The activities of the Building Integration Group are focused on the development of new high performance insulation products based on silica aerogels as well as their applications in buildings.
Silica aerogels are ideally suited as insulation materials for buildings, due to their extremely low thermal conductivity while still being vapour-permeable. Furthermore, aerogel is non-flammable types. Furthermore, aerogel is hydrophobic, i.e. moisture does not accumulate in it under normal conditions in building applications, thus allowing for a wide range of applications.
Information for professionals
One impediment to the usage of aerogel in the building sector is the lack of knowledge on aerogel materials and products with building professionals. Because risks and potentials of these new materials are not known widely in the sector, many opportunities are missed where aerogel would bring an add-ed value in terms of comfort, energy or financial savings. To ameliorate this situation, Empa has created an independent website that provides information on the most common aerogel products available in Switzerland. Furthermore, examples of applications in the build environment are given. The website is geared specifically towards building professionals and can be found here: www.aerogelanwendungen.ch
In our projects, we cooperate with partners both from industry and academia in order to develop new building materials and solutions. We dispose of a strong knowledge base in compounding of aerogel granules that allows us to tailor for specific applications. Furthermore, we offer consulting for building projects with novel applications of aerogel materials.
Empa has participated in the studying of long-term performance of high-performance materials within the IEA-EBC Annex 65 research programme “Long Term Performance of Super-Insulating Materials in Building Components and Systems”. We also participated in the SCCER FEEB&D programme, the Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research for Future Energy Efficient Buildings & Districts.
Some of our key projects are: