Market development

Discussions with planners and users have shown that the main obstacle for a wider application of aerogel is its high price. However, it can be economical useful for new constructions and renovations with interior insulations to use aerogel instead of conventional insulating materials. For these cases, the implementation with mineral wool was compared with the usage of aerogel insulation blankets. For one running metre of façade, it was calculated, how much insulation material is needed to reach a u-value of 0.2 W/(m²·K). At a thermal conductivity of 15 and 34 mW/(m·K) for aerogel and stone wool insulation thicknesses of 72 and 164 mm, respectively, are needed. In this model an area of 0.7·3 m² has to be isolated (storey height of 3 m and 30% windows). This results in additional costs of approximately 820 CHF per running meter of façade for the aerogel variant (prices of 6000 and 270 CHF/m³ for the two materials were assumed; it is assumed that the processing is equally expensive for both cases). If the external dimensions of the building for both cases are of the same size, for the aerogel variant additional floor space of 0.092 m² is created per storey and running metre of façade. Hence, each square metre of additional floor area that is gained through the usage of aerogel costs nearly 9’000 CHF (820/0.092 CHF). In this consideration it was neglected that also relatively low additional costs emerge (flooring, interior construction etc.) due to the additional floor area.

Year of construction insulating aerogel render

Together with Fixit AG, Empa developed an insulating aerogel render, which was introduced to the market in 2013. The numbers of reference objects per year, which were published by Fixit AG, are presented by the following diagram.

Year of construction of objects with insulating aerogel render

The following diagram shows the year in which the objects were built, which were executed with aerogel insulating plaster.

Spatial distribution of insulating render projects

The following map shows the locations of the reference objects of the companies Agitec AG and Fixit AG. The used products aerogel insulation blankets, boards and render. Most of the buildings are located in the area of Zürich.