External Thermal Insulation of buildings- Energy Saving

The energy saving in buildings is an opportunity for our country and throughout Europe. The new buildings will be subject to immediate future stricter regulations and will be designed to minimize the required primary energy.
The estimated benefits from energy saving is huge and in each case, whether intended for new buildings or older ones that are upgraded as to energy, the reduced costs of the future use can be used to cover the cost of the investment. Moreover, it is more rational to first reduce the energy demands and then select the fuel, whatever that is. Through the energy efficiency  of buildings, only benefits may arise for both owners and tenants, as well as for the environment itself. This is therefore an opportunity, supported and carried by European energy policy known as the 20-20-20 policy.


In this energy policy, the leadership roles are played by the External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS) which are used to improve the energy efficiency on the way to ensure a sustainable future.

Thus, in 2007 the European Commission set ambitious targets for energy policy and climate change on the planet. However, until now the outlook is rather ominous. It is very likely that targets will not be met.

εξωτερική θερμομόνωση BASF

Μείωση ενεργειακής κατανάλωσης στόχος

Source: European Commission 2011

ενεργειακή κατανάλωση-ETICS 2012
Source:European Commission-ETICS Forum 2012


Europe should intensify its efforts to reduce the energy consumption on time. Any further delay would increase the difficulty of achieving the objectives.


The potential for exploitation of the aforementioned opportunity one can understand considering the percentage size that occupies the building sector in Europe. More specifically, it is estimated that the building stock in Europe is about 20 million buildings which accounts for about 40% of the total energy consumption. 67% of this is due to the consumption for cooling and heating. Even with the existing technologies,  the energy consumption could be reduced at least by half. 

In other words: we do not exploit the potential of energy saving that could be made in reality, thereby we needlessly waste both the limited resources and money. Improving energy efficiency, gains can only be brought. The competitiveness of the markets will improve and the consumers will be relieved from the high energy costs while the environment will be preserved.

κτιριακός τομέας

Source: Eurostat, 2008



At this point it should be noted that especially for our country, the Greek buildings present, as to the heat protection of their shell, a variety of problems, as the buildings may not be thermally insulated (before the thermal insulation Regulation of 1979) or be poorly thermally insulated either because of thinner insulating material or by its unsuitability.
This image is compounded by the particular morphology and typology of the Greek constructions, characterized by the existence of multiple exposures, large balconies, the existence of pilotis etc. which help the creation of many thermal bridges with adverse consequences on the energy behavior of the structures.

θερμοπρόσοψη Θεσσαλονίκη
A significant solution to these problems is provided by the installation of External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS) which is usually preferred in continuous use buildings i.e. residencies, hospitals etc. in which it is desirable to maintain a constant temperature throughout the 24 hours and especially retain heat after the disconnection of heat or coolness or after the disconnection of cooling during the summer months.


Finally, it should be noted that although in our country only the last years the external thermal insulation has become widely known and applied, some European countries such as Austria, Germany, Switzerland etc. have been experiencing these multiple positive long term benefits many decades now. There the ETICS that  are used in the construction industry for more than 50 years and have been proven to work and perform excellently. Furthermore, in Germany a formal assessment of insulated facades regularly takes place. Sothe latest studies and reports highlight that even after 30 years, the inspected thermal facades have not presented any signs of failure.

Moreover, the life cycle of ETICS appears to be greater in duration than expected. If the system is carefully implemented and if inspection and maintenance are taken seriously into account, the life expectancy is equal to the non - thermally insulated masonry coating systems. But as the outer coating of an ETICS is separated from the masonry (brick) due to thermal insulation,  the risk of creating schisms- cracks is even smaller. 


Summarizing, we could say that ETICS not only show enormous potential for reducing energy costs but also provide  excellent opportunities for designing thermal facades promising long-term efficiency. 

Finally, they help at reducing thousands of tones of greenhouse gases into the environment each year as they lead to a dramatic decrease in consumption of oil and gas.

More than mof External Thermal Insulation Systems have been installed across Europe  supporting its sustainable development.


                                                                                            External Thermal Insulation of buildings- ETICS




External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS)

The External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems hereinafter referred to as  ETICS (External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems) are suitable both for new buildings and for the case of old buildings in need of renovation.
In terms of functionality of a building, the key criterion for the European community includes, above all, the energy saving performance and the thermal insulation as well as the safety in use and the durability.
This in turn requires that the components of a system are fully compatible with each other as well as that there is a professional design and implementation.

