Development of Prefabricated Additional Insulation Elements for the Renovation of High-Rise Apartment Buildings




prefabricated additional insulation elements, hygrothermal performance, moisture safety, nZEB deep renovation, energy performance


Prefabricated additional insulation elements have demonstrated success in renovating up to 5-storey apartment buildings. However, the unique challenges posed by high-rise buildings necessitate a closer examination of installation and long-term performance. In this study, we developed an additional insulation element specifically tailored for renovating high-rise apartment buildings and analysed its hygrothermal performance. To test the performance of the insulation elements, we installed a prototype and measured its performance at critical points along the external envelope. We calibrated a calculation model and applied building performance simulation software to explore various combinations of prefabricated elements. Our goal was to compare the associated risks and the key hygrothermal properties of these different material combinations within the insulation element. Critical points between the insulation layer and the wind barrier, as well as between the surface of the existing concrete panel wall and the vapour control layer of the additionally insulated exterior wall were analysed. The study's results indicate that the thermal resistance and water vapour permeability of the wind barrier layer, and the presence of an appropriate vapour control layer primarily influence the performance and moisture dry-out of a structure. Additionally, the study results indicate that the weather component has a higher impact than in lower buildings as the wind-driven rain loads are considerably higher in the upper parts of the high-rise buildings. The initial moisture (w = 110 kg/m3 at the height of the 9th storey and w = 117 kg/m3 at the height of the 16th storey) dry-out can last more than 3 years depending on the building type and materials used. This study underscores the importance of tailored solutions and vigilant moisture safety management in high-rise apartment building renovations, particularly when utilizing prefabricated additional insulation elements.