The materials, being used for construction, have direct effects on the total stable mass of a building. Thus, construction materials must provide the optimum necessary values for building’s heat and sound insulation. Nowadays, standards and regulations define the desired values for heat insulation. And these standards, expressing the direct relation between the heat conductivity of construction materials or their composed forms, provide heat comfort of buildings. All these relative values change depending on the materials’ structural properties and specific heat capacity.
Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA®) is a round pellet structure produced by firing natural clay at temperature of 1200°C. The result is a hard, honeycombed structure of interconnecting voids within the aggregate providing good insulating properties.
The Expanded Clay walls and panels offer a high thermal resistance (up to 12 times more insulating than normal concrete) due to the lightweight Expanded Clay aggregate which has a porous internal structure and optimized composition (geometry) this could allow the construction of single-leaf walls with or without insulation, depending on climate zone.
Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA®) aggregate results in decreasing the concrete density. Due to its lightness and structure, the material has good thermal and acoustic insulation and fire-proofed stability. It is therefore used mainly in the construction of basement walls, floors, internal partition walls and ceilings.
The use of expanded clay wall elements generates a high thermal resistance to the wall by improving U values and lower thermal bridging; improving the energy efficiency of the building and consequently reducing the CO2 footprint.
In addition to the U Value, the building envelopes thermal inertia and mass should also be considered. This represents the capacity of a material to store heat. A construction with high thermal inertia can provide better comfort (Heating and Cooling) spending less energy. The expanded clay elements have a high thermal inertia and mass comparing with light solutions as timber walls, etc. and its use in buildings usually results in a reduction of energy requirements both for heating and cooling.
According to test reports, usage of Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA®) on rooftop can easily reduce the room temperate close to 11 degrees Centigrade which is around 52 degrees Fahrenheit thus making the use of air conditioning system or air cooling system even during peak summer redundant.