Building Physics

Thermal Insulation

Proper heat insulation throughout the home cuts costs while improving levels of comfort. It increases the value of a house and is environmentally friendly as the building consumes less heat energy. And less heat escapes outside.

Insulation of the roof is a key factor here. This not only applies to new buildings but also to the renovation of old structures. In winter, insulation protects us from thermal heat losses and in summer from heat radiation, with this process taking place internally or externally.

Thermal insulation in winter

In winter, thermal insulation reduces the amount of heat lost from a building, protecting the building from dampness due to the climate. The prerequisite here is that rooms are adequately heated and ventilated according to their usage. The minimum thermal insulation to be installed in buildings is governed by DIN 4108 - Thermal insulation.

When it comes to insulating a building, it must be ensured that the insulation is airtight on the inside and windproof on the outside.  This allows the effect of natural humidification processes on the structure to be reduced to a level that is harmless.  This also prevents mildew from forming in the roof.

It is also advisable to avoid thermal bridges, i.e. components that take up and transmit the cold more quickly than other elements, or to try and minimize their effects to surrounding parts of the building.

Building codes should be consulted for the amount and type of insulation required for the project.

Thermal insulation in summer

In summer, thermal insulation prevents the interior of a building heating up to an unacceptable level due to direct and indirect solar radiation. This is outlined in DIN 4108-2.

The daily fluctuations in the temperature of the outside air occurring in summer are generally greater than in winter. In addition, there is an enormous temperature differential on the surface of components due to solar radiation. One effective solution is to optimise the roof structure by including insulating layers on the outside and materials designed to store heat on the inside.

When using skylights, it should be ensured that thermal transmittance is minimized while providing protection from the sun's rays on the outside of the building if possible. The indoor climate can be improved further by ventilating it at night and keeping windows and doors closed during the day.

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Sound Insulation

People often ask whether metal roofs tend to make more noise when it rains. This is true of any self-supporting metal roof / window sill or wall coping.  The situation is different in the case of a fully-supported metal roof structure, a category which also includes RHEINZINK standing seam roofing.  When installed according to our design examples, RHEINZINK roofing systems offer very good noise insulation thanks to the support over the entire surface of the metal roof and today's typical energy-saving features (full-rafter insulation, etc.).

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Lightning Protection

If a lightning protection system is required by the customer or stipulated by law, roof coverings which have been properly installed using the RHEINZINK seam technique can serve here as a natural element of the lightning protection system. 

  • Specification of installation guidelines by manufacturers or their trade associations 
  • Installation only by trained staff 
  • All parts of the roof must be conductively connected with each other and earthed (ridge, verge, dormers...). 
  • A handover record must be issued to the installer of the lightning protection system. 
  • Joint inspection and repeat testing

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