reasons to insulate, here are a few:

  • Energy and cost efficiency – With efficient insulation, you will save energy and money. Around 30 percent of a building’s heat loss is in the roofing. When an efficient insulation system is properly installed, you are saving both.
  • Adds an additional layer of protection – It prevents damage in the long run that can potentially come from moisture and ice dams.
  • Reduces carbon footprint – Insulating your roof is one of the most important energy-saving projects you can complete in your home. Studies suggest that efficient insulation reduces CO2 emissions which aid in combating air pollution.
  • Prevents the growth of molds – Insulation is the best tool to prevent molds from forming. Because insulation manages the temperature and moisture of a building, it directly affects the growth of molds.

Roof insulation may add to your expenses during construction for now, but soon you would see that you are getting more returns in the term of savings in the long-run.

4] Roof Insulation – Inside Vs Outside

The insulation of your roof can be done either from inside or outside:

Insulating your roof from the outside has many advantages. In addition to avoiding emptying any rooms in the attic, insulation from the outside does not cause a decrease in your living space and limits the risk of thermal bridges. This is a preferred solution if you are renovating a facade or roof. Among other benefits, this technique leaves the frame apparent from the attic.

Insulation from the inside is a suitable solution, mainly in new construction. This roof insulation method is ideal if you have not yet fitted out the attic and allows you to keep the roof covering system unscathed.

5] Things To Consider Before A Roofing Insulation Installation

If you feel that you need roofing insulation, here are a few things you should know and consider more things to know.

  • Insulate Flat Roof From Above

A flat roof should if possible be insulated from above. A layer of rigid insulation board could be added either on top of the roof’s weatherproof layer or directly on top of the timber roof surface, with a new weatherproof layer on top of the insulation.

  • Decide Whether To Insulate Your Attic Floor Or Roof

If you plan to utilize your attic space as a bedroom, you need to keep it warm as the rest of the house. In that case, insulate the roof. But if you don’t use your attic, you can insulate the floor. This option is easier and more affordable. Insulating both the attic floor and the roof is possible. Just keep in mind that this process is difficult and expensive.

  • Get A Roof Replacement During The Fall Season

Fall makes a perfect time to replace your old roof. Your roofing contractor can do a roof insulation foam installation at the same time. This prepares your roof for the winter. With new roofing insulation, you save on winter heating.

  • Beware Of Fire Hazards

Find a qualified and legit roofing contractor that knows how to install roof insulation foil or your preferred material. Incorrect installation can create fire hazards.

Source – Gomsmartbrickc.com, adcoroofing.com

Sustainable Future Buildings : After the Post Covid Era

Buildings : After the Post Covid Era

Year 2020 will be the year called as the year for Phase Transition not only because of a fight from virus but also the Transition in various sectors and how it will be different with the future scenarios. Its impacts are felt in every facet of society, from an individual’s emotional and social health to the broader consequences felt in the built environment, i.e. in architecture.

(Source: The New Yorker)

The hygiene levels demanded by COVID-19 simultaneously require a cleaner, more pollution-free environment something that begins at home. Therefore, sustainable homes that promote environmental consciousness are on the rise as harbingers of clean air and lower environmental impacts.

The Current Scenario

As we shift to work-from-home environments (with many companies indicating a permanent shift), the importance of the home comes into focus. Working from home does not mean that we suddenly have more than 24 hours in a day. It simply means we spend more time within the four walls of our homes, hoping that we are safer from the virus.

Eco-friendly homes, in this regard, offer a double benefit: they clean and purify the air indoors, reducing the risk of airborne diseases, and they reduce the overall environmental impact. Architecture has long been a contributor to global warming, with Ed Mazria, the founder of Arch2030, saying that buildings will account for 60% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Therefore, urban and architectural planning will undergo a radical shift post-COVID. The goal will continue being providing the safest possible spaces that protect humans from COVID and any potential future virus of this magnitude. The built environment was not previously concerned with social distancing, therefore not accounting for it during the planning process. COVID changed this and is now causing indoor gardens, more partitions, and fewer open-plan spaces. These are all indicative of green or healthy housing techniques by preventing high-density crowding and giving people the feel of the outdoors from their homes.

Therefore, several consequences may be here to stay in the post-COVID world of sustainable homes.

The Future of Eco-Friendly Homes

(Source: World Green Building Council)

Although we have already mentioned a few possibilities, these remain the tip of the iceberg. People are more vigilant about their homes while trying to create the feeling of being outdoors. Staying cooped up at home all day can take a toll on one’s mental health, otherwise. With this in mind, we want to present some predictions for the critical changes that will stay in a post-COVID world.

Open Spaces 

Open spaces allow for the 6-feet apart mandate that prevents the virus from spreading. However, they also make places look bigger and lessen crowding. Such positive factors are in line with the WHO’s 1988 report that spoke of urban centers being hotspots for infectious diseases – something we see now in 2020.

Therefore, open spaces are the first aspect that we believe is here to stay. In sustainable homes, open spaces in the form of verandas, porches, balconies, etc. will be covered by buyers more than floor space. Additionally, the comorbidities caused by a lack of Vitamin D can make individuals more susceptible to COVID-19. This additionally makes open spaces more desirable for homebuyers.

Natural Ventilation

Artificial ventilation can cause air staleness. If the temperature is not regulated adequately through this ventilation, it can also lead to condensation on calls, leading to mold and other such problems. Natural ventilation allows for a literal breath of fresh air to continually flow through the house.

Incorporating natural ventilation also reduces the need for air conditioners and other such mechanisms that adversely impact the environment. This automatically paves the way for eco-friendly homes.

Building Materials that Promote Health

The kind of building materials determines the home’s insulation ability and temperature regulation. Depending on the climate the house is built in, designers will have to choose materials that will not place the occupants at risk. All-natural alternatives are an excellent way to ensure this.

Using all-natural paint, for example, prevents the likelihood of toxic fumes being released into the environment, automatically erasing a chance of illness. Therefore, the occupant stays safe and, as long as the paint is a light color, stays cool in our tropical climate. Similarly, using clay bricks or terracotta tiles promotes cooler indoor environments – something particularly necessary during Indian summers – while ensuring sustainable homes.

