Within the market there is a growing demand for thinner higher performance insulation materials and there are several reasons for this.
The continuously increasing price of energy is of course one of the main factors. This makes it profitable for house owners to invest in more efficient insulation and thereby reduce their overall energy consumption.
To minimize space loss is another important reason. One way to improve the energy efficiency of a building would of course be to simply increase the thickness of the walls. In many cases this is either not possible or at least not wanted. Not possible because of existing space limitations in the building, and not wanted due to esthetical considerations and the resulting loss of living space.
In densely populated regions where land is expensive it is in the interest of both the construction companies and the final house owners to maximize living area since apartments are sold by square meter surface. Today about 50 percent of the world population live in larger cities and the trend is that this number will increase. The prediction is that by 2050 75 percent will live occupying only 2 percent of the Earth’s surface. The price per square meter in the centre of Stockholm today is €5 000 to €8 000, and in many international large cities it is much higher than that.
In renovation projects, if it is even possible to increase the wall and insulation thickness, significant non-esthetical and functional compromises are often required to install more insulation on the inside or outside of the building. Thinner insulation is also perceived attractive for architects, as it gives more freedom of design.
Another benefit from thinner insulation is easier logistics, favouring both producers and buyers of insulation materials as well as the environment. If the transported volume can be reduced by half, the shipping costs as well as the emissions of greenhouse gas is reduced by half.
The growing environmental awareness amongst the general population is also another increasingly important factor. It makes opportunities for energy and material efficiency an important issue when choosing or renovating a new home.
In addition, government and EU legislations EPBD II (energy performance of buildings directive) requires energy savings measures, and a reduced overall energy consumption by 20 percent for all new buildings in Europe by 2020, all work in favour to improve insulation during the coming years.
All the above reasons together mean an increased pressure on the leading insulation producers to quickly find better and higher performing insulation products.