A new lease of life for a period villa, Hamburg

According to the Federal Statistical Office, over half of all buildings in Germany were built before 1960. But anyone who chooses a charming old house needs to be prepared for a lot of renovation work.

In order to retain the building’s character and meet monument preservation requirements, certain structural elements need to be left in their original state. This often requires a challenging energy renovation. Old buildings typically consume a lot of energy, due mainly to insufficient insulation and thermal bridges in the facades.

BASF products in use

Modern renovation methods enable significant cost and energy savings, as well as helping to protect the climate. Good insulation can also make the house a much cozier and more comfortable place for its inhabitants.

The problem? Conventional insulation materials often take up so much space that they cannot meet the requirements for retaining the building’s style. A project in Hamburg shows the solution, however. This building uses SLENTITE®, a slim, high-performance insulation material that is being used for the first time in a number of “problem areas” in the renovation of a period villa.

Built in 1937, the three-story house is not exactly cutting edge in terms of technology and energy efficiency. The backlog of modernization is now being worked off with extensive refurbishment work – with renovation also having to comply with monument preservation guidelines. These include retaining the typical Hamburg red-brick facade, which rules out external insulation.

The building’s interior also has plenty of features worthy of protection, such as the period paned windows with wooden reveals and the radiator recesses together with their radiators. This is where SLENTITE® comes in. Thanks to its outstanding insulation value, BASF’s innovative material can be used in thicknesses of 10 to 15 mm. This makes it possible to prevent thermal bridges caused by uninsulated radiator recesses without changing the character of the room.

SLENTITE® is the first aerogel-based insulation material to be available as a solid panel. The material is currently in the commercialization phase, but the Hamburg villa project already showcases its extraordinary properties. The aim is for all rooms to provide the desired room comfort after building work is completed. SLENTITE® makes this possible. A gym and workroom are currently being created in the basement – an area where room humidity is particularly high. Here too, the open-pore structure of the polyurethane aerogel ensures good moisture regulation and creates the conditions for a pleasant room climate.

The renovation work is in full flow and the house should soon be ready for occupancy. Most of the basement and the radiator recesses on the ground floor have already been given new insulation and work is now focusing on the upper floors. SLENTITE® is easy to handle and process, making it the ideal insulation material for this kind of residential project. It can be cut, glued and plastered easily and without creating dust.