Secure and durable floor slab insulation – the clever combination of comfort and energy efficiency

03.06.2018 – Most owners build only one house in their life. As a result, they have to take a lot of things into consideration during the planning phase – because once taken, their decisions have long-term consequences.

One such decision, for example, concerns which energy standards the new construction will meet. Here, the lower the heating energy requirement, the greater the long-term appreciation of the real estate is likely to be. So it is advisable to go beyond the minimum standards required by law. And that leaves no choice but to use high quality thermal insulation. For an example of how to combine energy efficiency with comfortable living, consider the Schaefer family.

Well insulated from below

In the Altmarkkreis Salzwedel district of Lower Saxony (Germany), the owners are realizing their dream of a home of their own: the newly constructed building where the family is now going to live has 250 square meters of floorspace. Right from the outset, Daniel Schaefer recognized the value of efficient and durable thermal insulation. “Our house complies with the KfW 40 standard. In addition, we have eco-friendly heating using a ground source heat pump with a borehole heat exchanger.” In order to avoid energy losses through the building shell, the owner made sure that the entire property was well insulated – even underneath. The floor slab insulation made of durable, robust XPS insulation – an extruded polystyrene foam – inhibits heat losses and also protects the structure. The material is also used in the ventilated cavity wall of the upper floor.

Secure floor slab insulation with JACKODUR Atlas

One way to install thermal bridge-free floor slab insulation in all types of buildings is with JACKODUR Atlas. The certified system also allows you to install insulation and formwork in a single step. That means complicated formwork is a thing of the past. The owner was particularly impressed with the handy, reliable insert system that eliminates the possibility of thermal bridges: “The insulation boards are really easy to install and fit together perfectly.” At the construction site, the precisely prefabricated elements are inserted into one another according to the installation diagram. First a frame is created, that establishes the shape of the floor slab. Then the insulation boards can simply be installed inside the area. The formwork elements inserted along the sides, which correspond to the height of the concrete slab, provide the required lateral support. They also serve as formwork. In this way, JACKODUR Atlas provides secure, thermal bridge-free floor slab insulation for all types of construction. By selecting the right thermal insulation thickness, it is possible to achieve insulation values that comply with the German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) up to the passive house standard – for future-proof buildings ranging from residential construction to office buildings to public facilities such as kindergartens and schools.

XPS – robust material with a long service life

As with many things, the differences among types of thermal insulation are in the details. XPS has established a reputation as an excellent insulation material because it offers especially high efficiency, compressive strength and durability, and is even unaffected by moisture. These properties make this insulation material the right choice for the floor slab, for example, and also for the roof. JACKODUR Atlas boards are easy to handle and save time during installation. This lets owners create durable, effective floor slab insulation.

Tomorrow’s construction already a reality: Inverted green roof for office building on the EUREF Campus

03.06.2018 – Sustainability is much more than just a trend. Especially in the construction industry, projects that harmonize ecological, economic and social aspects in planning, construction and operation are no longer pie in the sky dreams: rather, more and more of them are being realized every day.

The EUREF Campus in Berlin-Schöneberg is a model project for the energy revolution unlike any other in Europe. The EUREF Campus 14 office building is an architectonic highlight of the grounds, with outstanding energy efficiency – sustainable from the base of the building up to the green roof construction with the JACKODUR® thermal insulation system for inverted roofs.

The gasometer in Schöneberg is one of Berlin’s best-known landmarks. On the 5.5-hectare grounds of what was once the GASAG industrial complex, an ultra-modern urban district has been under construction since 2008. It shows how the planned energy revolution can succeed. According to project developer EUREF AG, the Campus has been meeting the German federal government’s CO2 climate objectives for 2050 already since 2014. A nearly climate-neutral energy supply, the intelligent energy grid, and highly efficient buildings are the key components of the innovative concept. The photovoltaic systems, wind turbines and biogas-fired combined heat and power plant installed on the grounds generate most of the total energy required there.

The EUREF Campus features a wide range of special buildings and styles.

Alongside listed, painstakingly renovated historic structures, attractive new buildings that satisfy the most contemporary architectural demands are being erected. Economically advanced buildings that can last for generations and conserve valuable resources during their construction and operation while offering their users a comfortable working space that complies with the principles of sustainable building.

