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Polyurethane enables fast, sustainable housing on a budget

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Densely populated areas or cities facing a high influx of refugees often require creative solutions for quick and inexpensive shelter. The “House of Nations”, built with our partners Logelis and the city of Bergisch Gladbach, demonstrates the multiple benefits of our PU solutions for construction.

Task

Construct an energy-efficient, affordable prefab building

Officials in Bergisch Gladbach had an idea for an innovative pilot project for the design and construction of a multipurpose building at a refugee camp in the city. The final occupant would be the German Red Cross. They wanted a fast and affordable solution that could serve as a model for other cities facing similar challenges.
Challenge

Find an all-round insulating material

Logelis, the French prefabricated housing manufacturer, partnered with us to find a suitable material to insulate the new building, which would consist of two group rooms, a kitchen and a restroom. The material needed to enable quick and inexpensive construction as well as excellent insulating performance for low energy bills and long-term sustainability. 

Communities like Bergisch Gladbach often face the challenge of providing affordable housing as quickly as possible. And this is exactly where the model building comes in. In view of the advantages for all stakeholders, I can well imagine that it will be a success in other locations as well.

Lutz Urbach

Mayor, City of Bergisch Gladbach

Solution

PU blend using Desmodur® and Baymer®

We chose an extremely lightweight PU foam based on Desmodur® and Baymer® to insulate the building envelope, walls, floors, and drop ceiling. Self-supporting, prefab wall elements from Logelis consisted of PU foam encased in a thin cement layer for excellent insulation at a thickness of just 16 cm. Weighing 100 kg each, the composite elements were easy and economical to transport and assemble. Construction lasted just four weeks. According to Logelis, total costs added up to 1,150 euros/m².

This highly cost- and energy efficient building was completed in just four weeks. With this pilot project we want to show how we can work with partners to provide housing quickly and inexpensively. This is an increasing challenge in many cities.

Dr. Markus Steilemann

Chief Commercial Officer, Covestro

Why Desmodur® and Baymer® were the perfect solutions for the House of Nations

  • High insulation: Excellent insulating performance thanks to low thermal conductivity.
  • Sustainable: 15 kwh/m² annual heating requirement meets passive house standard.
  • Fast & inexpensive: Lightweight PU enables easy, economical manufacturing, transport and assembly.
  • More space: Better insulation means thinner walls for more space, less materials and greater affordability.

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