Plastic foams for thermal insulation have been available for more than 70 years. Extruded polystyrene (XPS) was introduced in 1943, followed by expanded polystyrene (EPS) in 1950, and polyisocyanurate (polyiso) in 1954.
Sixty percent of U.S. commercial buildings were constructed before 1980. Retrofitting them for energy efficiency is essential to achieve the Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office’s (BTO) goal of halving building energy use by 2030.
Both fiberglass and stone wool insulation have merit, promote fire protection and sustainability, and offer value to architects, contractors, and property owners alike. This article’s intent is to present a scientific examination of the benefits of using each.
A well-insulated building envelope is the starting point in any energy conservation strategy. The embodied global warming potential (GWP) of the insulating material, as part of a complete wall assembly, must be weighed against the use-phase energy efficiency contribution to see the complete environmental picture.
Today’s high-performance building market is driven by increasingly stringent energy codes and a growing demand for greater building efficiency, sustainability, and affordability—meaning specifying and building masonry cavity walls and adhered masonry walls with materials that work together as a functioning system is more critical than ever.