URSA insulation in the largest spherical building in the world
Experts agree: the most efficient energy saving measure is insulation. Consequently, the Energy Museum of Kazakhstan could only have insulation of the highest quality for its newly renovated premises.
The museum is located in one of the most emblematic buildings, not only of the country’s capital Nursultan, the former Astana, but of the country itself. As the Eiffel Tower in France or the Colosseum in Italy, the Nur Alem Pavilion is destined to become Kazakhstan’s most famous tourist attraction.
It was built for the 2017 Expo and quickly became the most popular and visited installation of the international fair. In fact, of the 4 million visitors from over 180 countries, over 1.3 million registered to visit the Nur Alem Pavilion, the largest spherical building in the world.
The pavilion is 80 meters in diameter and 100 meters high. This peculiar building was designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and the German architect Albert Speer Jr, who took his inspiration from a drop of oil and the search for clean energies for the future.
Because, once the Expo ended, the pavilion was transformed to become the first technological museum dedicated to the energies of the future.
Leading by example, the building underwent a deep renovation to change from a pavilion to a museum, including full insulation of its entire envelope.
In total, 2,500 sqm of URSA TERRA 36, 100 mm thick, were installed. This mineral wool is an insulating material with outstanding thermal and acoustic properties. It is also non-flammable and performs superbly in the case of fire, an indispensable quality for buildings prepared to host large numbers of people. Furthermore, URSA TERRA is easy to install, reducing execution times, a key factor to consider when choosing this efficient and sustainable product.
The material’s thickness and its low thermal conductivity were also strategic reasons to select this material, able to provide thermal comfort in Nursultan’s harsh climate. Freeze-resistant glazing was also chosen to withstand the city’s famously cold winters.
One of the building’s highlights is its impressive eighth floor, a platform with striking panoramic views of the city that has quickly become one of Nursultan’s key experiences. The platform has a glass bridge, already crossed by over 3 million people since its opening.
By visiting each of the museum’s floors, visitors can deepen their knowledge on alternative and clean energies such as solar, biomass, kinetic, water, etc. Experts estimate that, in the near future, Nursultan will obtain 80 percent of its energy consumption from green energy sources.
The first step is of course to fit the building with insulation, able to reduce energy consumption between 20 and 50 percent and lower polluting emissions by approximately the same amount. Thermal comfort is also fundamental. In addition to providing visitors with a pleasant indoor environment, each heating degree reduced entails 9 percent energy savings.
The use of URSA TERRA was also worthwhile under another aspect: This insulation has also helped the new Future Energy Museum of Kazakhstan to conquer two prizes at the Association of Noise Consultants’ 2018 Conference, rewarding the building’s outstanding acoustic comfort.
All pictures by Batyr Aubakirov, Expo 2017.
More sustainability news
The construction and building industry is responsible for nearly 40 percent of global CO2 emissions. At Xella, we've made it our mission to change that. In 2021, we took a few steps forward.View more