The EUREF Campus 14 office building is one of the new buildings on the grounds. It was completed in December 2015. The facade of the tower reflects the shapes and lines of the gasometer as well as a vertical wind turbine and harmonizes superbly with its surroundings. The interior of the structure and the materials used are designed from maximum efficiency: Its building services and energy concept make it a high-performance building. The thermo-active building system for the regulation of heating and cooling, centrally controlled blinds on the triple glazed windows and automated lighting provide a high level of comfort and a good indoor climate. And the building’s insulation is also a major factor, whereby the roof construction of EUREF Campus 14 particularly stands out: planners, architect and roofing company opted for the inverted roof method with JACKODUR® thermal insulation boards from JACKON Insulation.

The inverted roof is an invented flat roof where the thermal insulation – unlike with the conventional arrangement – lies on top of the roof membrane and is thereby exposed to the weather.

Though this might seem out of the ordinary at first, it offers a big advantage: the insulation layer provides the membrane with effective and durable protection against mechanical damage, UV embrittlement and extreme temperature fluctuations. However, the insulation itself must also withstand them. With JACKODUR® insulation boards, JACKON Insulation supplies the ideal products for inverted roof applications. Made of extruded polystyrene foam (XPS), JACKODUR® thermal insulation boards have a closed-cell structure that makes them insensitive to moisture and maintains their compressive strength and dimensional stability even under high loads. Mani Pentschew, design consultant for JACKON Insulation, describes one of the special features of the EUREF roof: “With a building height of about 32 meters, the EUREF Campus 14 is classified as a high-rise, so the roof design requires special measures to secure it against wind suction. Subject to those conditions, implementing the inverted roof configuration in an ideal manner was a challenge – but one that the roofer was able to overcome very well with our products.”

To that end, the inverted roof was constructed in multiple layers. The roof’s load-bearing structure and root-resistant membrane were covered with JACKODUR® KF 300 Standard SF in a thickness of 240 mm. Ralf Logsch, Construction Manager at SKD Bau, the roofing company contracted for the job, justified the choice of JACKODUR® this way: “The boards can be installed easily and quickly, so it wasn’t hard to fit them along all of the curves of the oval roof layout. We installed the roof during the fall and winter months at the end of 2014 and early 2015. Because XPS is weather-proof, we were able to work under nearly all weather conditions. And the insulation loses none of its properties over time due to heavy rains or alternation between frozen and thawed states.” In order to impart the necessary load and prevent drifting, grass pavers were laid on the insulation boards and filled with coarse gravel. The green roof installation used a system from Optigrün. The planting itself was installed by rolling out prefabricated vegetation mats planted with sedum. This kind of extensive planting requires very little maintenance and remains permanently green. The accessible areas of the roof were filled in with a gravel bedding layer and covered with pavers. As a result, the inverted roof construction method is not only functional, but also contributes visually to the value of the building.

The high quality of the overall building is certified by, among other things, the Platinum rating level LEED certificate for EUREF Campus 14.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Where Environmental Product Declarations – or EPDs for short – are available for a certain quantity of the construction products used, this has a positive effect on the rating. Here, too, JACKODUR® was able to provide impressive results, because JACKON Insulation has obtained several EPDs for its XPS boards. Using eco-balance sheets, EPDs render the environmental impacts of products transparent, thereby making it much easier to calculate the ecological sustainability of a building.

The building’s tenant is DB Engineering & Consulting, the engineering and consulting firm of Deutsche Bahn, which works on the development and implementation of mobility and transport solutions. The company has joined the ranks of the more than 100 start-ups, global players and research institutions that are making the EUREF Campus into an innovative center for the energy revolution. As the project development continues, even more office space, residential units, restaurants and event facilities are being built. In some 15 building complexes, nearly 6,000 people will then be able to work and carry out research. The prospect pleases design consultant Mani Pentschew: “The use of our JACKODUR® products in such a pioneering project is something quite special and a great project for JACKON Insulation.”

Property data:

  • EUREF Campus 14, office building
  • 10829 Berlin, Germany
  • Building height: approx. 32 m
  • Floor space: approx. 7,000 m²
  • Architecture and construction management: EUREF Consulting GmbH, Berlin
  • General contractor: Wolff & Müller GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin
  • Roofing Company: SKD Bau GmbH, Göda
  • The material used: approx. 650 m² JACKODUR® KF 300 Standard SF, 240 mm

Green inverted roof for a rural-urban residential neighborhood

10.09.2018 – Magnoliengärten Lohbrügge/Hamburg – family-friendly living surrounded by nature, with highly energy-efficient and healthy micro-climate.

