Strength, rigidity and durability
Another of the Ekopanely board’s advantages is its high mechanical durability especially when compared to plasterboard. This means it is ideal for self-supporting partition walls and is also the perfect solution when building a low-energy house. Ekopanely boards can be ordered to their required lengths and are easy to work with therefore partition walls can be erected in just few minutes. With plasterboard and OSB boards, the supporting structure for the partition wall needs to be built first. The strength and the rigidity of Ekopanely boards can also be used in other construction works, such as loft conversions or exterior walls.
Interesting fact: The puncture force required to pierce a normal interior door is 30J. Ekopanely boards can withstand an impact of 180J without breaking (EN 596).
The thick core means that various objects can be fastened to and hung from eco-panels – such as kitchen cabinets, radiators, horizontal distribution installations, railings, handles, etc. the larger the screw diameter you use, the greater the force is needed to pull it out. For comparison, a gypsum board 12.5mm thick can take a load of up to 50kg; plasterboard, depending on the type, can bear a mere 23-27kg. An Ekopanely board can take a load of up to 75kg on a 5×100 mm screw. Compared to these materials, including masonry, Ekopanely boards have another major advantage – no drilling or wall plug is needed as it is unchored by using screws only.
Interesting fact: On ceilings, our eco-panel can take a load of up to 75kg on a 5×100 mm screw.
Excellent thermal insulation properties and heat accumulation
The compacted pressed straw not only gives the Ekopanely board above-average thermal insulation properties but also it enables to accumulate heat. Buildings made from Ekopanely boards cope better with fast changes in temperature and therefore save on heating costs. The temperature amplitude of Ekopanely boards has a delay of 11.8 hours, i.e. heat penetrates into the building with this delay. In the summer a wooden building “cools down” by morning and that coolness remains until evening. In the winter, however, a wooden building warms up as it is heated during the day and that heat remains until the morning even if you stop heating in the evening. Therefore it is rational to use Ekopanely boards when creating habitable loft as lofts often tend to have heat instability problems in the summer. OSB boards and plasterboard do not have this ability to accumulate heat.
With their insulation properties Ekopanely boards help to span thermal bridges in a building caused by the wooden substructure, anchoring or a discontinuous layer of thermal insulation.
Thanks to the fibrous nature of straw, materials made from it have low thermal conductivity and are permeable to water vapour. One of the advantages of Ekopanely boards is, that at higher humidity levels they absorb excess moisture into the internal pore structure of the straw fibres, and when the humidity decreases again, they slowly release it into the surrounding environment. This mechanism has a positive effect on the microclimate humidity indoors, especially in the winter.
Ekopanely boards not only positively affect the indoor climate in buildings in terms of the thermal stability of buildings but also greatly help to create a healthy interior environment which is benficial to the health of the residents. This means that Ekopanely boards are ideal for building low-energy homes or passive wooden buildings. However, it is not only in low-energy and passive homes that you can make the most of the thermal insulation and accumulation capacity of Ekopanely boards. By applying eco-panels to an existing structure (e.g. cladding on interior walls) you can further reduce the costs of heating a wooden building.
Excellent sound-insulation properties
Straw-based materials generally have good sound-insulation properties. This particularly involves acoustic absorption which results in high airborne sound insulation. These properties depend primarily on the structure and bulk density of the particular type of material used. The acoustic properties have been well preserved in Ekopanely boards, which is why they ensure greater acoustic attenuation than plasterboards or OSB boards. For example, the sound insulation of a simple partition wall made from Ekopanels with no surface finish is 33dB. For comparison, the normal street noise in a residential area in a town or a village tends to be around 60dB; the recommended level for sleep is 25-30dB. A noisy environment has an adverse effect particularly on heart rate and the circulatory system. A simple partition wall made from Ekopanely boards practically cuts this noise out.
The sound-insulation properties of Ekopanely boards help to meet the highest requirements stipulated for housing with no disruptive noise from its surroundings and thus create space for maximum privacy.
As Ekopanely boards are pressed from straw, the core contains only minimal quantities of air that could facilitate burning. During a fire the paper the Ekopanely board is wrapped in burns first; further burning is then stopped by the straw core. This flame retardant effect is one of its principal advantages. Ekopanely boards do not contain chemicals whose vapours are flammable and support burning. The Timber Research and Development Institute has classed Ekopanely boards as category E for their reaction to fire.
The recommended application of Ekopanely boards for exterior walls of prefabricated houses meets this requirement. As Ekopanely boards consist of two layers, this means that wiring can run through one layer while the other layer remains intact. Electrical wiring in Ekopanely boards does not require increased safety, standard electrical cables are used, and only the electrical wiring box must be fireproof, for wooden buildings.
Ecology and environmental protection
The core of the Ekopanely board is pressed from straw at high temperatures and under high pressure with no added bonding agents or paints and is pasted all over with recycled paperboard. The adhesive meets the strictest hygiene standards and is applied in a thin layer. Straw and paper are organic materials that are easy to recycle when the building is no longer needed. Ekopanely boards are classified as ecological products. Ekopanely boards are supplied to the customer trimmed to the required length, minimising waste and saving you money.
The production of other construction materials (brick, porous concrete, OSB boards, …) is a more demanding process, than one which is used to make Ekopanely boards, requires chemicals and often produces toxic waste. In terms of CO2 generated straw, like most natural materials, attains negative values. This means that during the production process is not generated more CO2 then what is generated in straw through process of growing and harvesting. Therefore, ecological houses built from Ekopanely boards insulated with natural materials and clay plaster are undoubtedly part of the current trend of making maximum use of natural materials in buildings, which then have a more pleasant and healthier climate.
Interesting fact: The power needed to manufacture 1m² of eco-panel is approximately 2.5kW. For comparison, the consumption of a kettle is generally around 2kW, or the average household oven 2.2kW.