The EU commission has awarded INSU-SHELL with the Best of the Best Life Environments Award. The project partners RWTH Aachen University, DuraPact, Saint Gobain Technical Fabrics and Gimpel Ingenieursgesellschaft mbH got the award for the development and application of lightweight, self-supporting outer wall elements in textile-reinforced concrete with high energy and CO2 savings.
The Insu-Shell façade elements are made of Textile Reinforced Concrete and polyurethane foam insulation to form a complete exterior wall with only 18 cm wall thickness. This is about one third of a conventional wall with comparable properties. In 2009, the façade elements were mounted as the envelope of the ITA Innotex building.
The innovative sandwich elements reduce the use of concrete by 70 – 80 %, thus saving up to 50 % of CO2 emissions during its life cycle. Other advantages: Textile-reinforced concrete does not rust, it saves time during construction, can be designed in a thinner layer than steel-reinforced concrete thus requiring significantly less material and energy and causes fewer emissions. Furthermore, it is easy to transport and install the lightweight elements.
The EU Commission awards once a year the Best LIFE Environment Project in Brussels, Belgium. Five out of 16 winners are awarded with the Best Life Award; two are awarded with the Best of the Best-Award.