Back some time ago I was visiting one seminar in southern Europe and listened to a presenter who was exited about the fact that insulation can be used in a wall element - between the outer layer and inner layer. So insulation is also possible in precast! And this was in 2011. I was sitting next to a Swedish manager and we were laughing quite a bit - the presenter was only 50 years late with his "innovation". E.g. Peikko was started in 1965 for producing the diagonal ties to keep the outer layer and inner layer of the sandwich element together. And after 46 years we are still producing a similar product.
The use of insulation is still not respected or used in all countries, not only in southern Europe. Just recently we lost a job in Gulf area of our ties. The reason was that the investor did not consider insulation to be important - instead of sandwich wall elements he wanted to have cheaper elements, with full concrete only. I can only imagine what kind of energy bills those houses will have -> there are 50 degrees outside, A/C is going full speed all the time but the investor surely saved money. Sadly the investor is even government related organization -> goverments can do silly decisions as well.
On the other hand, insulation norms can be also so rigid that they are next to insane. It looks like in some Nordic countries the planned requirements for insulation are so high that houses will be soon bunkers, nothing less. There is already apartment buildings build without balconies in order to make them into "passive houses". I am just looking forward when they create an energy saving building without windows...maybe one comes soon without doors as well :-)
The use of proper insulation is important but life is never black and white - it has to be economical and not in the extreme. We at Peikko are happy to develop new products, thicker ties to tie thicker insulation layers into element parts, better systems to cope with hard insulations materials etc. I just wish that governments will keep some sanity, both ways, not to be too lose and not be too rigid.