Integrating waterproofing and insulation system is the need of the hour, says Sanjay Bahadur
Energy use is rapidly growing and has already raised concerns over supply difficulties, exhaustion of energy resources and heavy environmental impacts. Growth in population, increasing demand for building services and comfort levels, together with the rise in time spent inside buildings, have ensured this upward trend in energy demand and will continue in the future. India offers a huge opportunity in avoiding the carbon lock-in associated with new buildings as about 66 per cent of the buildings expected to exist in India in 2030 are yet to be constructed. With the fast depleting fossil fuel reserves and ever- increasing electricity prices, we must adopt Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs).If ECMs are included in the design stage, today’s modern and contemporary buildings, can avoid adverse impact on the environment and economy by saving 25 to 50 per cent of its energy demand.
According to a study conducted by McKinsey’s on global cost curve for greenhouse gas abatement measures, almost a quarter of the possible emission can be reduced from measures such as better insulation in buildings which carry no net life cycle cost, which in effect comes free of cost. India is also witnessing this trend and building envelope insulation is gradually becoming one of the key practices to minimise heat gain in buildings while also saving on increasing energy cost. Apart from the considerable savings in the operational cost, exterior thermal insulation also improves the indoor comfort factor thereby providing a healthier environment and enhancing the life of the building.
The traditional and conventional systems of waterproofing and thermal insulation in India worked well for ages to suit the Indian construction and economics. However, the use of conventional systems such as Brick Bat Coba, tar felt, mud phuska, etc. are not sustainable. Waterproofing and insulation material for roof should be selected based on the life cycle analysis and not just the initial investment. New-age waterproofing technologies are now available across the country which offer excellent performance, apart from being green products. For e.g. Dr. Fixit Extensa R offering 1,600 per cent elongation, water based quick setting spray applied membrane and more products from the industry help manage moisture and water leakages.