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To install EWI or not to install EWI? That is the question. Insulating the walls of any building is an important step to improving its long-term thermal efficiency and creating a comfortable interior environment for the benefit of all occupants. It will also lead to less expenditure on fuel, as it’s estimated at least one-third of a building’s heat loss is through the walls.
Clearly, external wall insulation (EWI) has many positives; however, the fruits of these benefits are often overshadowed by EWI’s myths and misconceptions. To remove any grey areas, here are the following top 10 tips from Baumit, leading EWI manufacturer, giving a general outline on how and why EWI is a thermal and financial necessity, offering safety, comfort and efficiency for your building.
1. Cost effective
EWI can provide cost-effective solutions for people who need to save on space. For instance, if a room is 5m2, a decent level of internal wall insulation would require a minimum build-up of 15cm. This would cause a 6% reduction in floor area, which might not seem a huge amount, but could equate to a significant loss in residential buildings containing several properties. Loss of floor space equals loss of income for the landlord, therefore in these cases there’s a commercial argument for choosing external wall insulation.
2. Prevent condensation
EWI removes the dew-point, the temperature below which water droplets condense from the inside of a building to prevent condensation forming. Baumit openSystem provides a perfect example of a EWI system that liberates moisture and retains airtightness. Its unique perforated Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) façade insulation boards ensure high vapour permeability, resulting in the release, rather than the entrapment, of water vapour.
3. Colour flexibility
EWI installations have to be aesthetically pleasing as well as practical. In light of recent colour technology, Baumit has developed an entire spectrum of colour palettes for your design needs. Plus, all colours are completely resilient to all weather conditions, meaning your exterior will be striking and efficient in equal measure.
4. Weather protection
EWI installations offer considerable protection for your building, with topcoats designed to make your external walls completely resilient to both hot and inclement weather conditions. Baumit’s EWI systems, including ‘Cool pigments’ render topcoats and façade paints, act as a building’s shield. Both dark and light paints contain specific colour technologies which can cool a building in the summer, protecting it from exhaustive heat exposure
EWI installations are a huge investment, therefore it is important to find a solution that will guarantee longevity. EWI is like cruising in a beautiful car on a high-road without any interruption. Whilst your boiler can break and leave you without heating, EWI is in it for the long-haul, where the journey is seamless.
6. Wellbeing for inhabitants
Buildings are to be lived in and occupied by people, so comfort is a natural priority. Effective and efficient EWI installations ensure safety is not compromised. EWI installations usually constitute several components including; an insulation layer made up of mineral wool, primer to waterproof the system, a glass fibre to anchor the primer and finally a render finish. When combined, all of these components provide the perfect solution to keep inhabitants happy and healthy.
7. Optimum heat retention
To prevent the loss of heat, EWI works in two ways. Firstly, it is designed to conduct heat so that it is locked into a building. Secondly, the majority of EWI systems contain slabs which use thousands of tiny air pockets to entrap the heat. Should any excess moisture arise, Baumit’s openSystem is designed to release moisture, preventing the development of any dreaded damp.
8. Quick installation
EWI is a perfect solution for older buildings without cavity walls, as the insulation can simply be injected in the free space. Many modern properties are built with cavity walls. However, more specialist treatment is often required for certain exteriors. Although installation times are relative to a building’s size, EWI systems can be applied speedily within five-to-seven days, minimising the disruption to inhabitants.
9. Energy saving
EWI installations save energy costs due to their supreme ability to optimise heat retention. EWI technology is designed to offer thermal energy-efficiency, locking in heat as opposed to releasing it. Investing in a tighter, high-performing EWI system will reduce an occupier’s heating costs – a real win-win situation.
Taking all of these points into consideration, EWI is a versatile, efficient and cost-effective system for any building, no matter the scope. Offering both practical and design versatility, EWI improves the aesthetics on the outside and the building’s thermal performance, ensuring a building delivers both in terms of the external appearance and the internal safety for its occupants.
For more information on Baumit EWI systems get in touch.