Silicon(e) technology’s role in sustainable building


Date & time: 
Fri, November 20, 2009 - 14:00
Duration / timezone: 

1 hour / Central European Time (Brussels, Paris, ...)


Jean-Paul Hautekeer, Dow Corning


Jean-Paul Hautekeer will explain why innovation, efficiency and sustainability have become such crucial needs for business and how silicon technology can help to meet those needs, particularly in the context of building design and protection. He will begin by discussing some of the factors influencing sustainability, defining sustainable building and explaining its benefits. Looking towards the future, he will reflect on why cities will increasingly depend on sustainable technologies and how silicon will contribute to the needs of urban areas. Eight key eco-design principles will be discussed. The presentation will end with a discussion of the next steps that are essential to ensure that sustainable building continues to progress.


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Transcript from the Q&A session during the webinar

Brian Rees:
Could you give us an indication of the cost of silicon (vip) in comparison to for example stone wool?

Jean-Paul Hautekeer:
 We need to make sure that we are comparing apples with apples.  First, compare new insulation: it is 10mm versus 40mm of stone wool.  Consider the value of the space that this material will save.  The total cost of the solution will actually be less expensive that traditional products because you have to decrease floor/window space). And, as materials continue to evolve, their price will go down. 

Thanh Truc:
Silicon(e) technologies seems interesting, what is your suggestion for countries with hot climates? For example, southeast Asian countries.

Jean-Paul Hautekeer:
That is a very good question.  If we look at energy being spent for HVAC, insulation is an opportunity for lowering energy operation costs. Silicone technology by itself does not make a difference for operation costs, but since it operates well in hot and cold climates, it is a crucial component.  When we’re designing the building envelope, we need to consider placing the permeable membrane in the right places. 

Glass technology is also important: you can select double or triple thickness according to your climate.  Also, there are coatings that reflect light to keep the building cooler. The main solution is designing the right system, not only material selection.

Kevin Casey:
Where can I find engineering data for your new insulations, E.G. U and R values?

Hans De Keulenaer:
This question can be best answered via an e-mail exchange.

Thanh Truc:
Thanks for your answer. I have one more question: The problem with applying insulation for buildings in hot climates is fire protection. How does silicon(e) perform in terms of fire protection?

Jean-Paul Hautekeer:
Because of silicone’s chemical nature, it is made of silicon and oxygen, and it is very resistant to fire.  It also has a very low toxicity when it is being burned.  That’s why most fire-rated material is based on silicone, such as sealants, etc.  Perhaps in the future, we will have fire-rate glass based on silicone.  It aids people’s safety and security.

By webmaster 18/12/2009
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