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Making Healthier, Greener Foam Insulation

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 11, 2013 01:00 AM
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by Alex Wilson last modified Jan 08, 2013

Author name:  Alex Wilson Blog Category:  Energy Solutions BuildingGreen Sounds Off GreenSpec Insights A proposed change to the residential building code (International Residential Code) would eliminate the need for halogenated flame retardants in many applications For this Passive House in New York's Hudson River Valley, 12 inches of XPS were installed beneath the concrete slab. With proposed changes to the IRC, subslab insulation wouldn't need to be treated with flame retardants. Click to enlarge. Photo Credit: Jordan Dentz As readers of this blog know, I’ve come down fairly hard on certain types of foam insulation over the years. The downsides include the blowing agents used in extruded polystyrene (XPS) and most closed-cell spray polyurethane foam and the flame retardants that are added to all foam-plastic insulation to impart some level of fire resistance. Now there’s an effort afoot to change building codes in a way that would allow manufacturers to remove the hazardous flame retardants. This is the subject of a just-published feature article in Environmental Building News (log-in required). This is a significant energy issue, because layers of foam insulation provide the easiest way to achieve the level of energy performance needed to approach net-zero-energy performance. If we’re going to add a lot of foam insulation to our homes, we want that to be safe for the occupants and the environment. read more






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