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Keep the heat in and the cold out

Insulation boards and elements developed and produced by SPU Systems offer excellent thermal insulation properties – particularly useful today as the world moves towards low-energy and passive energy structures.
SPU Systems Oy

SPU polyurethane-based insulation boards are ideal for low-energy and passive energy construction, as they offer better thermal insulation performance than any other insulation material. Compared to a traditional wool-insulated solution, for example, the same thermal insulation rating can be achieved using half the thickness, and with no need for separate vapour or air barrier layers.

This means that low-energy and passive energy structures do not have to be thicker than those of a normal house, and translates into significant savings in both material and labour costs. It also means that a passive house does not have to look like a bunker. Slimmer structures give architects more room to be creative.

As SPU insulation boards are rigid and have sealed seams, structures built using them can be airtight, and lead-ins can be sealed using sealing foam. This makes it easy to achieve the 0.6 N50 values required by low-energy and passive houses, and which are extremely difficult to reach using soft
insulation materials and plastic membranes, because of air leakages. The avoidance of taped plastic seams also means that SPU insulation boards will retain their airtightness long term.

The SPU Passive Roof is strong and has good loadbearing properties – and is easy to modify on-site, for chimney openings for example.

Multiple uses

Using solutions based on SPU insulation boards, builders can achieve highly energy-efficient solutions at virtually the same cost as conventional ones, without the need for additional, expensive, or complicated structures.

They are equally well-suited to providing supplementary heat insulation for old buildings, and can be fitted to interior walls without expensive exterior work. SPU products can also be used for insulating attic spaces. This work is easy and can even be done on a DIY basis. As insulation thicknesses are much smaller than those needed with wool insulation, spaces benefit from more headroom as well.

Better passive roofs

One of the latest products to be developed by the company is the SPU Passive Roof. Designed primarily for creating entire roof structures for passive and lowenergy buildings, SPU Passive Roof elements feature a sandwich structure, faced on both sides with wooden cladding and ventilation and installation space studding. Eave features are also built in.

While thin compared to other passive solutions, the SPU Passive Roof is strong and has good loadbearing properties. It is also easy to modify on-site, as lead-ins, for chimney openings for example, can be made anywhere.

In addition to their excellent thermal insulation and airtight structure, SPU Passive Roof elements are fast to install. In practice, a roof for a detached house, excluding exterior waterproofing and internal surface work, can be installed in just one day. This is a definite advantage during the winter, as it allows heating to be turned on the same day a roof is installed.

> Janne Jormalainen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)