Five centuries ago, the first bricks of the historic Knechtjeshuis were laid on Antwerp's Paardenmarkt. In the meantime, the former orphanage has become part of the City Campus of the University of Antwerp, where it is currently undergoing a thorough renovation. In the process, the historic facades will be preserved thanks to the use of Multipor as insulation material.
The University of Antwerp is investing 12.5 million euros in the renovation of the City Campus so that students will already be able to attend lectures at Paardenmarkt in 2023. Architects Driesen-Meersman-Thomaes and MAAT_WERK created the design, while Bureau Bouwtechniek provided structural engineering support. Energy efficiency was an important factor in the renovation, but good insulation can be a challenge if you don't want to compromise the historic value of a building. To preserve the impressive facades, the interior walls were re-insulated with Multipor. Bureau Bouwtechniek had worked regularly with Multipor before and had good experience with it, so it was the ideal solution for them for this project.
Avoiding moisture problems
The choice of insulation material is also important for challenging the development of moisture. Multipor is a mineral board that is vapor permeable and transports moisture, buffers it and allows it to dry inside. In contrast, conventional materials such as rock wool do not have this buffering effect, which can cause moisture to accumulate and turn the entire wall into one bunch of mold. In addition, these materials can cause frost damage to the facade if rainwater that penetrates the walls cannot drain away. In the case of monuments and historic buildings, it is especially important to maintain the facade in the best possible condition. In addition, wooden beams often provide stability for older buildings, so preventing moisture is a significant factor in safety and structural stability.
Ecological and recyclable
Architect Jan Meersman has also become a fan of the material through his positive experience with Multipor: "This project was my first encounter with Multipor. It performed so well that I advised the contractor to use the material for insulating other walls of the campus as well. ”Multipor has a high thermal insulation value, is fire resistant and can be installed quickly and efficiently. It is also sustainable because Multipor is fully recyclable. It can therefore serve as a raw material for the production of new building materials. It is also cured at only 180 degrees. If you compare that with glass wool, which requires more than 1,000 degrees, the decision is quickly made. Its many advantages make Multipor a logical choice for renovating historic buildings like the Knechtjeshuis.