Tag Archives: insulation

Cellulose Insulation – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

Made from consumer paper products, cellulose insulation typically contains about 85 percent recycled content. Using this green building material can effectively lower the carbon footprint of your home or business property. Essentially, this is because cellulose insulation is plant cell matter that is still storing the carbon sequestered when it was alive. Responsible management of…

Panama Jungle Features Plastic Bottle Village

Far south, a few degrees north of the Equator, the plastic bottle is being smartly repurposed as a residential building insulation material. We visit Panama, where on an 83-acre jungle locale, 90 to 120 planned homes will be insulated by thousands of plastic bottles which have been recovered from the waste stream. The individual behind…

What Affects the R-Value of a Building?

Doors and windows effect R-value of a building

This is part two of our posts on R-value.  Read the first post to get a definition of R-value and find out what it means to you. Doors and Windows As much as we love, and need, doors and windows, they are not good for a building’s insulation value.  Doors open and close, allowing air…

What Is R-Value and What Does It Mean To You?

R-value of building insulation

What Is R-Value? Simply put, R-value is a measurement of how insulating a building material is, protecting one side from the heat or cold on the other side.  A higher R-value means that a material insulates better than one with a lower value. In order to get an idea of what these values are, here…

Green Alternatives to Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation can help save up to 50% in energy costs, protect a building from moisture intrusion, and provide sound insulation.  In addition, it provides two to three times more insulation that traditional fiberglass. However, according to Environmental Working Group, most common spray polyurethane foam insulation contains methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, or MDI, a synthetic chemical…

Indow Window Inserts Keep Heat In, Drafts Out

Sam Pardue, a former engineer at Intel, owns a 1906 Craftsman home in Portland, Oregon. “It has beautiful divided-light windows, with rippling glass,” says Pardue. “But I’m an environmentalist, and wanted energy efficiency at the same time.” To make his home more energy efficient while preserving the natural beauty of his original windows, he skipped installing…

Waxed Cardboard Insulation Comes From Produce Boxes

Students at Portland State University have developed a new insulation material made from shredded waxed cardboard produce boxes.  The insulation helps local grocery stores sustainably dispose of the boxes and could provide low-cost energy savings. PSU assistant architecture professor Margarette Leite heard that many local grocery stores were looking for a way to sustainably dispose…

Green Materials Report – Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation from Owens Corning

This post is part of the green materials report series.  GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green.  Each post focuses on one material.  We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes green materials green, and any green product certifications that it has earned. …

Guest Post: Three Game-Changing Building & Construction Innovations in 2014

Guest writer Michael Craig provides GBE readers with this glimpse of important construction and building innovations he is looking at this year. Radical advancements that will significantly impact building and construction concerns in 2014 and beyond By Michael Craig With the construction industry on the upswing, with 2013 construction starts on the whole advancing 6%…

Bonded Logic & The Home Depot: Green Ways To Insulate Homes and Absorb Sound

UltraTouch Denim Insulation offers ultimate thermal performance and creates a 30 to 50 percent increase in a room’s acoustical performance. The insulation does not contain formaldehyde or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). It is easy to use: a portion of the batts in each package contain perforations similar to paper towels that allow consumers to tear the insulation with their hands to get the size they need.

Blowing Insulation: An Easy DIY Project With A Huge Payback

blowing cellulose insulation using a power blower

Blowing insulation into an attic space is a remarkably simple home energy retrofit project that can have truly enormous financial and energy saving payback. Insulation is one of the cheapest components of a home, yet has the largest potential for saving money over the course of the life of a building. In fact, many insulation…

Aerogel Insulation Advances

Aerogel is almost a product out of science fiction. Nicknamed “frozen smoke,” aerogel is extremely lightweight material, with a density only 3 times that of air. Only a small fraction of a volume of aerogel is the material itself. Most of the volume is filled with air. This makes aerogel an excellent insulator. (Aerogel provides…

Five Home Winterizing Myths

It is time to start thinking about getting our homes ready for winter. Maintenance and repair work done while the weather is still mild will pay off not just in the coming cold weather, but with year round benefits. Here are five common issues to think about when considering your winterization projects, and how to avoid making some common mistakes while improving your house.

Window film insulates windows. False.

A window film serves as a draft barrier to stop air leaks, rather than effective insulation. The plastic film itself will contribute very little. Having another air layer is more helpful, and keeping moisture sealed out can help reduce frost forming on old windows. But if you have big windows that are losing lots of heat, a quilted curtain can be more helpful. Windows are big thermal holes in your walls, and even very efficient windows lose heat much faster than the walls that support them. A window film adds only a slight increase, but it can be effective for stopping drafts.