θερμοπρόσοψη neopor
Example of ETICS using Neopor® insulation slabs






εξωτερική θερμομόνωση neopor basf


ETICS primarily undertake the role of the thermal insulation and protection of the building from weather stresses.
It is noted that  in no way can they be involved in the stability of the wall onto which they are applied , neither are responsible for making the wall air tight.
ETICS are used throughout Europe.The European Organization for Technical Approvals (EOTA) drafted a European Technical Approval Guideline, the ETAG 004 for the ETICS applied in masonry and concrete substrates.
The ETAG 004 describes ETICS as a set of components consisting of prefabricated concrete components.

εξωτερική θερμομόνωση υλικά  

Thus the components of the system are:

• Adhesive material

• Thermal Insulating material

• Plugs for mechanical fixing
(where required)

• Coating basic layer

• Reinforcement (Fiberglass mesh)

•Final coat / final coat with primer 
and/ or paint

• Additional parts- accessories

The proper installation of an ETICS requires the implementation of additional parts or accessories. These can be special base profiles- starting drivers, corner beads with reinforcement, special profiles of water drippers, special window profiles, special profiles of expansion joints etc.

The materials used for sealing joints, for example the acrylic sealants, silicone and others, are not classified as a permanent resistance against rain. They represent a temporary compound and must be regularly replaced, if necessary.





It is noted that the instructions given by the Manufacturer for all individual components should always be followed.
White expanded polystyrene plates ( Styropan etics eps standard white)can participate in ETICS ,Graphite expanded polystyrene plates (Neopor®)  as well as extruded polystyrene plates (styropan xps etics EMB)).

It is noted that the slabs of the contact facade must not be exposed to direct sunlight, especially when they are still in their packaging. If this is unavoidable, the upper slab can be not used and the work to continue with the stored slabs underneath.
  Additionally, the insulation slabs should not be covered in very hot exterior walls. It is common practice to cover the slabs in a direction opposite to the direction of the sun movement. Suitable protective scaffolding nets can provide the necessary shading to prevent overheating during the construction of the wall.


An ETICS construction should withstand combined stresses of the same weight, the wind loads, the extreme temperature differences developed between interior and exterior and the physiological impacts. The thermal insulation as well as the exterior appearance of the building are improved, and protection from the weather is also provided.

θερμοπρόσοψη γραφιτούχα πολυστερίνη   However, it is noted that the layer of the insulating material must always be enclosed to the extent that the risk of direct penetration of moisture and wear is minimized, and finally in case of fire from direct exposure to flames. It is possible to create zones of fire protection with combustible materials above the lintels of the windows or doors or across the facade above the next – after the opening - series of thermal insulation slabs.



 On the above picture we can see the creation of such fire protection zone appears. The picture was drawn in Frankfurt in Germany during the educational tour in a passive building, in the context of the international conference on passive buildings, where Styropan participated.



For more information about ETICSregarding technical aspects of preparation of the construction before work, conditions of application, substrate suitability and proper execution of the external thermal insulation, you can search the corresponding datasheet or contact the technical department of the company.


Advantages of External Thermal Insulation Systems

The construction of External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems can deliver multiple benefits both individually and collectively as partly has been described in the introduction.
In order to better analyze this useful structuring, first of all, the technical arguments that include, among others, comparisons with other building systems are being mentioned. 



• In typical buildings, the external masonry represents the largest percentage of the total building shell surface, therefore the size of the heat loss through the walls is being perceived. With the application of External Thermal Insulation Systems, these thermal losses can be reduced by up to 50 %.

• The masonry, with the application of External Thermal Insulation Systems it is protected from temperature changes and stresses.

•Applicating the thermal insulation externally,, in contrast to the other methods of positioning, a full exploitation of the heat capacity of the construction is made, which is particularly important in buildings of continuous use where it is required to maintain the desired temperature even after the disconnection of the heating or cooling.

• It minimizes the possibility of formation of thermal bridges, ie "weak" points that present increased heat flow and affect adversely the energy behavior.

• The diffusion of water vapor is easier and thus the possibility of formation of moisture condensation is minimized.

• The elements of the building facades, such as water pipes, are protected from moisture and frost.