Office Spaces

As we previously said, work-from-home is set to become a norm of the post-COVID era. Therefore, functional, stress-busting office spaces are necessary. Incorporating greenery and lighter paint tones create stress-busting, calmer environments while creating eco-friendly homes that keep the indoor air pure in a natural, healthy way.

Meanwhile, using studies instead of desks can create more functional spaces. Here, ensure that you purchase eco-friendly furniture since furniture glue can adversely affect the air quality.

AI and Touchless Technologies

(Source: Echelon | Ai)

Saying we entered a new digital era with COVID-19 would be an understatement. AI and touchless technologies prevent virus transmission by reducing contact. They also automate environments, introducing the idea of smart homes.

Smart homes are safer while being sustainable homes in their own right. Using motion detectors to turn on lights, automatically open doors at the touch of a button, etc. are ways in which homes can evolve to meet the demands of an increasingly digital world.

Conclusion

Architecture and house planning will be different in a post-COVID world. The advantages of smart housing and sustainable living are here to stay. They offer a higher level of safety against diseases like COVID-19 while also presenting more aesthetic and less stressful spaces for occupants to use.

Methods for Natural lighting in our buildings!

Lighting Natural Sustainable Buildings

Natural lighting, also known as daylighting, is a technique that efficiently brings natural light into your home using exterior glazing (windows, skylights, etc.), thereby reducing artificial lighting requirements and saving energy. Natural lighting has been proven to increase health and comfort levels for building occupants.  

Daylight is the source of beneficial vitamin D which our body needs to stay healthy. A building could be designed in such a way that there is maximum natural light inside the house. Some of the fundamental benefits of daylight are:

  • Sunlight during the day helps in healing the body
  • It’s good for strong bones as it contains vitamin D
  • Keeps the environment inside the house clean and pleasant.
  • Builds good immune system of the members of the family
  • Daylight also keeps the happy mode on inside the house for every member of the family

There can be various ways of modeling a  house with a  good amount of natural light and ventilation. Discussed below are the sources that could be used to do so-

1. Design of the house

The house could be designed by the architect in such a way that the shape and size of the windows can be defined clearly. The shading and glazing styles must be in such a way that it suits the building. The windows must be planned in such a way that there is maximum daylight inside the house.

Daylight 1

Image Source: cloudfront.net/

2. Directions of the Windows

The placement of the windows in the house must be in such a way that natural light could comfort the house throughout the day. Windows facing north can give maximum daylight. However, the thermal heat is lost during the winters. South facing well-glazed windows can bring in a good amount of heat and be beneficial during summers and winters.

Daylight windows

Image Source: kechdesignstudio.com/

3. Use of Glazing 

Glazing is the most effective way of getting maximum natural light inside the house. Few small strip windows in the ceiling could be designed which will increase the natural light and give a trendy look to your house. Around 30 percent of the ceiling can be used for glazed windows.

Skylights natural light

Image Source: techomecontractor.com

4. Roofing Techniques

Solar panels could be installed on the roofs to generate electricity to reduce the consumption of electricity in the house. The monthly electricity bills reduce because of such panels and it is a good option to pledge for green living. These panels absorb heat during the sun hours and store it in such a way which can be used during the night. The solar panels can also be used to generate electricity in case of power shutdowns. There could be the use of tubular Skylights. These natural light saves lots of electricity as they are installed on the roof. It absorbs the natural light and then flows in a tube and brings in natural light inside the house.

daylight solar panels natural light

Image Source: logic-sk.com/

5. Use of Sober Colours

While getting your house painted use of sober colours helps in giving a bright look to the house. Light colours could be helpful in keeping the house cool. The trim of the windows can be painted in white which can help in giving an elegant look to the house.

Daylight windows 1natural light

Image Source: remcuaminhdang.vn/

6. Jali wall design for your home

A jali is a commonly used element of Indian architecture. Jali walls have numerous advantages over a solid wall since jali walls can be used in places where there is no need of a solid wall. From providing privacy to cooling the indoors, jalis make for a sensible design element particularly suited for our climatic conditions. And also saves materials and increase the speed of construction.

Image Source: architecturaldigest.in

Natural light is an essential and free resource. This resource is given less importance. However, it has maximum advantages if the house is well planned with lots of sunlight helps to keep the home environment fresh, clean and keeps the members of the family healthy.

source – Go Smart Bricks

How do eco-friendly paints contribute in lower down carbon footprint?

Changing the color of your homes is perhaps the fastest way of bringing in a complete makeover. With the rooms being just the same, repainting your home walls will feel like a completely different space and this, consequently, has been a favorite tool for both homeowners and interior decorators. However, it’s not as easy a choice when it comes to choosing the kind of paint you finally bring home. It will be important to note that we aren’t talking about color here. That is as vast a topic in its own right. Right now, we are concerned about the kind of paint materials you have to choose from. Of course, the first factor in this choice will be your budget. But if you aren’t too worried about the investment, eco-friendly paints would be the perfect suggestion.

Eco-friendly paints – What does it mean?

In simple terms, eco-friendly paints refer to natural paints that have low levels of volatile organic chemicals or VOCs. If you have ever opened a can of wall paint, you must remember the sharp smell it gives out. That’s VOC. It’s the chemical you actually smell and not only does this make you cringe for a moment, but it comes with adverse health effects in the long run. The toxic chemicals will linger in the room for a long time after a paint job is complete and in some cases, will be gradually releasing themselves for the whole lifetime of the paint itself. This is the reason why painters will tie a mask while working and insist on a well-ventilated environment.

Most paints available in the market today are oil and latex-based and according to Waste Management Inc., they fall under the “hazardous” category since the color pigments are mostly made from heavy metals such as lead.  Sometimes, paints specifically meant for outdoors also contain high amounts of fungicides. Today, most local paint brands will integrate some amount of biocide in the product to increase the shelf life and as per Green America; these can be detected even after five years of the initial paint job. All of it sounds disastrous since a home is where you are meant to raise a family, be happy and stay healthy. It’s easy to get fooled by the color but it is a responsibility to understand what lies beyond the looks!

