Journal Article

Can vacuum insulation panels be cost-effective when applied in building façades?


A key factor for achieving nearly-zero energy buildings is to reduce their energy demand using highly efficient thermal insulation materials, such as vacuum insulation panels (VIPs). Currently, the high investment cost of VIPs is hindering the technology penetrating the building market. However, their high thermal performance coupled with reduced thicknesses can lead to economic benefits associated with space savings, significantly changing the economic standing of VIPs. This study presents a comprehensive life cycle cost (LCC) analysis of the application of VIPs in external thermal insulation composite systems (ETICS) in office building façades performed from the landlord perspective. The proposed LCC methodology, based on the EU cost-optimal regulation, allows for comparing the cost-effectiveness of VIPs with conventional insulation materials, taking full account of the additional rental income due to space savings. Energy calculations are performed based on transient heat transfer. The study takes into account varying parameters, such as location, cost of materials, insulation thickness, and rental prices, among others. The results demonstrate that VIPs can be economically viable, in particular in cities where office full-leasing rental prices are high. The range of VIP and rental prices that make their use in buildings cost-effective are identified. For example, it is shown that for rental costs higher than 350 €/(m2.y) VIP can be cost-effective for a current market price of 3000 €/m3, when local climate demands for thermal transmittance bellow 0.19 W/(m2.K). This analysis is useful for VIP manufacturers, project owners and landlords that may be looking for competitive insulation products.

Attached files


Simoes, Nuno
Gonçalves, Márcio
Serra, Catarina
Resalati, Shahaboddin

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Architecture


Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-03-25

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Can vacuum insulation panels be cost-effective when applied in building façades?


  • Owner: Joseph Ripp
  • Collection: Outputs
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live