Green Building is like life: it is all about energy. How you control it, who has it, where it is flowing, and where it isn’t flowing. You control the energy and you have a great house (possibly a great life too).
So obviously insulation plays a huge part ini green building. Green building typically insulates a lot more than normal building. We’d rather spend more up front and less later in utility bills. Utility bills are wasteful and in imperfection. Ideally we will get to the point that houses are built so well that you don’t have any utility bills.
In terms of insulation there are many choices. Of course fiberglass batts are out. They have a lot of embodied energy, most off gas formaldehyde and they don’t even insulate well.
Icenyne spray foam is touted as green and although it seals well it is so not green. That is the biggest scam in the green building industry. All spray foam is made from petro chemicals, even the so called soy based foam that has at most 30% soy and 70% petrolium. The main ingredient for all of them is isocyanate, which is only made by four multy billion dollar companies and it is basically oil.
The greenest insulation is cellulose. Recycled paper. Recycled is always the greenest way to go.
BUT all insulation, foam, fiberglass and cellulose only gets around an R4 per inch and in space starved Brooklyn I wanted more. I found a company that sells once used (READ RECYCLED) foam board called POLYISO. Read this to see how great it is. At only 1.5 inches thick it packs at least an R9 and is by far the best R value out there.
And because it is once used it has already off gassed any small amounts of VOC’s it might have had.
I need about 2000 square feet of it. I’m going to put 4 layers in the roof plus a radiant barrier to make a whopping R36 and this does not include the green roof on top. Insulating the roof is so important.
Then I’m going to put one layer in the external walls. With the one foot of brick that will be an R21.
I also have to put it around the border of the building on every floor between the joists to keep the radiant heat in my house.
I also need 1600 square feet of Extruded Polystyrine, which is waterproof, to put under the green roof and under the radiant heated concrete slab in the cellar.
So I need about 3600 square feet. I bought 12,500 square feet of insulation!!!! I couldn’t help it! I got a good deal and I really feel the greenest thing is for me to pay one big truck to bring the stuff to Brooklyn and redistribute it to others instead of everyone getting small trucks (which as it turns out isn’t cost effective anyway).
So bottom line: I have insulation for sale. Lots of it. CHEAP, at least half price. Be green and get some! Contact me for details.