BASF House Provides Blueprint for Reducing Carbon Footprint
As part of Nottingham University’s Creative Energy Homes Project, chemical company BASF is building a house to demonstrate how BASF raw materials can be used to create an energy-efficient and affordable home. The cost of building is being balanced against the requirement to make the house affordable to a first time buyer, and with available building land in short supply, the BASF House design has the flexibility to be used for semi-detached or terraced houses.
The project is well underway and BASF has constructed the foundations and ground floor of the house and installed a ground air heat exchanger and rain water collection tank in record time. By working with new partners and existing customers, BASF is on target to complete the house ready for its opening in January 2008.
With the ground floor of the house now completed, BASF is clearly demonstrating how its raw materials and finished products can add value to concrete and insulation materials used in housing. For the ground floor walls, Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) have provided a cost-effective, fast-track construction material with high insulating properties.
BASF Neopor® ODP Zero ICF blocks were assembled and the core filled with concrete in just three days to create the shape of the building. The concrete contained the newly-developed BASF admixture Rheocell® ICF, specifically developed for the ICF construction industry.
Energy and Carbon Dioxide Emissions
This new, pumpable ICF concrete mix enables a lower carbon footprint concrete to be supplied and reduces "leakages" that would be shown in an air tightness-test because of the massive reduction in the number of joints in a wall using ICF compared with brick and block or timber frame walls.
Once set, the concrete becomes a monolithic structure and the formwork remains in place as thermal insulation, with u-values ranging from 0.30 w/m2k down to 0.11w/m2k, ideal for zero-energy buildings.
Through using Neopor® and Rheocell® in insulating formworks BASF gives designers the opportunity to design and build dwellings with a thermal envelope which can achieve a >/ 44% improvement of dwelling emission rate (DER) over estimated carbon dioxide emissions in kg per m2 per annum arising from energy use for heating, hot water and lighting for actual dwelling – over the Target Emission Rate (TER). This alone provides house builders with a solution to design to a sustainable code level 4 today.
In addition, this new, pumpable ICF concrete mix achieves a lower carbon footprint because it reduces the demand for natural fine aggregate such as sand by more than 12% over traditional concrete. Not surprisingly, ICF construction is now becoming a mainstream build option for housing which allows specifiers to achieve an affordable, fast track, life time and sustainable home design.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas. As a reliable partner to virtually all industries, BASF’s high-value products and intelligent system solutions help its customers to be more successful. BASF develops new technologies and uses them to meet the challenges of the future and open up additional market opportunities. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. BASF has approximately 95,000 employees and posted sales of €52.6 billion in 2006. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF on www.basf.com.
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