Energy and Environment
Launching new challenges in construction and rehabilitation.
New strategies to overcome new challenges.
Energy and comfort are major challenges in new constructions and rehabilitation of existing buildings. For two simple reasons: first, consumption is increasing, as are comfort requirements; second, for energy and environmental reasons we will have to limit energy use and it will be increasingly necessary to use renewable energies.
Thermal comfort always entails strong thermal roof insulation, solar protection glazing, thermal inertia optimisation, enhancement of solar gains for winter, installing ventilation systems that limit the flow at the top and bottom. However, we must never forget that the intervention strategy cannot be done without taking into account the climatic, economic and cultural reality.
Strategies to promote rehabilitation of buildings in Portugal are fundamental due to the fact that for many decades there have only been real new constructions and the need to give dignity to buildings again. Correct rehabilitation has to start with inspection and diagnosis that identifies the elements to be preserved and, based on the results, proposes solutions that lead to spending only the necessary fair amount. Without specialised engineering, there is no correct rehabilitation and durability is unlikely to be desired.
IC has developed R&D activities and relevant specialised consultancy, namely:
- Hygrothermal and air quality monitoring of buildings in service;
- Hygrothermal property measurements of materials and components;
- Studies on advanced hygrothermal simulation;
- Inspection and diagnostic studies on performance in relation to humidity and durability of buildings’ surroundings;
- Pathology studies supported by experimental diagnoses;
- Development of new construction solutions for walls.