Sustainable or “green building” design and construction is the opportunity to use our resources more efficiently, while creating healthier and more energy-efficient homes. Although there is no magic formula, success comes in the form of leaving a lighter footprint on the environment through conservation of resources, while at the same time balancing energy-efficient, cost-effective, low-maintenance products for our construction needs. In other words, green building design involves finding the delicate balance between homebuilding and the sustainable environment. Learn more about reducing global warming.
Many people do not know rigid and blown foamed insulation is made of plastics or that the use of plastics in building and construction often uses less energy and creates less greenhouse gas per application than traditional materials. For a free fully documented, peer-reviewed and published “cradle-to-gate” life cycle inventory (LCI) of nine major plastic resins and two polyurethane precursors, click here. For additional LCI information on a particular product to compare environmental impacts, contact the specific product manufacturer.
Energy Savings Found From Spray Foam in Side-by-Side Construction
As the use of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation is increasing in both new and existing homes, prospective users often ask the question: “How much can SPF impact my heating and cooling costs?”
This paper summarizes a recent study and found that the use of SPF to create unvented attics can improve air-sealing and significantly reduce energy usage, which in turn reduces heating and cooling cost.
Understanding Life Cycle Assessment
Green building components can play a critical role in reducing the environmental footprint during the entire life cycle of a commercial building.
Energy and Climate Solutions Through American Chemistry
Building insulation materials save as much as 40 BTUs of energy for every BTU of energy consumed to make the material. House wraps save 360 BTUs of energy for every BTU used to make the material, and foam insulation can make a home up to 70% more energy efficient.
Saving Energy Through High Performance Buildings
Eco-label rating systems based on checklists like Green Globes and LEED can detract from measures that will result in significant building energy savings performance. As a result, some eco-labeled buildings miss the mark in terms of improved and sustained energy efficiency performance.
Jack Armstrong Video on Solar Decathlon Presentation
Energy efficiency expert Jack Armstrong shares his views on how home-owners and businesses can conserve energy.
Impacts of New ASHRAE Standards on Energy Usage and the Environment
A delay in implementing the ASHRAE 90.1-2010P requirements until 2015 would result in losing 1,900 trillion Btu in energy savings (equivalent of 328 million barrels of crude oil) and releasing of 134 million metric tons of CO2-eq. (equivalent to annual CO2 emissions from 29 coal-fired power plants).
Rigorous quantitative Whole Building Energy Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment methodology in this study shows how prompt adoption and enforcement of these enhanced standards will significantly reduce U.S. energy consumption and avoid substantive greenhouse gas emissions. Polyurethane insulation technology—if put in place—can help make these standards and requirements attainable.
How to Build Small Affordable Houses That Use 30% Less Total Energy in the Mixed-Humid Climate, Jeff Christian, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
This report describes how to build a high performance affordable house that will achieve 30% whole house energy savings using proven, commercially available technologies in the mixed-humid climate region.
Plastic Insulation: A Sustainable Solution
The building and construction industry has a major role to play in reducing energy use and hence the emission of carbon dioxide resulting from fossil fuel generation of energy. Over its lifetime, plastic insulation saves more than 200 times the energy used in its manufacture, and its very high thermal efficiency also adds to savings.