July 6, 2011

Insulation makes sense - in right quantaties

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.


  1. That meets exactly my opinion. The new god is insulation but no one thinks just 50 cm in front of him.

  2. Cooling is 30% more expensive than heating, a fact no one can deny! Only a fool builds outer walls without insulation. The truth is though that people, outside Scandinavia and other areas with cold winters, just don't know it. Precast is still very little known world wide. What can we do to make builders and building material manufacturers and authorities know that the only way to go is to build with precast concrete - and use sandwich walls for keeping the cold or hot air outside... ecologically, saving not only energy, but also giving people better living conditions?

    In Middle East - there are many companies already who use Elematic technology for producing sandwich walls - these pioneering companies should be followed by others in the area. That would be raising one's operations into a new, modern and efficient level!

  3. Yes, Päivi, you are right. Insulated walls are making sense and becomeing more popular definitely in Middle East.

    But the bigger challenge is how to convince people in milder warm climates, e.g. Spain and Greece to use it. After all, the practice is there to keep doors open all the time (and AC running inside). And with doors open it is difficult to convince the use of insulation. But insulation comes there as well, with good luck also to UK (the only country where I have used a skihat on my head while sleeping in a hotel, it was only +14 C inside).