This is where eco-friendly paints come in. A rather recent trend, these paints are generally made from a huge range of naturally available materials including milk proteins, clay, balsam, citrus, and natural minerals. The milk-based paint, for instance, is made from a combination of casein (milk protein) and lime. Though these are gradually coming into a trend, natural paints like this have actually been used for hundreds of years now. If you go to any Indian county side today, you will be astonished by how smooth they have been able to paint the walls using mud and select natural wastes. While clay mixed with cow dung has been a prominent choice of paint for village homes in India, modern technology has given rise to more sophisticated alternatives like milk paints.

Strictly for interior walls, products like milk-based paints are very low in VOC levels and are completely safe to be used in homes.

How to know if it’s eco-friendly?

Strict standards have been set by organizations like EPA to ensure that a paint product passes the eco-friendly criteria. When shopping for eco-friendly paints, it is necessary that you look for:

  1. The VOC label
  2. An organic certification (check on the internet for authentication)
  3. Check for chemical ingredients of the paint.

However, it’s not just chemicals you are getting rid of your homes by choosing eco-friendly paint products. Here are some added benefits to natural paints that should be considered:

1. Minimized environmental impacts

Natural or eco-friendly paints are strictly water-based paints without any oil base. Consequently, they aren’t toxic even when put to waste. Easily biodegradable, they leave very little impact on the environment. Over the years, technology has been improving and we now have amazing products with a range of colors for natural paints.

2. Natural raw materials

Natural paints are derived from plant extracts, lemon peels, bee wax, seed oil and the kind. This is what primarily defines the nature of eco-friendly paints. Consequently, producing natural paints don’t lead to unsafe emissions and nor does it require precautions when you are applying it in your homes.

3. Health benefits

The young generation of homemakers is quite upbeat about eco-friendly paints today. Thankfully, this is the generation that does take the environment seriously and does their bit in fighting the global climate crisis we are facing. While natural or eco-friendly paints do cost a tad bit more, they do balance out the extra costs in the health benefits they provide. Being non-toxic, they do not lead to any kind of illness, normally seen with chemical-based paints.

4. Fewer coats

Another reason why natural paints offer a good cost advantage is that they need fewer coats for the job to be done. Qualitatively superior to chemical-based paints, natural paints also provide better color retention properties, better coverage with fewer coats, minimal abrasion and an extensive choice when it comes to the range of shades.

5. Minimal waste

Made from natural products, there is very little waste generation in the natural paint production process. In the cases of chemical-based paints, several toxic by-products are produced during manufacturing and this alone leads to the toxicity of the environment. A more serious concern with the same is that these toxic wastes continue to harm the natural resources for several years to come. However, eco-friendly paints don’t come with any such bi-products.

A home is supposed to be the sanctuary for a family. This is a place where you bring kids into your life and see them grow. It certainly is a good practice to go for natural products, especially when it comes to the wall paint you are using. They are the part of the household that you most interact with and you can leave it to chance for an illness to creep underneath.

Residential Buildings Adapting the Sustainable way

The push toward sustainable and green buildings was triggered out of necessity but customers are fast realizing that it will be the best option in the years to come. As the effects of climate change are getting more visible across the globe, developing nations like India are switching to sustainable building engineering. Today, the green building concept has evolved into a trillion-dollar industry across the globe and India has been consistently ranking in the third position in the top list of countries. According to the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBC) and US Green Building Council (USGBC), India already had about 899 LEED-certified projects. This adds up to more than 24.81 million sq meters of green building space and this statistic is from the end of 2018. By the year 2022, the country is expected to reach the 10 billion sq ft target. 

Basically, the concept of green building is about sustainable and “environment-friendly” living and commercial spaces. The focus of these spaces is on the efficient use of natural resources including energy (sunlight), water and construction materials. The ”Sustainable and Green building” approach ensures minimal negative impacts on the natural environment of the space as opposed to traditional construction that have been exploitative and wasteful. Also, green homes are meant to be cost-effective, self-sustaining and have low maintenance needs. Some of the ways in which this is achieved include:

The sheer benefits of “green Buildings” easily translate into lower energy bills, healthier environment and comfortable living. Today green buildings have become the leading trend in home and office space investment and thankfully, the idea has get a favorable push from both the Central and State Governments. State including Rajasthan, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Odisha Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra are already offering encouraging incentives to projects that aim at a LEED Certification. 

For a country with a population above 1.3 billion people, it is definitely not easy reaching sustainability targets. However, it is still incredible how the IGBC has reached its goal of 5.27 billion sq ft by the end of 2019. This is already half of its target by the year 2022.

The global construction industry is one of the top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn is leading to rising temperatures, rising sea levels, flooded coastal areas, more frequent forest fires and so on. Lives are already being lost in the thousands due to the direct effects of climate change. Cities like Johannesburg are already running out of drinking water and the crisis has even knocked doors in states like Bengaluru in India. buildings across the globe are already contributing 40% of the greenhouse emissions and for a country like India, where the demand for real estate is increasing exponentially, green building is the key to fighting the crisis.

Sustainable & Organic Solutions

  • AIROXY – WATER SAVING SHOWER HEAD – AIROXY – WATER SAVING SHOWER HEAD (BLACK / BLUE), This water saving shower head can mix air with water to spray water effectively to maintain equivalent water pressure compared to regular shower heads.
  • DualThreadAerator :- With 3 LPM straight shower flow aerator you save water and reduce water bill.
  • Leave It Pot Small Composter:- Perfect for people who have space & do not like lifting weights! Also a companion pot for your Kambha in case you are generating more than 1 kg waste per day.

Why there are Holes in today’s Bricks & Blocks ?

The term “Hollow” or “Holes” have an interesting tendency to make many visualize something which is delicate, permeable, weak, flimsy and prone to destruction, something certainly not easily acceptable on the walls of your home! True, but when it comes to Porotherm clay bricks with perforations being an integral element of their design, being “hollow” is not so bad after all. Easier said than to believe. So allow me to be more explicit.

The two most prominent features of Porotherm bricks

• Made of clay, 100% natural
• With Perforations (Horizontal perforations for non-load bearing and Vertical Perforations for load bearing)

a

Horizontal (Porortherm HP) Non load bearing

why bricks have holes

Vertical (Porotherm VP) Load bearing

Now both the above features help in a variety of ways, the most important being improving thermal insulation for your home interiors.

