“Spain is far from Italy, where homes rehabilitated with European funds have doubled”

Celia Pérez is president of ANFAPA, Association of Manufacturers of Mortars and External Thermal Insulation Systems (SATE), and has brought together, since 1987, pioneering companies in Spain in the manufacture and development of industrial mortars and external thermal insulation systems. Its leading role in the building sector, shared with the 38 companies that make up the association, is undeniable: it reaches a turnover of almost 1,430 million euros, with 384 warehouses, almost 100 factories and nearly 4,400 employees.

Are the aids from the Next Generation funds being noticed in the request for budgets for the execution of insulation on building facades?

It doesn’t seem like it’s having much of an impact; they are not yet reaching the market in a perceptible way. We are going to request the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda to implement a centralized system to know the development of the funds by CCAA and to be able to know the data on applications and concessions.

Right now we do not have specific data, but we are very far from other countries such as Italy, which, with magnitudes similar to ours and much easier processing of aid, has been so successful that in just one year the number of applications has doubled. rehabilitated homes.

How has SATE evolved in recent years?

Very positively, constantly growing. Specifically, last year it already experienced a strong increase, and we anticipate that this year 2022 a higher growth will be consolidated, which should increase as soon as the Next Generation funds begin to flow.

The SATE system is an excellent constructive solution for the insulation of the blind part of the facades, and for this reason it is destined to have an increasing penetration in the sector.

The companies associated with ANFAPA achieve a business volume of almost 1,430 million euros. What is the activity that generates the most profit for you?

All of them are linked to construction and rehabilitation, and in this crisis the activity has been maintained and all the subsectors are working despite the difficulties; Within this general comment, a greater growth of the SATE solution is evident.

How can a SATE installation on facades coexist in a historic building with old architectural elements?

The SATE system has all kinds of accessories to reproduce cornices, imposts, surrounds, and any other formal element of classic construction, so there is no difficulty in adopting the most efficient insulation solution for facades when it comes to rehabilitating a building with classic cut, and at the same time maintain the principle of “before anything else: energy efficiency”.

Citizens should be aware of the multiple advantages that good thermal insulation in their home provides, for example: it reduces their energy bill, provides more comfort and revalues ​​the property, and all this immediately.

Are we facing a good time for individuals and communities to decide to rehabilitate their buildings?

Absolutely, from ANFAPA we emphasize that rehabilitation works of this magnitude will never cost less than now, because Europe asks us to go from rehabilitating 30,000 homes a year, as we do currently, to 300,000 in 2050 and the Next Generation funds put available to Spain 5,520 million euros. The need for rehabilitation, the interest of the administrations and the economic resources coincide.

Does the installation of SATE require specialized labor? Where is it obtained?

Indeed, we must have a workforce that is prepared and knowledgeable about the solution and its good practices. And, as in many construction subsectors, there are fewer professionals than necessary, so our associates spend time and resources training new professionals.

Also from the association we are collaborating with the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción in the preparation of two training cycles for SATE installers, one for active personnel and another for unemployed personnel. The Ministry has already approved in the first instance the budget items for this, and we hope that its implementation will materialize at the beginning of next year.

What sustainable advantages does working with SATE offer?

The main contribution to sustainability by installing a SATE system in a building is the significant reduction in energy demand to achieve and maintain the required thermal comfort temperatures; This reduction in demand, which obviously reduces consumption, significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, mainly CO2, which represents an important contribution to the path towards the decarbonisation of our society. On the other hand, progress is being made in the incorporation of materials from recycling, both in the manufacture of insulating plates and in that of mortars and finishing materials; that is to say, incorporating ourselves into the circular economy.

What other alternatives to SATE exist in the market?

SATE is the most appropriate system due to the continuity of its insulation layer, which does not leave any surface of the opaque part of the façade uninsulated. For example, the pillars on the façade and the edges of the slab are completely protected from the outside temperature. Today there is only one other continuous layer system, which is the ventilated façade, which requires a greater overhang on public roads with the same thickness of insulation.

Insulation systems on the inside or insufflation of chambers do not achieve the continuity of the insulation layer, and therefore cold spots are created inside the houses. In the case of blowing chambers, the thicknesses required by current regulations cannot be achieved, nor is it possible to obtain a complete filling given the little homogeneity of the interior spaces, either due to dirt or remains of mortar and burrs.

“Spain is far from Italy, where homes rehabilitated with European funds have doubled”