Concrete as an ideal insulation material

C&CI-concrete-for-housingConcrete, one of the world’s most widely used building materials, is not only a particularly durable material but also provides effective sound and thermal insulation. Hanlie Turner, marketing manager at the Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI), says noise can be described as unwanted sound. “When sound waves strike a barrier such as a wall or floor, the waves are reflected, absorbed or transmitted in varying degrees, depending on the form of the barrier and the material in which it is constructed.

To control the transfer of noise between rooms and to limit external noise from the interior, the barrier must have good sound insulating properties. Generally, the heavier the material, the better – and that’s why concrete is an excellent material for sound insulation.”


Turner says that shrinking building site sizes, especially in housing developments, have resulted in houses being closer together and the transfer of noise between houses is therefore greater. “Noise – such as that emanating from increasing traffic volumes – is more easily excluded by a concrete or concrete masonry structure than by lighter materials. The technique of providing sound insulation by using heavy walls between rooms is as valid in insulating a house from external noise, even if it is a bit more difficult to achieve in outside walls with their windows for light and ventilation. However, to help reduce the amount of noise reaching these openings a concrete or concrete masonry wall on the property boundary will cast a ‘sound shadow’.”

Regarding thermal insulation, careful design can ensure that concrete and concrete masonry walls absorb and store the heat of the winter sun by day to warm the cooler nights, while in summer the same walls, if shaded by eaves, keep the house cool. In this way, concrete and concrete masonry walls help to maintain interior temperatures at comfortable levels throughout the year.

“The mass of a concrete internal wall is just as important for passive solar design as it is for sound insulation. Combined with appropriate building orientation and effective roof insulation, concrete masonry walls, with their high thermal storage capacity, can even out the effects of outside temperature fluctuations. As a result, comfortable inside temperatures are achieved with minimal use of heating or cooling systems, so reducing energy costs.

“Concrete roof tiles also have good thermal insulation properties,” Turner adds, “and they are more affordable than most other roofing materials.”


Previous story
keyboard_arrow_upRecycled and recyclable – insulation saves energy
keyboard_arrow_downRecycled and recyclable – insulation saves energy

We are being asked to cut back on electricity usage and to pay more for what we do use. This is the message we hear as we ready ourselves for the winter. Isotherm thermal insulation provides one way of combating the winter chill. Isotherm  is one of the most innovative and effective insulation materials available. It can be installed in ceilings, in dry walling or around water pipes and geysers, to save energy and, as important in the current economic environment and with Eskom’s tariff increases looming, money.

Next story
keyboard_arrow_upComfort, style, cool with Solent
keyboard_arrow_downComfort, style, cool with Solent

Solent produces fans powered by CROMPTON GREAVES motors. wooden blades, new colours, and extra length down-rods

keyboard_arrow_upa.b.e. products used for silo rehab at Caledon breweries
keyboard_arrow_downa.b.e. products used for silo rehab at Caledon breweries

a.b.e Construction Chemicals supplied a wide range of waterproofing and concrete repair products for the refurbishment of dozens of grain silos at SAB Miller breweries in Caledon, Western Cape. a.b.e. is part of the Chryso Southern Africa Group. Steff Dalton, a.b.e. Technical Sales Consultant, says for the waterproofing of the 56 silos, a.b.e.’s Index Fidia […]

keyboard_arrow_upa.b.e. Waterproofing for new Botswana Innovation Hub building
keyboard_arrow_downa.b.e. Waterproofing for new Botswana Innovation Hub building

a.b.e. Construction Chemicals has supplied large volumes of polyurea coating for the waterproofing of an expansive roof of one of the new buildings of Botswana’s massive Innovation Hub campus in Gaborone.

keyboard_arrow_upGreening roofs with Mobiroof and GreenHive
keyboard_arrow_downGreening roofs with Mobiroof and GreenHive

Mobiroof is an instant extensive Green Roofing system. It is especially suitable for roofs that are not able to support a full roof garden. Mobiroof is a clip together cassette system that can be easily laid onto the surface of a roof. Almost instantly a closed fully grown in area is created with insulation properties. […]