Clay, being a breathable material, improves thermal comfort, making the substance a good insulator.

A common example would be earthen pots used in olden times and are still in vogue in rural areas, to store water. Places where mid-day temperatures go soaring high, you will be surprised to discover, when someone offers you a glass of water from an earthen clay pot, the water would be relatively much cooler, something you will not find if you drink from a plastic bottle or from tap water which is supplied via water tank kept on the roof of the building. The direct heat from the sun is absorbed by the container, transferring the heat to the stored water inside. Clay, as a substance, has an innate ability to restrict conduction.

Another common example would be the clay lamps or traditional Indian ‘Diyas’ which are used during festivities across India, if you hold a burning Diya, your palm will not feel the heat from the lighted lamp. Hence, when clay based walling material, like Porotherm, is used, the same principle applies, where in the outside heat gets blocked by the substance.

Now, I believe, to convince you about the thermal property of clay and the benefits of Porotherm walls made of clay should not be that challenging, but one may ask, what is the use of having perforations in the bricks? If it is already made of clay, then thermal insulation will happen any ways to some degree, why put the holes? Very pertinent question.

The holes have been consciously introduced to further enhance the product’s thermal insulating capacity and to decrease the weight of the product thereby reducing the overall structural load / dead load on the building. I will come to the weight part shortly. Let’s now concentrate of the thermal insulation aspect of Porotherm clay bricks.

For this, let us have an understanding of how a building gets heated up in the first place…
Heat can pass through walls, roofing, windows and doors, the floor and even through your framework.

why bricks have holes

Heat entering the home comes mainly through the ceiling (25-35%) but windows account for just as much heat gain (25-35%) and walls also play a larger role (15-25%), as all are directly exposed to the sun. Hot winds blowing through as draughts can also contribute to heat entering your home (5-15%). Using Porotherm clay bricks for insulation helps to control how much heat is allowed through the walls.

When it’s warm outside, non-insulated walls and windows become warmer on the inside.

Result: More energy is required to replace the heat lost cooling the inside of the walls and windows.

The voids or perforations in the Porotherm bricks will help in trapping air space within the holes. Air is a bad conductor of heat and hence will slow the migration of heat energy and help maintain the indoor temperature.

Porotherm Thermo Brick

Using Porotherm Thermo brick, a slightly modified version of Porotherm HP, which has rock wool filled in the porous gaps, help to further absorb heat. The individual fibers conduct heat very well, when pressed into rolls and sheets, their ability to partition air makes them excellent heat insulators and sound absorbers.

When sunlight enters an air-conditioned room through a single pane window, heat energy is generated in the room.

Result: The air conditioning system must run longer and work harder to overcome the heat gained through the window.

Hence, even if air conditioning is working, huge amount of energy is required to bring down the temperature inside leading to exaggerated power/ utility bills. Moreover, power shortage becoming a more and more perennial problem these days in all major cities in India, having a state of the art split Air Conditioning system from the best Korean brand may not be of much help…Hence it is always best to seek a natural, healthier, and energy saving alternative.

“While ‘Thermo Brick’ eliminates the need for thicker walls and helps increase the carpet area, it works magic for providing thermal insulation and providing comfortable indoor temperatures.”  –  Mr. Heimo Scheuch, CEO, Wienerberger

So next time you see bricks with holes being used in a construction site, you’ll know all about its benefits and utility and hopefully be less skeptical.

Now, to come back to the point about holes making the bricks light weight, as discussed initially. By incorporating the perforations in the design of Porotherm bricks, less usage of resource compared to a solid brick, has transformed a clay block like Porotherm into a Resource Efficient Brick. The resource required for the surface area has been reduced due to the presence of the voids, which has in turn reduce the overall weight of the brick by almost 60% compared to a solid concrete block.

“Hollow clay blocks are earthy, season sensible, practical to work with and bring down your construction cost by more than 15 per cent” says Architect Krishna Rao Jaisim (of Jaisim Fountainhead and Chairman, Indian Institute of Architects, Karnataka Chapter), who is a champion green architecture promoter in South India.

The benefits of the block being light weight are aplenty. By being light weight Porotherm is by no means a weak product…on the contrary, the compressive strength of Porotherm is ≥3.5 N/M, which adheres to the IS 3952 standards. The light weight property of the bricks also helps to reduce the dead load of the building.

A building structure has mainly two types of load

1. Dead Load:

Which include the non-movable loads on the building like the weight of the walls, doors, windows, floor tiles etc. In other word the dead load includes loads that are relatively constant over time, including the weight of the structure itself, and immovable fixtures such as walls, plasterboard or carpet. Roof is also a dead load. Dead loads are also known as permanent loads.

2. Live Loads:

All movable loads like peoples, furniture etc., basically any load that can be moved from one place to another.

The dead loads constitute the maximum load that the structure of the building take, and hence if this load can be reduced, then a substantial reduction in the consumption of steel and concrete used for the foundation and columns, can be achieved. This would be a huge saving opportunity for the developer or builder or even an individual house owner.

Other advantages include

• Highly Durable: The brick is 100% natural, made of clay burnt in 900◦C to 1000◦C, making the brick durable & long lasting.
• Low Maintenance
• Load Bearing, strength can be specified as per the requirement.
• Fire Resistant
• Economical
• Environment Friendly; Coal ash, granite slurry and rice husks (All by products of other industries) are used as raw material.
• It is a faster and easier construction system, when compared to the other conventional construction systems.
• Increased carpet area.
• Assured Quality: Fully automated, state of the art, manufacturing unit in Kunigal, Karnataka.
• Better sound absorption: Being hollow in nature.
• Reduced thickness of plaster: – Due to size accuracy & less cement consumption due to fewer joints.
• Easy installation of appliances & fixtures.Sustainable Building Materials

Sustainable Building Materials

Sandfree – Sand Free Plaster

DualThreadAerator :- Water Saving

CoolCoat :- Keep Your Building Cool

Different Types of Insulation that contribute in Energy Efficiency of the Building

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When insulating your home, you can choose from many types of insulation. To choose the best type of insulation, you should first determine the following:

  • Where you want or need to install/add insulation
  • The recommended R-values for areas you want to insulate.

