Nov 23 2005
The ISOQUICK company in Niederzissen, Germany has recently turned to novel prefabricated modules to develop a thermal insulation system for the floor slab that is also just right for building low-energy and passive-heating housing, where it does its share in saving energy.
These modules are made of Peripor®, an expandable polystyrene (EPS) manufactured by BASF. The ISOQUICK® modules can support the entire weight of a house, and so they can be used underneath the load-bearing floor slab. The bottom, top and edge elements together form a seamless thermally insulated floor enclosure that protects the house against cold from the bottom up, creating a connection to the building shell that is free of thermal bridges. One of the first houses to be built with the ISOQUICK® perimeter floor enclosure is located in Bechtolsheim, in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Peripor – the water-repellant Styropor
The prefabricated modules are made of Peripor®, a foam from BASF’s Styropor® family. Thanks to a special modification, this material can also be installed in areas that are exposed to moisture.
In the past, Peripor panels with different profiles and thicknesses were already being installed to insulate the outside walls of basements and floor slabs, but ISOQUICK has now discovered this foam specifically for its prefabricated and practical foundation slab insulation modules.
Prefabricated modules – easy to install
The perimeter floor enclosure consists of bottom, top and edge modules that are individually prefabricated at the plant. This eliminates the costs incurred for the labor and materials used in formwork. Moreover, the material consumption can be calculated precisely and the installation produces hardly any waste.
The modules can be fitted into each other at the construction site employing the tongue-and-groove technique. To start with, the edge modules are used to create an outer shell that matches the footprint of the house. The special shape of the edge modules prevents geometric thermal bridges. Once this shell is ready, the inner core of the floor enclosure is built up with the bottom and top modules in various insulating thicknesses.
The nubbed texture of the modules ensures that the construction cannot shift. The floor enclosure thus created has a stable alignment, it does not require formwork removal and it forms the foundation of energy-saving houses once the reinforcement structure and the concrete have been put into place. The individually shaped edge modules mean that the installation of the basement and plinth insulation can be extended all the way to the integrated thermal insulation system.
A steel or wood frame construction as well as formwork elements made of Neopor® or Styropor® can likewise be joined without forming thermal bridges.