A Review of Low Energy Thermal Insulation Materials for Building Applications
In response to the need for reducing energy demand for heating and cooling in buildings, ‘fabric first’ approach is suggested and prescribed by building regulations and voluntary standards worldwide. The ‘fabric first’ approach focuses on reducing the U-value of building envelope by applying efficient and adequate thermal insulation materials. As operational energy demand of buildings is gradually reducing, the embodied energy of buildings is becoming a major contributor to carbon emission compared to operational energy. As such it is pertinent to specify building materials with low embodied energy and lessened environmental impact. This paper reviews thermal insulation materials with low embodied energy and lessened environmental impact and compares them with conventional but high-impact insulation materials. Keywords - Embodied Energy, Operational Energy, U-Value, Thermal Insulation, Sustainable Materials.