Installing Insulation

The maximum thermal performance or R-value of insulation is very dependent on proper installation. Homeowners can install some types of insulation — notably blankets and materials that can be poured in place. (Liquid foam insulation materials can be poured, but they require professional installation). Other types require professional installation.

When hiring a professional certified installer:

  • Obtain written cost estimates from several contractors for the R-value you need, and don’t be surprised if quoted prices for a given R-value installation vary by more than a factor of two.
  • Ask contractors about their air-sealing services and costs as well, because it’s a good idea to seal air leaks before installing insulation.

To evaluate blanket installation, you can measure batt thickness and check for gaps between batts as well as between batts and framing. In addition, inspect insulation for a tight fit around building components that penetrate the insulation, such as electrical boxes. To evaluate sprayed or blown-in types of insulation, measure the depth of the insulation and check for gaps in coverage.

If you choose to install the insulation yourself, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions carefully and check local building and fire codes. Do-it-yourself instructions are available from the fiberglass and mineral wool trade group. The cellulose trade group recommends hiring a professional, but if there isn’t a qualified installer in your area or you feel comfortable taking on the job, you may be able to find guidance from manufacturers.

The table below provides an overview of most available insulation materials, how they are installed, where they’re typically installed, and their advantages.

Types of Insulation

TYPEMATERIALWHERE APPLICABLEINSTALLATION METHODSADVANTAGES
Blanket: batts and rollsFiberglassMineral (rock or slag) woolPlastic fibersNatural fibersUnfinished walls, including foundation wallsFloors and ceilingsFitted between studs, joists, and beams.Do-it-yourself.Suited for standard stud and joist spacing that is relatively free from obstructions. Relatively inexpensive.
Concrete block insulationand insulating concrete blocksFoam board, to be placed on outside of wall (usually new construction) or inside of wall (existing homes):Some manufacturers incorporate foam beads or air into the concrete mix to increase R-valuesUnfinished walls, including foundation wallsNew construction or major renovationsWalls (insulating concrete blocks)Require specialized skillsInsulating concrete blocks are sometimes stacked without mortar (dry-stacked) and surface bonded.Insulating cores increases wall R-value.Insulating outside of concrete block wall places mass inside conditioned space, which can moderate indoor temperatures.Autoclaved aerated concrete and autoclaved cellular concrete masonry units have 10 times the insulating value of conventional concrete.
Foam board or rigid foamPolystyrenePolyisocyanuratePolyurethaneUnfinished walls, including foundation wallsFloors and ceilingsUnvented low-slope roofsInterior applications: must be covered with 1/2-inch gypsum board or other building-code approved material for fire safety.Exterior applications: must be covered with weatherproof facing.High insulating value for relatively little thickness.Can block thermal short circuits when installed continuously over frames or joists.
Insulating concrete forms (ICFs)Foam boards or foam blocksUnfinished walls, including foundation walls for new constructionInstalled as part of the building structure.Insulation is literally built into the home’s walls, creating high thermal resistance.
Loose-fill and blown-inCelluloseFiberglassMineral (rock or slag) woolEnclosed existing wall or open new wall cavitiesUnfinished attic floorsOther hard-to-reach placesBlown into place using special equipment, sometimes poured in.Good for adding insulation to existing finished areas, irregularly shaped areas, and around obstructions.
Reflective systemFoil-faced kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles, or cardboardUnfinished walls, ceilings, and floorsFoils, films, or papers fitted between wood-frame studs, joists, rafters, and beams.Do-it-yourself.Suitable for framing at standard spacing.Bubble-form suitable if framing is irregular or if obstructions are present.Most effective at preventing downward heat flow, effectiveness depends on spacing.
Rigid fibrous or fiber insulationFiberglassMineral (rock or slag) woolDucts in unconditioned spacesOther places requiring insulation that can withstand high temperaturesHVAC contractors fabricate the insulation into ducts either at their shops or at the job sites.Can withstand high temperatures.
Sprayed foam and foamed-in-placeCementitiousPhenolicPolyisocyanuratePolyurethaneEnclosed existing wallOpen new wall cavitiesUnfinished attic floorsApplied using small spray containers or in larger quantities as a pressure sprayed (foamed-in-place) product.Good for adding insulation to existing finished areas, irregularly shaped areas, and around obstructions.
Structural insulated panels (SIPs)Foam board or liquid foam insulation coreStraw core insulationUnfinished walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs for new constructionConstruction workers fit SIPs together to form walls and roof of a house.SIP-built houses provide superior and uniform insulation compared to more traditional construction methods; they also take less time to build.

Blanket: Batt and Roll Insulation

Blanket insulation — the most common and widely available type of insulation — comes in the form of batts or rolls. It consists of flexible fibers, most commonly fiberglass. You also can find batts and rolls made from mineral (rock and slag) wool, plastic fibers, and natural fibers, such as cotton and sheep’s wool. Learn more about these insulation materials.

Batts and rolls are available in widths suited to standard spacing of wall studs, attic trusses or rafters, and floor joists: 2 inch x 4 inch walls can hold R-13 or R-15 batts; 2 inch x 6 inch walls can use R-19 or R-21 products. Continuous rolls can be hand-cut and trimmed to fit. They are available with or without facings. Manufacturers often attach a facing (such as kraft paper, foil-kraft paper, or vinyl) to act as a vapor barrier and/or air barrier. Batts with a special flame-resistant facing are available in various widths for basement walls and other places where the insulation will be left exposed. A facing also helps facilitate fastening during installation.

See the table below for an overview of standard and high-performance (medium-density and high-density) fiberglass blankets and batts characteristics.

Fiberglass Batt Insulation Characteristics

This table is for comparison of fiberglass batts only. Determine actual thickness, R-value, and cost from manufacturer and/or local building supplier.

