A Review of 3 Green Insulation Options

When you're looking at building materials, there's no doubt that insulation of any type ends up being a green material because it lowers the amount of work your HVAC system needs to do to keep your home or business at a comfortable temperature. But with the push for green construction, what insulation products are actually created using sustainable practices and materials? We've taken the opportunity to look at different earth-friendly insulation options for your review here:

Green Insulation Types

Insulation tends to come in a few different forms. Here's a quick review of those types and the pros and cons of each:

Faced or Unfaced Batting: Though fiberglass batting is the industry standard, there are also batts made with mineral wool and animal wool that can be a little more sustainable, though many fiberglass products also contain higher post-consumer recycled waste content. If the right size is selected, batting can be installed quickly and easily without any gaps between the stud, but requires an offset double-stud wall to prevent heat transference through the studs.

Blown-In Insulation: Blown insulation includes material made from cellulose, fiberglass, recycled clothing and many other products. It's a great product when you're doing a retrofit job, because it can be blown into walls by creating an entrance in one or two places at each wall cavity and does very well in attics where it can rest over the ceiling cavity for the room below, but can be easily moved out of position accidentally or by small animals, reducing its effectiveness.

Sheet Foam: Though it's not made from any type of recycled material, sheet foam does to a great job of providing insulation in particular situations. If you're in a windy area or have thin walls, sheet foam can be used to block the wind or up your structure's potential R-value, provided that you remember to tape the seams between each sheet.

Spray Foam: Spray foam is another material that doesn't use recycled products, but it does a great job of sealing your structure from air leaks. This is especially true if you're trying to work around hard-to-fit gaps or areas where other insulation products won't stay in place readily. It's pretty fast to apply and stays where you put it for a durable solution.

Green Insulation Products

Much of John Manville's product line has received the GreenGuard Gold certification. As a formaldehyde-free product, it releases fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than similar products on the market. Their certified products include their Attic Protector and ClimatePro blow-in insulation, kraft-faced and unfaced batts and rolls, ComfortThermand MicroLite batts and rolls and PEBS unfaced filler blanket lines. Though GreenGuard covers commercial building products, Manville's commitment to the environment extends to their residential supplies and feature a 20% post-consumer recycled waste content and a total of 25% recycled material content in their products.

Knauf's EcoBatt product line is a batt insulation product that is one of the most sustainable in the industry. It's made using organic compounds that are easily replenished in the environment instead of petroleum products and has an amazing 70% reduction in the use of high-VOC binding agents, providing a naturally-low VOC content. It's produced using sand, an absolute minimum of 61.9% post-consumer recycled waste while still handling, cutting and installing very easily with less dust. It also helps reduce noise pollution with a significant reduction in noise transference through your walls.

Owens Corning's ProPink L77 wall system and AttiCat expanding blown insulation lines have low VOCs and over 30% post-consumer recycled product in their products.

Now that you've had an opportunity to review green insulation options available for your project, why not take the next step? At Wallboard Supply Company, we've been helping people make great construction decisions for over 45 years. We're happy to help you find the perfect solution for your project, just contact us today with any questions, for details about our products, to arrange a special order or deliver your materials to your site, so you can keep on working.

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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.