Standards in comparison

The introduction of the new MuKEn standard, which relates to the energy requirements of a building, places an even greater focus on energy efficiency. This leads to more use of efficient insulating materials and to the exclusion of regenerative building materials. For this reason, I would like to primarily understand the SIA 180, SIA 380 and MuKEn standards and compare them based on my Tiny House project. I would like to calculate the thickness of the insulation for each standard as well as the grey energy.

An important consideration in holistic planning is the calculation of gray energy. The goal is to understand whether standards that strive for energy efficiency increase gray energy. In order to build energy-efficiently, stronger components are needed, which require more building and insulating materials and therefore consume more gray energy.

Would it be possible to build only by SIA 180 instead of MuKEn? Standards are not laws. Therefore, I wonder if it would be possible to use only certain standards.

SIA 180: The purpose of this standard is to ensure a comfortable indoor climate and to prevent structural damage.

SIA 380: The purpose of this standard is the moderate and economical use of energy for space heating and hot water in building construction. It thus makes a contribution to ecological construction.

MuKEn: purpose is a harmonization in the field of cantonal energy regulations with the aim of simplifying construction planning and approval procedures for building owners and professionals working in several cantons.

Secondly, it is necessary to understand whether the tightening of these standards will exclude regenerative building materials, which have a worse insulation coefficient. In fact, these building materials are very ecological and have a low gray energy. Another important factor is the benefits of these building materials for the indoor climate and the well-being of the occupants. The well-being in a room cannot be calculated: it is very subjective and can only be evaluated individually. It is the sum of various factors such as light, materialization, colors. We all have the desire to spend our time in a wooden mountain hut rather than in a sterile and luxurious apartment. We have disconnected ourselves from nature through a scientific paradigm, at the expense of an ecological paradigm. The reason for this is that we, as builders, designers and craftsmen, prefer safety instead of realistically assessing the risks of a design that is based on fewer standards. Should a building component be built with high performance insulation, which requires more material? Or could one take the risk and use a regenerative insulation material?

I believe that a participatory planning phase involving owners, planners and craftsmen could realistically deal with this risk and find suitable building solutions.

Jordan Kouto
Literature on the topic