3D laser scanner helps design energy-saving 'skin' for old buildings

3D laser scanner helps design energy-saving ‘skin’ for old buildings

More than half of the European buildings were built before 1975 and 10 millions of them are residential multi-storey buildings with distributed ownership. A large part of this existing stock still needs to be more energy efficient.

Under the EU-funded EASEE project a new holistic approach to building envelope retrofitting has been developed based on a combination of pre-fabricated components (‘dry’ installation), novel cavity wall insulation products  and innovative insulating solutions for the interiors.

The EASEE project was launched in March 2012 and set out to improve sustainability and energy efficiency in multi-storey multi-owner residential buildings.

3D assessment

The EASEE approach offers a geometrical and thermal assessment which enables panels to be accurately prefabricated for easy and rapid installation in all weather conditions.This comprises a building envelope assessment using 3D laser scanning techniques. This is followed by a “computer based procedure” consisting in an advanced simulation tool designed to analyse building performance and validate retrofitting solutions developed by the manufacturing partners. The final elements is a “Design Tool” module able to provide the manufacturers of the prefabricated elements the technical specifications for the customized component fabrication.

New materials

The project led by Italian engineering consultants D’Appolonia S.p.A.,  has focused on both process and materials.

New materials based in synthetic expanded hydrophobized Perlite have been developed for cavity insulation. Other products include insulating wallpaper, aergogel laminated board for wall lining and aerogel laminated panels.

The prefabricated facade insulating panels are based on UHPFRC (Ultra-High Performance Fiber Reinforced Concrete) and TRM (Textile Reinforced Mortar).

The manufacturing process of these panels, consisting in the provision of a dedicated innovative adjustable moulding formwork, has been designed as well as anchoring systems and joints.

For interior insulation. three inner retrofitting solutions have been developed:

  • – Prefab advanced perlite boards:insulating panels glued on an expanded glass granulate panel;
  • – Deployable wall (aerogel/laminated panels): insulating material glued on expanded glass granulate panel, connected together by flexible elements, which allows packaging;
  • – Enhanced wallpaper (permeable insulating wallpaper):rollable insulation layer with textile finishing.

    Demonstration buildings in Poland (Gdansk) and Spain (Madrid) have been retrofitted using both a traditional and EASEE approach  to compare the two methods. The EASEE panels have been installed in half the time of traditional approaches. Indeed ‘dry’ installation of panels enables work to take place in bad weather conditions.

    The EASEE prefabricated insulating panels for external retrofitting won the Gold Medal Award at Warsaw Build Contest 2015.


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