THICKNESS (INCHES)R-VALUECOST (CENTS/SQ. FT.)
3 1/21112-16
3 5/81315-20
3 1/2 (high density)1534-40
6 to 6 1/41927-34
5 1/4 (high density)2133-39
8 to 8 1/22537-45
8 (high density)3045-49
9 1/2 (standard)3039-43
123855-60

Concrete Block Insulation

Concrete blocks are used to build home foundations and walls, and there are several ways to insulate them. If the cores aren’t filled with steel and concrete for structural reasons, they can be filled with insulation, which raises the average wall R-value. Field studies and computer simulations have shown, however, that core filling of any type offers little fuel savings, because heat is readily conducted through the solid parts of the walls such as block webs and mortar joints.

It is more effective to install insulation over the surface of the blocks either on the exterior or interior of the foundation walls. Placing insulation on the exterior has the added advantage of containing the thermal mass of the blocks within the conditioned space, which can moderate indoor temperatures.

Some manufacturers incorporate polystyrene beads into concrete blocks, while others make concrete blocks that accommodate rigid foam inserts.

In the United States, two varieties of solid, precast autoclaved concrete masonry units are now available: autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) and autoclaved cellular concrete (ACC). This material contains about 80% air by volume and has been commonly used in Europe since the late 1940s. Autoclaved concrete has ten times the insulating value of conventional concrete. The blocks are large, light, and easily sawed, nailed, and shaped with ordinary tools. The material absorbs water readily, so it requires protection from moisture. Precast ACC uses fly ash instead of high-silica sand, which distinguishes it from AAC. Fly ash is a waste ash produced from burning coal in electric power plants.

Hollow-core units made with a mix of concrete and wood chips are also available. They are installed by stacking the units without using mortar (dry-stacking) and filling the cores with concrete and structural steel. One potential problem with this type of unit is that the wood is subject to the effects of moisture and insects.

Concrete block walls are typically insulated or built with insulating concrete blocks during new home construction or major renovations. Block walls in existing homes can be insulated from the inside. Go to insulation materials for more information about the products commonly used to insulate concrete block.

Foam Board or Rigid Foam

Foam boards — rigid panels of insulation — can be used to insulate almost any part of your home, from the roof down to the foundation. They are very effective in exterior wall sheathing, interior sheathing for basement walls, and special applications such as attic hatches. They provide good thermal resistance (up to 2 times greater than most other insulating materials of the same thickness), and reduce heat conduction through structural elements, like wood and steel studs. The most common types of materials used in making foam board include polystyrene, polyisocyanurate (polyiso), and polyurethane.

Insulating Concrete Forms

Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) are basically forms for poured concrete walls, which remain as part of the wall assembly. This system creates walls with a high thermal resistance, typically about R-20. Even though ICF homes are constructed using concrete, they look like traditional stick-built homes.

ICF systems consist of interconnected foam boards or interlocking, hollow-core foam insulation blocks. Foam boards are fastened together using plastic ties. Along with the foam boards, steel rods (rebar) can be added for reinforcement before the concrete is poured. When using foam blocks, steel rods are often used inside the hollow cores to strengthen the walls.

The foam webbing around the concrete-filled cores of blocks can provide easy access for insects and groundwater. To help prevent these problems, some manufacturers make insecticide-treated foam blocks and promote methods for waterproofing them. Installing an ICF system requires an experienced contractor, available through the Insulating Concrete Form Association.

Loose-Fill and Blown-In Insulation

Loose-fill insulation consists of small particles of fiber, foam, or other materials. These small particles form an insulation material that can conform to any space without disturbing structures or finishes. This ability to conform makes loose-fill insulation well suited for retrofits and locations where it would be difficult to install other types of insulation.

The most common types of materials used for loose-fill insulation include cellulose, fiberglass, and mineral (rock or slag) wool. All of these materials are produced using recycled waste materials. Cellulose is primarily made from recycled newsprint. Most fiberglass products contain 40% to 60% recycled glass. Mineral wool is usually produced from 75% post-industrial recycled content. The table below compares these three materials.

Recommended Specifications by Loose-Fill Insulation Material

 CELLULOSEFIBERGLASSROCK WOOL
Density in lb/ft3 (kg/m3)1.5–2.0 (24–36)0.5–1.0 (10–14)1.7 (27)
Weight at R-38 in lb/ft2 (kg/m2)1.25–2.0 (6–10)0.5–1.2 (3–6)1.6–1.8 (8–9)

For Attic Applications

 CELLULOSEFIBERGLASSROCK WOOL
OK for 1/2″ drywall, 24″ on center?NoYesNo
OK for 1/2″ drywall, 16″ on center?YesYesYes
OK for 5/8″ drywall, 24″ on center?YesYesYes

Some less common loose-fill insulation materials include polystyrene beads and vermiculite and perlite. Loose-fill insulation can be installed in either enclosed cavities such as walls, or unenclosed spaces such as attics. Cellulose, fiberglass, and rock wool are typically blown in by experienced installers skilled at achieving the correct density and R-values. Polystyrene beads, vermiculite, and perlite are typically poured.

The Federal Trade Commission has issued the “Trade Regulation Rule Concerning the Labeling and Advertising of Home Insulation” (16 CFR Part 460). The Commission issued the R-value Rule to prohibit, on an industry-wide basis, specific unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The Rule requires that manufacturers and others who sell home insulation determine and disclose each products’ R-value and related information (e.g., thickness, coverage area per package) on package labels and manufacturers’ fact sheets. R-value ratings vary among different types and forms of home insulations and among products of the same type and form.

. For loose-fill insulation, each manufacturer must determine the R-value of its product at settled density and create coverage charts showing the minimum settled thickness, minimum weight per square foot, and coverage area per bag for various total R-values.

This is because as the installed thickness of loose-fill insulation increases, its settled density also increases due to compression of the insulation under its own weight.  Thus, the R-value of loose-fill insulation does not change proportionately with thickness. The manufacturers’ coverage charts specify the bags of insulation needed per square foot of coverage area; the maximum coverage area for one bag of insulation; the minimum weight per square foot of the installed insulation; and the initial and settled thickness of the installed insulation needed to achieve a particular R-value.

