APFAC Informs

APFAC Informs

What it is, historical perspective and main advantages

The term ETICS, from the English External Thermal Insulation Composite System, refers to an exterior thermal insulation system. Although its origin is not exactly recent, as we will see later, the truth is that it was in the last 10-15 years that this solution gained greater expression in Portugal.

In general, the main components of this system are as follows:
- Bonding mortar
- Insulating plate
- Mechanical fastening
- Surfacing mortar mortared with fiberglass mesh
- Final coating

After the Second World War, Europe went through a serious economic situation, where fuel scarcity led to an increasing cost of fuel. This fact made insulation indispensable to achieve an energy-efficient construction and thus lower the fuel bill. During the 1940s, a system of exterior thermal insulation of facades was developed in Sweden, initially using mineral wool, protected with lime and cement mortar. In the 1950s, this type of insulation spread to countries like Germany and Switzerland, and it was the central European countries that, due to their older building stock in need of rehabilitation and insulation, opted for this system, as it was easily adaptable to any type of building and construction. Later on, there was the development of systems of reinforced thin plaster on insulating boards, currently known as ETICS.

The advantages of ETICS are many, but can be summarized in the following points:
- Eliminating thermal bridges and reducing the risk of indoor condensation
- Potentiating the use of the thermal inertia of buildings
- Protection of masonry and structural elements
- Improvement of thermal comfort in winter and summer
- Energy saving and respect for the environment
- Rehabilitation without homelessness
- Aesthetic renovation
- Repair of defects
- Reduction of the thickness of the outer walls increasing the habitable area and reducing the weight of the walls and the permanent loads on the structure
- Improved impermeability of walls
- Socio-economic and environmental reasons

For more informations about ETICS, or about APFAC - association which Vimaplás belongs - and what we do, visit our official website