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A new solution in the Czech building market, resulting from the collaboration of DuPont and Ekocell

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Cellulose and DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™: a superior safety and environment-friendly alternative to conventional insulations 

DuPont-Tyvek-Ecosell
Refurbishment of a prefabricated apartment building in Studénka using DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ Housewrap, a building membrane incorporating efficient and environment-friendly flame retardancy properties. Photo courtesy of Ekocell CZ, s.r.o., all rights reserved.

Studénka, a small municipality in the Region of Moravia and Silesia, can take pride in a newly refurbished prefabricated apartment building. To insulate the building, the contractor used a new technology and a certified insulation system combining Watisol, a cellulose-based insulation, with DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ Housewrap membrane. This combination marks a big step ahead when compared to its traditional competitors, such as fiberglass insulation, mineral wool, polystyrene or polyurethane foam. 

Adding superior flame retardant performance to the renowned properties of DuPont™ Tyvek®, Tyvek® FireCurb™ potentially limits or stops  the spread of fire through the external envelope using innovative technology to reduce the flammability of polymer based substrates. 

This insulation system has many advantages – it is universal and can be used to insulate all types of buildings, it can cope with significant surface undulations and it doesn’t trap moisture in the building. The DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ Housewrap membrane protects the insulation material from outside water and wind. At the same time, excess moisture within the insulation can be evacuated through the vapour open membrane. In summer, the cellulose-based insulation shows more of its advantages – it helps maintaining a stable temperature of the interior at 21 to 23 Degrees Celsius.

“The cellulose-based insulation is a phenomenon, known world-wide for a number of years. Before the increase of energy costs, however, the local investors felt no reason to consider this unique material“, says Pavel Indrák, Director of Ekocell, a company which brought this idea to the Czech market in 2012. Old newspaper is crushed and subsequently mixed with mineral substances and flame retardants to recycle it into a fluffy insulating material with improved resistance to fire, mould, rodents, etc. The material is blown into the structure and can therefore fill even the smallest cracks and holes. The dry application process is a plus as well since the material can be easily used even in winter, when the temperature drops well below zero.

Watisol as a building material has very good acoustic properties. It creates a solid layer which allows for up to 40 per cent higher breathability than e.g. EPS, the standard insulation material in façade refurbishment.

The ES-Ekocell system is currently the only fully certified system in the CR utilising the above material together with the DuPont Tyvek® FireCurb membrane. The apartment building in Studénka was the first building ever in the CR insulated with the help of this system. The 1500 m2 required approximately 12,5 tons of Watisol. It is surprising that the system, even though the advantages are indisputably high, is easily affordable.