Research Project Summary Information
High-Performance Insulation in Existing Multi-Family Building A Demonstration Project Using Aerogel Materials(ST10898)
CSG Services Inc.
Many existing buildings have constructions that prevent easily insulating the exterior walls as a retrofit. Solid masonry multi-family buildings in New York City are an example of this construction type. Two approaches are currently available to insulate such building walls. The first approach is an external upgrade. External systems can be difficult and expensive to install, and require upgrading the entire building at once. The second approach is to install insulation internally, either by applying rigid foam insulation or by constructing a frame wall in order to create a cavity for traditionally fiberglass insulation. This approach can result in a loss of internal living area, with only modest thermal improvement. A new approach is available to internal insulate these walls with one-inch thick aerogel panels. Aerogel is a silicon based material with an extremely low density. This low density makes aerogel a good insulating material. Aspen has further improved the aerogel concept by offering it laminated to a gypsum panel to facilitate efficient installation.
The Contractor (Conservation Services Group, Inc.) shall measure the effectiveness of the aerogel panels by comparing the R-values of three scenarios (original wall, aerogel system, and temporary insulation,) in a New York City multi-family building. Data shall be collected for approximately two weeks. Other data that shall be evaluated are the heat flux and utility bills.
A one-inch thick aerogel panel has an R-value of 12, compared to an R-value of 6 for a one-inch thick extruded polystyrene panel. Adding aerogel insulation is estimated to reduce the heat loss through an uninsulated wall by a factor of two-thirds.
CSG Services Inc.
P.O. Box 415768
Boston, MA 02241
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Buildings Research