As the leader in the development of different components for buildings, Europe is based on the use of high-efficiency insulation materials such as concrete, glass, steel, composites, wood and different types of hybrids. Using those products, Europe can secure recyclable and nearly zero-energy building envelopes, especially when applied to new buildings.
Although these components provide high-quality results, they do not yet allow neither for the integration of smart energy storage nor for an equal performance in existing buildings. The complexity of the components combined with the lack of systematic research on the field has resulted in the process becoming gradually more challenging.
Through thorough and focused research the current components will be developed into something that can provide energy efficiency hybrid-enable prototypes for some selected non-residential the buildings. Developing lightweight components based on the high-efficiency insulation materials will add active energy management capabilities without the increasing weight.
The research that needs to be done is going to have to cover certain aspects that are considered to be the most important and more useful, in the beginning, so that the development of stronger, lighter and energy efficient components and materials can take off.
- The development of lightweight energy efficient components for the construction of building envelopes
- solutions capable for use in both new buildings and for retrofitting existing ones;
- solutions allowing for installation without modifying the structure of the building (or without overloading existing structures) and demonstrating a high replication and industrial potential;
- modeling of the materials and components as well as to the development of novel testing methodologies oriented towards assessing the long-term performance of the elements. This should include the estimation of durability and service life;
- reduced maintenance costs, the possibility of use in a wide range of environmental conditions, favor renewable resources, respect of sustainability principles (International Reference Life Cycle Data System – ILCD Handbook), and the possibility of reuse at the end of service life.
Proper and organized research will result in fast and productive results. The integration of cost and energy efficient component in the construction of buildings will be much easier, faster and will help develop the idea of environmentally friendly components and products in multiple industries.