Radiant Barriers and Reflective Insulation Systems

Unlike most common insulation systems, which resist conductive and sometimes convective heat flow, radiant barriers and reflective insulation work by reflecting radiant heat. Radiant barriers are installed in homes — usually in attics — primarily to reduce summer heat gain, which helps lower cooling costs. Reflective insulation incorporates radiant barriers — typically highly reflective aluminum foils — into insulation systems that can include a variety of backings, such as kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles, or cardboard, as well as thermal insulation materials.

Radiant heat travels in a straight line away from any surface and heats anything solid that absorbs its energy. When the sun heats a roof, it’s primarily the sun’s radiant energy that makes the roof hot. A large portion of this heat travels by conduction through the roofing materials to the attic side of the roof. The hot roof material then radiates its gained heat energy onto the cooler attic surfaces, including the air ducts and the attic floor. A radiant barrier reduces the radiant heat transfer from the underside of the roof to the other surfaces in the attic. To be effective, it must face an air space.

Radiant barriers are more effective in hot climates, especially when cooling air ducts are located in the attic. Some studies show that radiant barriers can lower cooling costs 5% to 10% when used in a warm, sunny climate. The reduced heat gain may even allow for a smaller air conditioning system. In cool climates, however, it’s usually more cost-effective to install more thermal insulation.

Rigid Fiber Board Insulation

Rigid fiber or fibrous board insulation consists of either fiberglass or mineral wool material and is primarily used for insulating air ducts in homes. It is also used when there’s a need for insulation that can withstand high temperatures. These products come in a range of thicknesses from 1 inch to 2.5 inches.

Installation in air ducts is usually done by HVAC contractors, who fabricate the insulation at their shops or at job sites. On exterior duct surfaces, they can install the insulation by impaling it on weld pins and securing with speed clips or washers. They can also use special weld pins with integral-cupped head washers. Unfaced boards can then be finished with reinforced insulating cement, canvas, or weatherproof mastic. Faced boards can be installed in the same way, and the joints between boards sealed with pressure-sensitive tape or glass fabric and mastic.

Sprayed-Foam and Foamed-In-Place Insulation

Liquid foam insulation materials can be sprayed, foamed-in-place, injected, or poured. Foam-in-place insulation can be blown into walls, on attic surfaces, or under floors to insulate and reduce air leakage. Some installations can yield a higher R-value than traditional batt insulation for the same thickness, and can fill even the smallest cavities, creating an effective air barrier. You can use the small pressurized cans of foam-in-place insulation to reduce air leakage in holes and cracks, such as window and door frames, and electrical and plumbing penetrations.

Types of Foam Insulation

Today, most foam materials use foaming agents that don’t use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are harmful to the earth’s ozone layer.

There are two types of foam-in-place insulation: closed-cell and open-cell. Both are typically made with polyurethane. With closed-cell foam, the high-density cells are closed and filled with a gas that helps the foam expand to fill the spaces around it. Open-cell foam cells are not as dense and are filled with air, which gives the insulation a spongy texture.

The type of insulation you should choose depends on how you will use it and on your budget. While closed-cell foam has a greater R-value and provides stronger resistance against moisture and air leakage, the material is also much denser and is more expensive to install. Open-cell foam is lighter and less expensive but should not be used below ground level where it could absorb water. Consult a professional insulation installer to decide what type of insulation is best for you.

Available foam insulation materials include:

  • Cementitious
  • Phenolic
  • Polyisocyanurate (polyiso)
  • Polyurethane.

Some less common types include Icynene foam and Tripolymer foam. Icynene foam can be either sprayed or injected, which makes it the most versatile. It also has good resistance to both air and water intrusion. Tripolymer foam—a water-soluble foam—is injected into wall cavities. It has excellent resistance to fire and air intrusion.

Installation

Liquid foam insulation — combined with a foaming agent — can be applied using small spray containers or in larger quantities as a pressure-sprayed (foamed-in-place) product. Both types expand and harden as the mixture cures. They also conform to the shape of the cavity, filling and sealing it thoroughly. Slow-curing liquid foams are also available. These foams are designed to flow over obstructions before expanding and curing, and they are often used for empty wall cavities in existing buildings. There are also liquid foam materials that can be poured from a container.

Installation of most types of liquid foam insulation requires special equipment and certification and should be done by experienced installers. Following installation, an approved thermal barrier equal in fire resistance to half-inch gypsum board must cover all foam materials. Also, some building codes don’t recognize sprayed foam insulation as a vapor barrier, so installation might require an additional vapor retarder.

Costs

Foam insulation products and installation usually cost more than traditional batt insulation. However, foam insulation has higher R-values and forms an air barrier, which can eliminate some of the other costs and tasks associated with weatherizing a home, such as caulking, applying housewrap and vapor barrier, and taping joints. When building a new home, this type of insulation can also help reduce construction time and the number of specialized contractors, which saves money.

Structural Insulated Panels

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are prefabricated insulated structural elements for use in building walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs. They provide superior and uniform insulation compared to more traditional construction methods (stud or “stick frame”), offering energy savings of 12% to 14%. When installed properly, SIPs also result in a more airtight dwelling, which makes a house quieter and more comfortable.

SIPs not only have high R-values but also high strength-to-weight ratios. A SIP typically consists of 4- to 8-inch-thick foam board insulation sandwiched between two sheets of oriented strand board (OSB) or other structural facing materials. Manufacturers can usually customize the exterior and interior sheathing materials to meet customer requirements. The facing is glued to the foam core, and the panel is then either pressed or placed in a vacuum to bond the sheathing and core together. SIPs can be produced in various sizes or dimensions. Some manufacturers make panels as large as 8 by 24 feet, which require a crane to erect.

The quality of SIP manufacturing is very important to the long life and performance of the product. The panels must be glued, pressed, and cured properly to ensure that they don’t delaminate. The panels also must have smooth surfaces and edges to prevent gaps from occurring when they’re connected at the job site. Before purchasing SIPs, ask manufacturers about their quality control and testing procedures and read and compare warranties carefully. SIPs are available with different insulating materials, usually polystyrene or polyisocyanurate foam.

Installation

SIPs are made in a factory and shipped to job sites. Builders then connect them together to construct a house. For an experienced builder, a SIPs home goes up much more quickly than other homes, which saves time and money without compromising quality. These savings can help offset the usually higher cost of SIPs.

