Four Reasons to Choose Aerogel Insulation When Daylighting

When designing a structure and determining if and where to implement daylighting, insulation is going to be a primary concern. A common false assumption is that you’re done daylighting a space after adding a few glass windows. Not only will that fail to meet recommended daylighting guidelines in most instances, but glass windows are also a major source of heat loss for buildings. With Kalwall’s translucent sandwich panels, you don’t have to sacrifice thermal performance to achieve perfect daylighting levels. Kalwall panels with Cabot’s Lumira™ Aerogel achieve u-values as low as .05, or that of a solid wall.

Whether you’re designing a school, office, hospital or other environment, ensure the space provides top-notch thermal comfort and occupant wellness by utilizing aerogel insulation. Here are four reasons to consider aerogel:

The Best in Insulation & Energy Savings

Temperature control is among the top concerns when incorporating daylight into a space. You want to ensure everyone is comfortable without being too cold in the winter months or overheating during the summer months. Aerogel is one of the highest-performance insulation options when daylighting. A synthetic nanomaterial, aerogel is formed when the liquid is removed from a gel and replaced with gas while maintaining the solid nature of the material. Cabot’s Lumira brand aerogel consists of greater than 90% air contained in a structure with pores in the nanometer range, which does not allow for conduction or convection. This provides more control over a building’s thermal performance, requiring less energy to heat it throughout the year as well as less overall energy out of the system.

Center for Innovation + EntrepreneurshipAerogel has benefits beyond keeping a space comfortable year-round—proper insulation reduces the cost of running an HVAC system. By not overworking your HVAC system, it will last longer between major repairs and replacements.

In climates where solar heat gain is the primary concern, aerogel may not be the first choice for insulation. While you can achieve solar heat gain coefficients (SHGCs) as low as .04 with specific Kalwall insulation packages, SHGCs with aerogel range from .27 to 0.19.

Having a properly insulated space is critical to the overall success of a structure. Regardless of your project’s specific climate and goals, Kalwall offers solutions that make a building-enveloping façade or monumental skyroof® a more viable daylighting option.

See the Light Transmission

When it comes to daylighting, it’s about the quality of light, not the quantity. But with aerogel insulation, you can get both. Kalwall’s fiberglass reinforced polymer (FRP) technology diffuses light to keep it at a manageable level, scattering waves throughout a space and reducing glare, which can lead to eye strain. Aerogel also diffuses light while providing a higher visible light transmission than some fiberglass “batt” options. With aerogel, you can get the best insulation values, with up to 20% VLT. The result is a high-quality product that allows natural daylight into buildings while controlling heat transfer and other issues related to too much light.

Learn how to understand exactly how light interacts in your space and prevent issues related to glare by taking advantage of Kalwall’s daylight modeling services in the design phase of your project. By meeting recommended daylighting levels, you can minimize the use and cost of artificial daylighting.

All-Around Lightweight Material

Some options for incorporating daylight into a space can be heavy and require extensive maintenance. Unlike glass or polycarbonate, Kalwall translucent sandwich panels are lightweight but sturdy, able to stand up against hurricane-force winds and heavy snowfall without damage. Aerogel insulation, made primarily of air, is ultralight, adding minimal weight to the daylighting system. Without aerogel, standard panels weigh less than 2 lb/ft2 (9.8 kg/m2). Typical glass is up to three times this weight. Your next project installation can be quicker and easier than ever before with Kalwall plus aerogel.

Beats the Elements

Aerogel insulation has many additional benefits when it comes to guaranteeing a high-performing and long-lasting building. Because it is not a conductive material, aerogel can achieve better SHGCs than insulated glass units, allowing daylight into the structure while keeping exterior heat outside. Aerogel also allows moisture control, preventing condensation from forming on the interior of the structure during cold or rainy days. Finally, aerogel insulation is ideal for structures in crowded areas, as the material can dull down and reduce outside noise to maintain a peaceful indoor environment. Kalwall panels with aerogel can achieve a Sound Transmission Class (STC) of 35. Dual pane glass, for comparison, normally ranges from 26-32.

Aerogel Insulated Translucent Sandwich Panels for Your Next Daylighting Project

If you are interested in learning more about aerogel insulation and daylight modeling, contact Kalwall Corporation for your next design project. Our technical team will be able to work with you to design a layout that lets in the optimal amount of natural daylight without having large patches of glare in a space.

To find your local Kalwall representative, please fill out our convenient online form

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