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Construction: innovating to reduce the energy cost of buildings

The construction industry is faced with ambitious sustainable development objectives. The Arkema group is present in the construction market and offers innovative and competitive solutions to improve the quality of construction materials and the energy performance of buildings.

Actions taken to fight global warming place great focus on the construction sector. Present in the construction market, the Arkema group provides sustainable solutions for the insulation of buildings and also for the manufacturing of materials which are more resistant and have a lower energy cost.

Windows with better insulation

Windows are one of the main weak points of thermal insulation in buildings. The Arkema group has developed innovative solutions which contribute to the manufacturing of high performance, double-glazed windows.

  • Controlling solar radiation: when treated with Certincoat®, glass window surfaces limit the thermal exchange between the interior and exterior due to a better reflection of solar radiation. The temperature inside the building is more stable and energy costs are reduced by 30%.
  • Enhancing the efficiency of double-glazed windows: the Siliporite® molecular sieves are used in the aluminum frames placed between the two window panes in order to “capture” the condensation. This technology keeps the air in the double-glazing perfectly dry. As a result, insulation efficiency is increased, and the quality of the window is extended several years.
  • Optimizing the quality of PVC window profiles: Durastrength® and Clearstrength® additives respectively provide PVC profiles with impact resistance and UV resistance. These additives extend the quality of the frame structures. Plastistrength®, an acrylic process aid, enhances even the most rigid PVC formulation, which is used for the extrusion of the profiles.

In addition, the Altuglas® acrylic sheet  are very appreciated by architects for domes, skylights, tunnels, cupolas, windows, etc. These low density and sustainable products are resistant to bad weather conditions and exhibit excellent light transmission properties. They are also easy to bend, cut, thermoform, tint, etc.

Effective foams for insulating walls

For the thermal and sound insulation of walls, the Arkema group provides Forane®, an expansion agent for rigid polyurethane foams, the most widely used in the market. The new generation Forane® is based on hydrofluorolefins (HFOs) and has no impact on global warming.

Energy-reducing siding, roofing and metal components

Grande-ArcheAs energy efficiency issues become more prominent with growing populations, architects and engineers are looking for new ways to alleviate grid congestion through reduced energy consumption.

 

Similar to Kynar Aquatec® emulsion coatings, components, such as metal siding, roofing, windows and trim pre-coated with Kynar 500®-based formulations, help to reduce energy consumption and heating/cooling costs through reflective properties.

 

Over the past 50 years, Kynar 500® architectural coatings have not only helped to reduce overall energy use, but have also maintained aesthetics and protected some of the most iconic buildings around the world.

Additives to reduce the environmental cost and impact of materials

Coatex, a subsidiary of the Arkema group, constantly innovates in order to develop higher performance materials, which are less costly and which consume less energy. Its range of EthacrylTM dispersants and water-reducing agents for cement and plaster reduce the consumption of water and raw materials. As a result, energy costs and the carbon footprint for manufacturers are reduced. To optimize the drying of concrete, Sartomer, another subsidiary of the Arkema group, produces specific acrylics for concrete additives.

 

Finally, Ceca, another Arkema group subsidiary, has developed a surfactant-based additive for asphalt mixes which is composed of 50% renewable raw materials. Small quantities are added to the bitumen/aggregate mix, thereby reducing the application temperature of the asphalt by about 50°C. Consequently, the amount of energy required to heat and spread the asphalt is reduced by 20 to 50% and dust emission by 90%. The result is that the impact on the environment is lessened and working conditions improved.

Cecabase® RT: the environmental impact of warm asphalt mix

Using Ceca surfactants for all European warm asphalt mix projects could represent an annual fuel savings of 700,000 tons, the equivalent of the annual heating needs of a town such as Marseille, France.