How efficient insulation saves CO2 immediately
Optimal insulation can reduce the energy demand of existing buildings by two thirds compared to today
According to the World Green Building Council, existing buildings are responsible for 40 percent of energy consumption in the European Union. Oil-fired heating systems and electricity used to heat or cool rooms are the main sources of the high emissions. That's why retrofitting with insulation materials can drastically reduce a home's energy consumption. This benefits people and the environment in three ways.
The environment, because the 210 million buildings in the EU currently collectively consume more energy and emit more CO2 than any other sector of the EU economy. The World Green Building Council estimates that 90 percent of the buildings that exist today will still stand in 2050. Renovation of the existing building stock is key to reducing the CO2 emissions. This makes retrofit insulation all the more important.
Residents benefit because new building materials also improve the living environment, sound and heat insulation, and the safety of occupants in the event of heavy rain or vibrations.
Last but not least, investors' and residents' wallets also benefit. Every euro invested in this way pays off.
That's why Xella offers innovative, sustainable, and energy-efficient building solutions with Ytong, Silka, Hebel, Multipor, and URSA. And we are constantly researching, in order to further improve our construction and insulation materials for new buildings as well as for the renovation of existing buildings.
Efficient and user-friendly
Take URSA, for example. URSA mineral wool, a product of the Xella Group, is one of the most efficient and user-friendly thermal and acoustic insulation materials. This is equally important from both an ecological and an economic point of view. Non-combustible and easy to process, it is ideal for the safe thermal and acoustic insulation of pitched roofs, partition walls, exterior walls and ceilings. And it conserves resources: even today, 72 percent of mineral wool is made from recycled and reprocessed glass. The good news is that the more external waste glass and internally processed production residues can be used for mineral wool, the less natural resources are needed for production.
Another important building material for energy-saving insulation is extruded rigid polystyrene foam (XPS). It is important for use in technically demanding applications such as foundations and flat roofs. This is because URSA XPS combines three important properties: thermal insulation, compressive strength and water impermeability.
Back to the circular economy
At Xella, it is important to us to return unused insulation material into our production process. That's why we carefully collect production residues and offcuts. We reprocess them to use them again as raw materials in our production. As a result, we can already reuse 90 percent of all XPS production offcuts and almost 50 percent of mineral wool offcuts in the URSA plants. But we want to become even more energy and resource efficient. That is why we are investing in further waste mills. Our goal is to increase the proportion of recycled and leftovers of mineral wool used to more than 80 percent by 2030.
More living comfort
Energy efficiency is not the only decisive factor for URSA when it comes to insulation. It is just as important to us that the people who live and work in the buildings feel comfortable there. That's why our insulation materials also contribute to better indoor air comfort. For this, too, they have been awarded, for example, the German Blue Angel, the Spanish DAPconstrucción® for sustainable building materials and the Eurofins "Indoor Air Comfort" GOLD for healthy indoor climate.
Insulation pays off
High-quality insulation materials like URSA mineral wool are not only the most cost-effective way for consumers to increase the energy efficiency of a building. Although that alone is impressive: for every euro invested in URSA mineral wool insulation, a consumer saves seven euros in energy costs over the lifetime of the product.
But the environment also benefits - twice: on the one hand, because optimally insulated buildings consume less energy; on the other, because URSA mineral wool saves up to 500 times more primary energy than is needed for production, transport and disposal.
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