On September 17th, Roxul held a continuing education seminar at the Embassy of Denmark. Invited guests included architects and builders interested in improving the energy and overall efficiency of buildings – both new and old. Ambassador Peter Taksoe-Jensen opened the seminar by giving a short history of the Embassy building and shortly briefing the audience on the accomplishments of Denmark since the 1970s in building energy efficient structures and becoming the most energy efficient country in the EU – if not the world.
The expert speaker Graham Finch of RDH travelled from Vancouver for the occasion. Mr. Finch is a building science engineer specializing in research and investigation work. His work experience includes a wide range of projects – including building enclosure condition assessments, forensic investigations, and research studies, energy assessments, building monitoring programs, field review, and testing services for new and existing buildings. He has also worked with numerous building product manufacturers on product research and development, performance monitoring, and field testing.
The seminar offered continuing education credit. Mr. Finch covered the most important aspects of energy loss in buildings – from windows to walls and roofs. He discussed the various types of windows, ways of insulating walls and the various methods of insulating roofs. In short, windows are the biggest short-term improvement one can make to improve a building followed by improvement in wall insulation. However, insulation must be balanced by an ability to keep water out and/or give the possibility for ventilation to dry materials that may become damp. Most wall and roof degradation is due to dampness or poor materials or poor construction.
Asked about the difference in buildings today from the 1970s, Mr. Finch opined that unfortunately many of today’s buildings are probably not as well built or perform as well as those from the 1970s. He and his company are conducting research and closely monitoring selected buildings to improve the quality and efficiency of building methods and materials. His company has engaged in several projects using different kinds of materials – for example three kinds of roofing (stone wool, polyiso, and hybrid polyiso-stone wool) and different colored membranes. They concluded that the stone wool or hybrid roof was optimal (the hybrid only if the stone wool was put over the polyiso not the other way around) and that lighter colors were best in warm areas and darker in colder climates.
All-in-all, the day was a great success and Mr. Finch shared many valuable insights with the audience.