Fig. 26 : Because VIPs are very fragile, there are detailed rules governing their installation.
© Lichtblau Architekten

Fig. 27: This VIP is laminated on the outside with a protective fabric made of glass fibre.
© va-Q-tec

Fig. 28: Prefabricating the building elements under factory conditions ensures good protection for the VIPs. Once on the building site, such elements are handled in almost the same way as conventionally insulated elements.
© Variotec
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Installation versions with vacuum insulation

Vacuum insulation panels are available on the market in various standard formats. Modular sizes are intended to simplify the planning and avoid custom-made elements. Special formats or fitting pieces, for example with notches for fixing elements, anchors or similar fixtures, are even more expensive and require advance planning during the production.

VIPs are available for the construction industry in nonlaminated and laminated versions or integrated into prefabricated building elements. It is likely that construction products and systems with integrated VIPs will become increasingly available on the market.

  • Unprotected VIPs

Pure vacuum insulation panels from various manufacturers have proved themselves in construction for a decade now. In addition to their slim shape, the fact that they can be easily controlled, at least until they are installed, is another advantage in using them. With corresponding planning, individual panels can be replaced should they fail. Faulty VIPs can be easily recycled or correctly sorted and disposed of. Their big disadvantage is that the panels are extremely fragile given the harsh conditions that prevail on construction sites, and they require a professional installation team.

  • Laminated VIPs

In order to make the panels more robust and/or to adapt them to specific application areas, some manufacturers laminate the VIPs from the start on both sides. The materials used for the lamination include conventional thermal insulation materials similar to TICS for the outer insulation, timber and hard-plastic panels for the interior finishes, and even supplementary rubber layers to provide additional impact sound insulation when used for flooring.

Laminated VIPs provide relatively good mechanical protection and, provided that they are also laminated along their edges, can also be adjusted on site in terms of the size. The additional layer of course makes the elements somewhat thicker and also makes it more difficult to inspect them.

  • VIPs integrated into building elements

Prefabricated building elements with vacuum insulation for facades or roofs are available as sandwiched timber structures, precast concrete elements or elements based on the insulation glass principle. Individual building elements such as doors, lintels and roller shutter housings are also available on the market. The fragile VIPs are installed in these prefabricated elements with a considerable degree of precision and under controlled conditions in the factory. This considerably reduces the risk of damage. With corresponding planning, it is also possible to eliminate the need for expensive fitting pieces and tolerance zones that would have to be filled with conventional thermal insulation on site. Another attraction of prefabricated elements is their slimness and lightness. In mullion-transom structures, this enables transparent elements to be combined with opaque, highly insulating elements of the same thickness as part of a unified installation and fixing system.
With prefabricated elements, the currently available procedures do not enable the vacuum in the installed VIPs to be subsequently checked as this requires free access to the surface of the VIP film.


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