External insulation, a security blanket for your home

This type of energy upgrade not only prevents the loss of heat through the perimeter walls of a condominium and those of individual homes, but also reduces humidity levels and noise pollution. As if this were not enough, it is also one of the interventions that benefits from the significant tax credits outlined in the EcoSismabonus.

Published on 27 February 2019

External insulation, a security blanket for your home

There is an energy upgrade, covered by the Ecobonus incentives, that has a particularly evocative name. In Italian it is known as a “cappotto termico”, meaning a thermal coat, in English it is called External insulation and it offers real protection by providing a “cloak” for our homes, insulating them from pointless and inconvenient heat loss and helping to keep energy consumption to a minimum.

Like the other measures listed in the latest Leggi di Bilancio (Budget Law), external insulation also benefits from significant incentives in the form of transferable tax credits .  This form of energy upgrade, which provides a condominium (co-owned apartment building) with protection against heat-loss, not only decisively improves the thermal insulation of the building in both summer and winter, but also qualifies for a one-off transferable tax credit for up to 70-75% of the total cost of the operation (85% if it is carried out together with work to boost the building’s seismic resilience, which is included in the Sismabonus incentives).

When choosing to carry out this type of energy upgrade, it is possible to avoid shouldering 100% of the cost of the intervention (later recouping 70-75% of the value in tax credits spread over ten years and in ten instalments) by paying only the remainder of the cost and transferring the total tax credit to Enel X, thanks to this incentive which includes the possibility to carry out tax credit transfers.

A choice that is efficient, ecological and affordable.

When installed, external insulation not only modernizes a condominium facade but also leads to a significant reduction in the building’s energy consumption, and that of its individual apartments, principally through a reduction in requirements for winter heating and summer air conditioning and the stabilisation of the building’s internal temperature.  Furthermore, the comfort level of daily life improves with a decrease in humidity levels in the building and an increase in acoustic insulation from outside noise.

Let’s take a closer look at this option.  This energy upgrade requires the installation of insulation panels on either the inside or outside surfaces of the building’s perimeter walls.

Two types of external insulation are available: normal insulation and ventilated facades.  In the first case, the insulation panels can be plastered after installation.  In the case of a ventilated facade, the insulation panels are positioned several centimetres from a structure that supports cladding in tile, metal or marble.  A chimney effect is created in the air passage between the insulation panels and the cladding, enabling heat dispersion when the wall is in direct sunlight and creating an extra barrier against cold air during the winter. External insulation with ventilated facades provides a more effective performance both for very hot and very cold environments.  Nevertheless, both forms of external insulation provide tangible energy savings, plus a renewed appearance for the walls, while also adding to the building’s value by improving its energy class.

When it comes to the technology present on the market, there is the option of installing an “inner coat”, where the insulating material is placed on the internal walls of individual homes, or an “outer coat”, which insulates the external walls of the building.  Internal insulation is more easily applied and is the most appropriate solution if the original façade of the building cannot be altered due to its artistic or historical qualities or if it is subject to strict planning restrictions.  The outer coat, however, provides more effective thermal insulation, even when the same materials are used (mineral fibre, wood fibre, cork and expanded polystyrene – the energy audit determines which solution is appropriate) and does not require work inside homes. Furthermore, it does not reduce the indoor space of the individual apartments.

In some cases, decorative features such as marble surfaces or capitals can limit the options for installing thermal insulation on the building’s outer walls, which can make it preferable to place the panels inside individual apartments.  Alternatively, these decorative features can be reapplied onto the finished surface of the coating.  Special panels have also been created for outer walls with exposed brickwork; these reproduce the original aesthetic in places where the energy upgrade has been applied.

The available technology, therefore, can cater to every requirement.

We could say then that sustainability begins at home, in the walls of our houses that maintain the right temperature, protected by insulation that generates efficiency and savings, in the place where we feel safest.

Source:  Budget Law 2018/2019 (legge di bilancio 2018/2019), Income Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate)

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