Green homes and smart insulation are synonymous today, since the combination not only enhances structural aesthetics but lowers energy costs. Here’s how.
Ensuring comfort in a home requires that the focus remains not just on structural robustness and aesthetics but also on the surroundings and how they affect you. In this context, a key area of consideration is insulation.
The case for insulation
Insulation is an architectural imperative for homes. Without it, substantial amounts of energy used to heat or cool structures would escape or leak out, leaving in its wake huge electricity bills. Adopting strategies to keep homes cool in the summer months and warm during winter make homes energy-efficient with up to 40 per cent savings in electricity bills. As an added incentive, it also prevents mould and damp from creeping in. Other benefits span lowered greenhouse gas emissions, better soundproofing when using certain insulation materials, and reduced dependence on heating and cooling systems.
Insulation is not about one size fitting all
There are different types of insulation and the one you use for your home will need to consider the climatic conditions, structural design and materials available.
Bulk insulation, ensured through use of glass wool, polyester, natural wool or recycled paper for homes built in cooler climates, regulates heat flow between your home and the outside atmosphere, thereby keeping the heat out in summers and in homes, during winter.
Reflective insulation uses shiny aluminium foil laminated onto paper or plastic and is preferred for homes in hot climates. It deflects the heat and keeps homes cool.
Insulation in new constructions
When building a home, understand the regulations that govern the minimum insulation requirements. Since most green homes are likely to go beyond these, consider ultra-efficient home design at the planning stage to synchronise insulation with other components of construction to eliminate retrofitting. This involves knowing where to insulate, the R-values for these areas, and the type of insulation required, such as air seal and moisture control.
Cavity insulation, insulated sheathing, structural insulated panels, masonry products such as insulating concrete forms, attic or roof radiant barriers, and foundation insulation must all be taken into consideration before construction begins.
Retrofitting insulation in an existing structure
If you are living in an older apartment, it may not be equipped with adequate insulation. Therefore, check the insulation which are already in place in the attic, walls and floors of the house. Then, conduct an energy assessment to determine how much insulation is required. Retrofitting the structure may be expensive but is a one-time investment that pays off over time.
Panasonic: Your partner in building a smart home
Whether homes are old or new, Panasonic leverages its technological prowess and draws on experience garnered over 50 years to offer next-gen homeowners a wide array of solutions that are best suited for the green homes they aspire to build.
Panasonic uses advanced Japanese construction techniques such as the wall-precast concrete (WPC) method to reduce building and construction time. A low-rise house could require as little as three months to construct using WPC, depending on its size. Once built, insulation is then installed in the external walls and ceiling at the top floor, ensuring complete insulation. This can reduce the temperature of the house by up to three degrees Celsius. The WPC method also offers homeowners freedom from leaky roofs while enabling better soundproofing and greater security.
Panasonic’s innovative ECO NAVI ventilation system leverages geothermal heat coming in off the floorboards to keep home interiors cooler in summer and warmer in winter, reducing dependence on air-conditioning systems. Similarly, the Energy Creation-storage Linked System combines a photovoltaic power generation system, storage battery and SMARTHEMSTM to ease reliance on conventional energy systems during power outages, enable heat insulation and reduce CO2 emissions.
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