Energy prices are rising all over Europe. But that's not the only reason why the sustainable renovation of existing properties is becoming increasingly important. Saving energy also protects the climate – and not just in winter. Because energy-efficient thermal insulation of facades, roofs, and basements with Xella products such as Ytong, Multipor, or Silka also ensures that interiors stay cool on hot summer days. This often makes electricity-powered fans and air conditioners superfluous.
85 percent of buildings in the EU will still be standing in 2050
European Union Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson warns:" Buildings are the biggest energy consumer in Europe – they use 40 percent of our energy and cause 36 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions." More than 85 percent of today's buildings will still be standing in 2050 – when Europe must be climate neutral. Energy measures are therefore more important "because the buildings with the worst energy performance in the EU consume many times more energy than new or professionally renovated buildings," says Kari Simson. This is one of the reasons why the EU has introduced a "renovation passport." It is intended to make it easier for property owners to plan and gradually renovate a property to emission-free levels.
Insulation reduces CO2 emissions
Retrofitting insulation can reduce energy loss by up to 89 percent – in single-family homes, apartment complexes and commercial properties precisely, as well as in listed, historic buildings. High-quality, ecological, and sustainable building materials are crucial for this. Ytong autoclaved aerated concrete, Silka calcium silicate blocks and Multipor mineral insulation boards are all matched to each other and can be used for different applications, both indoors and outdoors. Xella's energy goal is to turn old buildings into new ones.
The right material also stores CO2
But the right products in renovation can do even more. "Our products even store CO2 during their life cycle. The wall absorbs the CO2 from the atmosphere and permanently binds it in carbonate minerals. Thus, autoclaved aerated concrete can bind up to 60 kilograms/cubic meter of CO2," says Dr. Hartmut Walter, a mineralogist at Xella Technologie- und Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, who recently published a study on this topic in the renowned magazine AAC Worldwide. You can find out more here.
However, highly insulating mineral insulation panels not only significantly improve the energy balance and the fire protection of buildings. Occupants and employees in the properties benefit daily from improved protection against sound and moisture.
Healthy, cost-optimized renovation is gaining in importance in Europe
Various examples show the wide range of possible applications for Xella building materials. For example, units in social housing can be renovated, which at the same time reduces tenants' energy costs. Historic buildings such as centuries-old churches are being made fit for the next decades in Italy or the Netherlands. Commercial properties are being insulated.
In the coming weeks, we will present interesting projects from all over Europe.