Vacuum Insulation Panels in Buildings: Literature Review
The European Union has decided to decrease the energy use for heating of buildings with 50% in 2050. To reach the target, the amount of insulation in the building envelope has to increase. With conventional insulation materials, such as mineral wool and expanded polystyrene (EPS), the required additional thickness of the building envelope leads to a larger share of the building volume dedicated for structural elements. A novel thermal insulation components introduced to the building market during the last decade is the vacuum insulation panel (VIP). It can give the same thermal resistance using a thinner construction. This report presents the properties of VIP and the factors which have to be considered when using VIP in buildings.
A number of examples of different constructions are presented where VIP is used in both new buildings and in retrofitting of old buildings. VIP cannot be adapted on the construction site and is very prone to damages. In case a VIP is punctured, the thermal conductivity increases fivefold. The metalized multi-layered polymer film around the VIP creates a thermal bridge which has to be considered. A construction with VIP has to be designed in a way to protect the VIP during the entire service life without risk of damaging the surrounding materials.
Despite the obstacles which have to be overcome to use VIP in building applications, it is an interesting component that may play an important role on the path to reduce the energy use for heating of buildings. In the literature it is recommended to integrate the VIP in a way that they are easy to exchange after their service life has expired. By doing so and by educating the builder and designer in the special considerations when working with VIP the energy use for heating in the existing building stock could be reduced.
vacuum insulation panel