Beyond this short technical analysis of the advantages of the external thermal insulation, the arguments for building external thermal insulation systems  are overwhelming as they have impact on both on social and economic level and for the environment itself in the way to"viability and sustainability". Thus:

External Insulation Sustainability

 • The external thermal insulation systems help to protect the climate and the environment.

With External Thermal Insulation Systems the energy consumption of buildings is dramatically reduced. Thousands of tones of CO2  could be reduced every year! Moreover, the risks of exploitation of fossil fuels or nuclear energy could be reduced.

•  The External Thermal Insulation Systems contribute to money saving.

The costs for heating and cooling are reduced for all, while property owners can take advantage of the most attractive apartments they rent in the best possible prices.

• The External Thermal Insulation Systems External Thermal Insulation Systems

These are investments that yield immediately and in a long term. Moreover, as energy costs arise, the energy efficiency of housing will increase their value.

• The External Thermal Insulation Systems contribute to the development of new jobs

Increasing the rate of renovations can create hundreds of thousands of jobs cannot be performed elsewhere than in the place that renovations are made. These tasks cover a wide range of educational level, from simple workers and applicators to designers and architects.

• The External Thermal Insulation Systems contribute to the increase of the European competitiveness

Europe's economy depends heavily on energy imports. The European competitiveness accepts severe strikes by the rising costs. The thermal insulation of buildings helps to reduce the overall energy consumption. So more and more European companies will strengthen their position in international markets to achieve energy efficiency.

• The External Thermal Insulation Systems increase thermal comfort.

ETICS create a warm and comfortable thermal environment and a cool summer respectively. The interior wall surfaces are maintained at the desired temperatures and even noise levels can be reduced.

• The External Thermal Insulation Systemsare aesthetically beautiful.

Where manufacturers of external thermal insulation systems offer a wide variety of systems, almost all architectural dreams are realizable while the existing architecture can be maintained if it is something desirable. Previously unattractive buildings can be made more friendly and tempting.


External Thermal Insulation Materials


Styropan thermal insulation slabs meet all the requirements to participate in the External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems according to EN 13499 and ETAG 004 and form both expanded and extruded polystyrene - materials of the ETA certified external insulation system Thermoseal of Durostick.  θερμοπρόσοψη durostick
 εξωτερική θερμομόνωση neopor BASF, etics xps, etics eps

You can now buy all the materials you need for the external thermal insulation of your walls from our facilities in Thessaloniki.

Collaborating with industry leaders of this area, we offer you complete solutions with a variety of products both a technical and an aesthetical point of view. Every artistic shaping in the contact facade can be satisfied with quality certified materials.

Protect your building from weather stress, ensure conditions of internal thermal comfort and give added value to your property.  

More specifically, Styropan insulation slabs that are used in applications of external thermal insulation are the following ones:

Neopor® EPS 80 - Expanded polystyrene with graphite from the series Neopor ® graphite EPS

Neopor® EPS 100 - Expanded polystyrene with graphite from the series Neopor ® graphite EPS

XPS ETICS EMB - Extruded polystyrene with textured surface from the series styropan XPS

ETICS EPS 80 - White expanded polystyrene from the series styropan EPS standard white

ETICS EPS 100 - White expanded polystyrene from the series styropan EPS standard white

 θερμοπρόσοψη θεσσαλονίκη styropan infacoma

In addition to the product range of external thermal insulation of Styropan, you can find all the necessary parts of the application - profile of the application which bear the German seal of quality:



   →     Corner beads with fiberglass mesh (10 cm x 15 cm) and edge extraction 5mm

   →    Corner Beads with fiberglass mesh (10 cm x 15 cm)

   →   Profile of water drip with fiberglass mesh

   →     PVC profile base with fiberglass mesh and edge extraction
            Profile width 100mm
            Profile length 200cm

   →     Plug-in profile 80mm profile

   →     Profile of expansion joints with elastic element in the center
            With fiberglass mesh for surfaces and internal corners

   →   Adhesive fiberglass mesh tape for joints and cracks
            90m per roll


   →     Dynamic profile openings - 6mm


   →    Profile exposures with alkali-resistant ETICS fiberglass mesh


 Εξωτερική θερμομόνωση ειδικά προφίλ

Finally if you professionally work on applications of external thermal insulation, you can buy special cutting machines for polystyrene that will give you speed and accuracy in the execution of your work, which also are imported from Germany. To see them click here: polystyrene cutting machines