Just outside Hamburg, a metropolis with a population of almost two million, yet surrounded by nature: the impressive location is one of the benefits that favor the residential construction project Magnoliengärten Lohbrügge right from the start. But project developer Bonava has many more arguments. One of them is the natural charm that the new neighborhood radiates, with some 100 homes and another 150 rental apartments. Lots of green dominates the overall picture – including the extensive green flat roofs. The inverted roofs use high-performance insulation materials from Jackon, which combine many benefits: an especially slim design and long service life along with high energy-efficiency that sets new standards.

The first families will be able to move into their new Magnoliengärten home by mid-2018, and the prestigious residential construction project is scheduled for completion by 2019. Eleven three-to-four-story buildings in all, plenty of green space around each of the structures, convenient furnishings, right down to the underground parking facility: with green spaces of 59 to 102 square meters, the attractive condominiums offer a complete package. “With its some 40,000 residents, the location in the placid community of Lohbrügge just outside Hamburg combines seemingly paradoxical elements: nature and family-friendly country life together with the metropolis of Hamburg at your doorstep,” explains Mani Pentschew, qualified mechanical engineer and Head of Building Site Service at Jackon.

Inverted roof insulation meets energy efficiency requirements

Already during the initial idea phase, Bonava’s planners recognized that a green inverted roof would be the perfect solution in this case, enabling them to achieve a number of different project requirements. After all, along with facades and windows, the roof represents the decisive parameter in the planning of the energy-based building shell – both with regard to energy efficiency and in view of the increasing inner-city population density. The first goal is to achieve good modern energy efficiency with excellent U values, but without losing floorspace, and while maintaining a streamlined facade design the same time. Along with that, the extensive roof planting contributes to a healthy micro-climate in Hamburg’s idyllic Lohbrügge district.

Whereas facade insulation often reaches its practical limits with regard to insulation layer thickness, the roof offers greater depth here in the true sense of the word. The inverted roof also permitted the Magnoliengärten project to comply with building requirements under Germany’s Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV 2014) and the KfW 55 standard. Additional arguments such as the optimization of construction times further bolstered the case for the inverted roof. By late 2015, the residential construction project developers had already turned to Jackon with these requirements and found in JACKODUR Plus a thoroughly persuasive, high-performance solution. This insulation material represents Jackon’s perfectly tailored, high-performance solution for the inverted roof application. Its excellent insulation properties, with ʎD = 0.027 W/(m·K), enables planners to create sustainable and energy-efficient building designs. “Made of extruded polystyrene foam (XPS), these thermal insulation boards have a closed-cell structure that makes them insensitive to moisture and maintains their compressive strength and dimensional stability even under high loads,” adds Mani Pentschew. That’s how JACKODUR Plus boards enable low structural depths with high efficiency, save installation time with their rapid, single-layer configuration, and also save valuable resources.

Time-saving installation and durable protection

Installation as part of an inverted roof has proven particularly economical in view of time savings and long service life. In this case, it is an unvented flat roof where the thermal insulation – unlike with the conventional arrangement – lies on top of the roof membrane and is thereby exposed to the weather. One big advantage of this approach is that the insulation layer provides the membrane with effective and durable protection against mechanical damage, UV embrittlement and extreme temperature fluctuations. As an alternative to classic roofing sheets, waterproof concrete construction is also an option. This variant was selected for use here.

Green roofs offer other benefits as well: Filtration of air pollutants and mitigation of the radiant heat improve the overall climate situation. At the same time, they have a compensating effect on the water balance by retaining, storing and delaying the drainage of precipitation. And last but not least, they also provide enhanced sound insulation.

Low installation height – excellent insulation performance

Made of extruded polystyrene foam (XPS), highly efficient JACKODUR® Plus insulation material is doing a great job in Magnoliengärten. The project is using 320-mm-thick JACKODUR Plus together with JACKODUR filter layer WA. The outstanding lambda value of the material enables it to achieve high insulation efficiency and the required U value of 0.100 W/(m2K). As the residential buildings are successively completed, some 4,000 square meters of roof area will be insulated and then extensively planted. By comparison, other XPS insulation materials would necessitate a 400-mm-thick insulation layer to achieve the same efficiency – which corresponds to a considerable 320-m² increase in material volume. Or in other words, had it not been for JACKODUR Plus, four additional truckloads of insulation would have had to be delivered and installed. The high-performance material has eliminated the need for that.

Sustainable thermal protection, full coverage in top form

This project proves once again that high-quality inverted roofs are purple thanks to high-performance insulation materials from Jackon. With their pioneering energy efficiency, Magnoliengärten Lohbrügge will soon be a green jewel on the edge of Hamburg, treating its new residents to a family-friendly natural setting.