Many SIP manufacturers also offer “panelized housing kits.” The builder need only assemble the pre-cut pieces, and additional openings for doors and windows can be cut with standard tools at the construction site.

When installed according to manufacturers’ recommendations, SIPs meet all building codes and pass the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards of safety. In buildings constructed of SIPs, fire investigators have found that the panels held up well. For example, in one case a structure fire exceeded 1,000°F (538°C) in the ceiling areas and 200°F (93°C) near the floors, and most wall panels and much of the ceiling remained intact. An examination of the wall panels revealed that the foam core had neither melted nor delaminated from the skins. In similar cases, a lack of oxygen seemingly caused the fire to extinguish itself. The air supply in an airtight SIP home can be quickly consumed in a fire.

Areas of Concern

Fire safety is a concern, but when the interior of the SIP is covered with a fire-rated material, such as gypsum board, it protects the facing and foam long enough to give building occupants a chance to escape. As in any house, insects and rodents can be a problem. In a few cases, insects and rodents have tunneled throughout the SIPs, and some manufacturers have issued guidelines for preventing these problems, including:

Applying insecticides to the panels
Treating the ground with insecticides both before and after initial construction and backfilling
Maintaining indoor humidity levels below 50%
Locating outdoor plantings at least two feet (0.6 meters) away from the walls
Trimming any over-hanging tree limbs.

Boric acid-treated insulation panels are also available. These panels deter insects, but are relatively harmless to humans and pets.

Because it is so airtight, a well-built SIP structure requires controlled fresh-air ventilation for safety, health, and performance, and to meet many building codes. A well-designed, installed, and properly operated mechanical ventilation system can also help prevent indoor moisture problems, which is important for achieving the energy-saving benefits of an SIP structure.

To know more about Insulation materials check here !

Conserve Resources In Construction Using Modern Technology

It’s no secret that modern technologies are literally revolutionising every aspect of life. Our construction industry, incessantly being upgraded and updated with latest and modern technology, is one evident example of this.

Green building is on the rise, in fact, it is has become a critical part of the world today. The World Green Building Trends recognized the benefits of green building which drew an increasing number of businesses into sustainable construction: Greater health and productivity topped the list while, energy saving, water use reduction, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and natural resource conservation followed. With this increasing need and craze to build green today, several new construction technologies are being developed to keep up with this escalating shift to sustainability and save our rapidly depleting natural resources. From increasing the use of renewable resources to curtailing carbon footprint, whether in building a new building or greening an existing one, modern technologies can help us achieve our aim to save the planet.

6 Modern Technologies In Construction That Help In Saving Resources

Let’s highlight the top green construction technologies which could help largely in saving resources.

1. Sustainable Construction Materials

Building construction consumes huge volumes of resources, this is exactly where the integration of biodegradable, recycled and sustainable materials can make a huge difference. A healthy living environment demands the use of the right building materials. In general, building materials can strongly influence the indoor climate and quality of living. Clay is the oldest known versatile building material which has lasted for centuries sustaining its value and utility, it is the most plastic and workable material as it takes shapes of a toy to a material used for making high rise buildings THE BRICK. Sustainable materials are great as they help in preventing quickly exhausting natural resources.

Another example are steel beams, these are made from recycled metal. Biodegradable materials like natural paints, which are void of the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) help in eliminating indoor pollution. These decompose naturally without contaminating our planet.

2. Zero-Energy Buildings

These are specially engineered and designed building structures that depend on renewable energy sources, like solar and wind power. This allows them to operate independently of the electric grid. Such green scheme not only aids in saving energy but also thwarts additional greenhouse gas emissions.

Zero-energy designs efficiently use solar cells and panels, bio-fuels, and wind turbines, among others, and fulfills the building’s electricity and HVAC needs. Well, such construction is more expensive, but in the long run benefits of energy-saving and sustainable business practices induce businesses to consider it a sound investment.

3. Water Efficiency Systems

Buildings use 15 trillion gallons of the world’s potable water every year. Systems designed for water efficiency can help in lowering water usage by nearly 15 percent. Such systems include rainwater harvesting and grey-water reuse to make use of recycled water, water-conservation fixtures to efficiently manage water consumption, and on-site sewage treatment to remove contaminants from wastewater.

4. Storm-Water Management

Storm-water management purposes are to mitigate erosions in rural areas and floods in urban locations which can arise due to sudden downfalls of rain or snow. This can be done by landscaping the areas to manage the huge volumes of water on occasions of heavy storms. Currently, there are many storm-water management practices, detention ponds, onsite detention tanks, and incorporating plants through green infrastructure are few to name.

5. Low-Emittance Windows

Green version of windows is known as low-emittance windows. These are typically coated with metallic oxide which helps in blocking the sun’s severe rays during the hot summer months which can help in bringing down the HVAC costs.

6. Cool Roofs

Just like low-emittance windows, cool roofs reflect heat and sunlight away. These roofs are made of special tiles and coated with reflective paints and have very high levels of thermal emittance and solar reflectance which work as a force and allow very less absorption of heat. Ultimately, cool roofs are a great way to keep the building interiors cooler and significantly reduce energy use. In addition to that, they also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Final Thoughts

Going green adds up too many advantages that businesses cannot ignore. Irrespective of the fact that, few modern construction technologies involve more upfront investments, businesses reap benefits in the long run. Furthermore, modern and sustainable construction technologies are rapidly being developed for affordable and wide-scale adoption. And yes, the increasing demands for green buildings means these technologies are going nowhere, but will sooner or later advance and aid in building a greener tomorrow.

Originally Published On LinkedIn By Kundan Dighe (Associate General Manager – Sales & Product Development at Wienerberger India Private Limited)

  • Zerodor  :-Zerodor is a revolutionary waterless urinal technology which can save over 151000 liters of water per year per urinal. That is one whole year of 14 families getting access to water.
  • Dual Thread Aerator :- With 3 LPM straight shower flow aerator you save water and reduce water bill.
  • SandFree:- Perlcon Sandfree Plaster is a unique cement-based formulation developed specifically to overcome sand related problems like availability, quality, labor and time.

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