This is the first commercial application of several new designs developed by product and packaging design firm Group 4 and Dow Corning that the companies say overcome VIP installation challenges to deliver on the technology’s energy- and space-saving potential.
The energy-efficient insulation product has five to 10 times better thermal resistance than conventional insulation materials, Dow Corning says. Under normal usage, Dow Corning VIP is expected to maintain more than 80 percent of its thermal performance after 30 years, according to the company.
Dow Corning says the new VIP design establishes a foundation from which it can offer insulating panels with high R-values (see graph) that exceed other currently available materials and require less space. In addition to reduced energy usage, this means lower utility costs and an increase in usable interior space for commercial building owners and occupants, and new design possibilities for zero-energy buildings.
Before creating the project, Group 4’s research and design team visited building sites, architectural offices and manufacturing facilities in the US and Europe to talk with architects, building engineers, project managers and construction crews. These interviews and observations provided impetus for conceptual development attuned to the varied construction methods typical of large commercial construction projects.
In the US, buildings account for 36 percent of total energy use and 65 percent of electricity consumption, according to EPA.
Group 4’s other current and recent clients include Scotts, Abbott Labs, Sherwin-Williams, Lenovo, Electrolux, Wagner Spray Tech, Eli Lilly, Hershey and the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation, according to the design firm.