When thinking about energy efficient homes of the future, most people conjure up images of shiny new structures complete with the latest eco-efficient technology. But a vast majority of the buildings that will make up our future cities already exist. A recent report from the UN found that 65% of building stock expected worldwide in 2060 has already been built, and most of these structures were not constructed with sustainability in mind. At the same time, however, climate change experts agree we should aim to have net-zero emissions by 2050.
Do the math and the answer is clear: We need to work on improving energy-efficiency in existing structures – and quickly.
Of course, it’s only possible to start saving energy when you know where and how energy is being wasted. But in the majority of old homes, upgrading insulation is the obvious place to start.
In the US, some reports conclude up to 90% of existing homes are under insulated and leak up to 30% of the energy produced.
Retrofitting an older homes and apartments with polyurethane insulation can reduce heat loss by up to 80% as well as reduce energy consumption significantly. PU insulation offers the highest performance of any conventional insulating material. Compared to traditional insulation – such as mineral wool or polystyrene – polyurethane offers much lower thermal conductivity and insulates up to two-thirds more effectively.
Additionally, while a traditional approach to insulation would lead to the walls getting thicker, PU produces much thinner walls. This means minimal space is required to retrofit insulation in existing buildings to achieve future-proof energy efficiency levels.