The Slovenia Times

Renovation of Public Buildings - a New Opportunity for Slovenia

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Among the numerous measures to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption, thermal insulation of the building envelope is one of the most effective. Thermal insulation is a one-off measure that, if implemented properly, does not require regular maintenance. Buildings with an insulated envelope - floors, walls and roofs - ensure long-term energy efficiency. The type of insulation installed, the method of installation and the thickness of the insulation are therefore important.

Did you know?
Energy rehabilitation of buildings, with a rate of consumption over 200 kWh/m2 is a priority for society. Slovenia falls considerably short of the current requirements set out in PURESa2 (2010), which requires consumption of about 40 kWh/m2. Given that the requirements will become even stricter in the future, the gap will widen even further.

Energy efficiency is even more important in public buildings due to their specific operating conditions. Hospitals, as well as schools, kindergartens, retirement homes and other public buildings have special operating regimes for uneven energy loads where the features of insulation becomes even more important. The most important factors when selecting insulation are thermal, fire and sound insulation. Sufficiently thick, fire resistant and good acoustic insulation must therefore be installed. Rock wool meets all these criteria.

Ensuring comfortable conditions in public buildings

Thermal insulation

Thermal insulation requirements for buildings are defined in the Rules Governing Efficient Energy Use in Buildings (PURES 2) and its associated Technical Guidelines, TSG-1-004, adopted in 2010.
The Rules provide the minimum technical requirements for individual structural parts and systems and limit energy use by laying down a compulsory share of renewable energy. The basis of thermal insulation is the maximum thermal conductivity of building structures.

Did you know?
Building insulation is the simplest and most effective measure to save energy. According to research, insulation reduces energy consumption by up to 36%* (* Source: GI ZRMK)

The rules governing the methodology and issuing of energy performance certificates for buildings also require all buildings over 1000 m2 in size, owned by the state or local communities and used by state authorities, to have an energy performance certificate drawn up and publicly installed.

Fire safety

Fire safety is also a factor that may be significantly improved through the appropriate choice of insulating material and it is of paramount importance in public buildings due to the nature of their users. A fire, whatever its cause, is a constant threat that can have disastrous consequences for both people and property.
Fire safety management in public buildings is of the utmost importance because of the large number of people using these buildings and their specific needs. The use of non-combustible materials, e.g. insulation in public buildings, will increase its fire safety and thus raise the quality of life in these buildings and preserve their real estate value over the long term.

Did you know?
Public buildings are dealt with separately in terms of energy use. Given that they should set the precedent in terms of energy efficiency, the heating energy requirements for public buildings are about 10% more stringent than for residential and commercial buildings.

Users of kindergartens, schools, boarding schools, hospitals, nursing homes and last but not least, office buildings are highly specific. Their numbers are large and their mobility is highly restricted. Fires in such buildings are therefore all the more problematic and the use of non-combustible insulation materials is imperative.
This has been adopted in the new legislation (TSG, 2010) and there are no specific restrictions in place except in the case of low buildings which must have sufficient distance between buildings or certain boundaries. In all other cases, i.e. measures against the spread of fire must be implemented. Minimum requirements are listed in the guideline and provide for the installation of non-combustible insulation. The exact requirements are complex in nature, require considerable knowledge and are a matter of design. In general, one can say that the basis of fire safety in buildings is the installation of non-combustible building materials, including insulation.
Architects, investors and contractors, must be aware of the risks associated with fire safety in public buildings and take them into account when commissioning and designing projects for the construction of new buildings or renovation of public buildings.

Sound insulation

Sound is an integral part of our existence, but when it exceeds a certain level of intensity, it becomes incommodious and is then referred to as noise. It may also affect the concentration and working ability of the occupants of buildings and have a long-term impact on their health. It is therefore necessary to limit or prevent the transfer of sound between the interior of a building and its surroundings and between individual rooms within a building.

The economic and demonstrative effect of energy renovations

The systematic provision of conditions for the energy renovation of public buildings boosts activity in the construction industry. Demand for construction products should ensure the long-term development of the domestic construction industry, while demand for services should enable the healthiest segment of the Slovenian construction industry to revive and increase the quality and cost-effectiveness of its services through competitiveness. Consequently, this will increase demand for labour and thus reduce unemployment both in the construction industry and in all other industries directly or indirectly linked to construction. The positive economic effect definitely justifies the investment.

Did you know?
The prevention of the transfer of noise (road traffic, aircraft, rain) from the surroundings into a building and the transfer of sound between individual rooms within a building is referred to as sound insulation! The fibrous structure of mineral wools provides exactly that.

We know that long-term energy sustainability requires a change in the behaviour of society as a whole and the government must therefore set the example. Public authorities should assume a leading role and ensure that their buildings meet the highest energy efficiency levels. It is therefore necessary to set the mandatory annual renovation level at 3%, which should also apply for public buildings.

Knauf Insulation's rock wool is highly fire-resistant with a melting point of 1,600C. It is a construction material with the highest possible fire class - A1. The installation of rock wool within the structure of a public building (e.g. on the facade) will significantly increase the fire safety of the building, which in practice means that it will slow down the spread of fire, enabling the occupants of the building to evacuate and also reducing damage to the property.

We invite you to join the campaign: www.renovirajmoslovenijo.si
 

Knauf Insulation d.o.o.
Trata 32, 4220 Ċ kofja Loka, Slovenia
T: +386 (0)4 511 40 00
www.knaufinsulation.si

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