Energy-efficient construction is the future

How China’s construction sector is driving forward the country’s urbanisation in a sustainable way with optimum window, door and façade insulation.

In no other place is development currently as forward-looking as it is in China. The country is streets ahead in many sectors, for example in a pioneering role when it comes to social media platforms or as the biggest automotive market worldwide. There is a great deal of economic activity in the Chinese construction industry too. Nowadays as much as 18 % of the global building volume is accounted for by China – and this is an upward trend. And here the issue of environmental protection, above all in relation to the conservation of valuable energy resources, is also very significant. The increasing urbanisation of the country and construction in megacities pose major challenges for building owners, architects and planners, with the optimum insulation of windows, doors and façades a key factor when it comes to durable, sustainable buildings.

„Windows bring light into a building, improving the quality of life. But to ensure that they do not become a cost burden to the residents, windows need to offer good insulation“, says Vincent Wei, an advisor to the window construction industry in China on behalf of the German company Ensinger. „The aim here must be to minimise thermal bridges. You can achieve this with plastic spacers like Thermix®. They create a ‚warm edge‘ around the periphery of insulating glass panes. In the metal frame itself, an insulating profile such as insulbar® insulates the outer and inner shells. This enables the production of windows with excellent Uw values.“

The Uw value refers to the thermal transmission coefficient of a window. A single glazed pane from the 1970s had an average value of 4.7 W/m2K. Today, a window with a triple glazed, thermally insulated and argon-filled sealed unit achieves an Uw value of well below 1.0 W/m2K. The current statutory requirement for new builds in China is a Uw value of 2,2 W/m2K. However, far-sighted investors are already insisting on ultra-low Uw values which will save more energy and ensure that new buildings retain their value on a sustainable basis.

High-quality, sustainable construction

With its premium ‘Made in Germany’ products, Ensinger has been striving for greater quality and climate protection in China’s buildings for four years now. The German inventor of the insulating profile insulbar®, a global standard setter, is among the leading developers and manufacturers of highly heat insulating spacers and insulating profiles for window, door and façade construction. These products, which have been in successful use worldwide for decades, achieve top values in terms of heating and cooling cost savings and comply with the most stringent quality demands in line with DIN EN ISO 9001-2008. The products are so good that Ensinger even offers a 10-year guarantee on all Thermix® and insulbar® items.

How windows are given optimum insulating properties

‘Warm-edge’ spacers such as Thermix® from Ensinger are used around the periphery of insulated glass windows. The plastic used for this has a thermal conduction capacity that is 700 times lower than aluminium, and forms the basis for the spacer bar. It is wrapped in thin stainless steel, which has a thermal conduction capacity ten times lower than that of aluminium. This combination of materials ensures a particularly low thermal transmission coefficient Ψ. The excellent insulating properties increase the temperature on the room side of the glass edge, hence the term ‚warm edge‘. This practically eliminates condensation in the peripheral area, meaning there is hardly any chance of mould formation with its inherent health risks. Excellent insulation in the peripheral area has the added bonus of a reduced heating and cooling energy requirement.

Similarly, insulating profiles seal off the metal frames of windows, doors and façades so efficiently that the heat stays inside. This creates a perfect indoor climate and conserves valuable energy. insulbar® from Ensinger, for example, is an insulating bar for metal profiles of windows, doors and façades which is made from glass fibre reinforced polyamide 66 GF. With its high creep resistance and a coefficient of linear thermal expansion adjusted to that of aluminium, the material offers ideal properties to provide the assurance of outstanding and durable quality in aluminium assemblies.

Experience construction industry innovations at first hand at the trade fair in Shanghai

Fenestration BAU 2017 from 07–10.11. 2017 in Shanghai offers a great opportunity to find out about the innovations and possibilities for energy-efficient construction in China. For the first time, Asia’s leading trade fair for the window, door and façade segments is taking place in cooperation with BAU, the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems from Munich, Germany. Innovative products and specific solutions for the construction industry are being presented. The original products from the German innovator can also be experienced by trade visitors at first hand at Fenestration BAU. In Hall 5, Stand 106 of the Shanghai New International Exhibition Center (SNIEC), Ensinger will be presenting its innovative products and is there to answer questions from the construction sector on all relevant topics.

„Our aim is to support insulated glass, aluminium profile and window manufacturers in China with ground-breaking products and technical training as a partner for the long term“, is how Vincent Wei summarises the company’s involvement in China. „The fact that we are able to offer leading-edge know-how and innovative quality components ‘Made in Germany’ strengthens our position.“

A group of insulbar® insulating profiles
a pyramid of warm edge spacers

With insulbar® insulating profiles (top) and Thermix® highly insulated warm edge spacers (bottom) thermal bridges in window systems are effectively minimized. This enhances well-being inside the building, significantly reduces the danger of condensation and prevents the formation of mould with all its inherent health risks. The excellent thermal insulation also cuts energy consumption, CO2 emissions and heating and cooling costs.