Identifying Greener Insulation
Insulation can conserve energy, saving money in monthly heating and cooling bills. Insulation can also improve the health and comfort of building occupants. There are many types of insulation on the market and this webpage provides some resources to help you choose a safer and greener option.
- Greater thermal insulation values (R-value)
- Reduction/elimination of toxics (e.g., formaldehyde, isocyanates, some flame retardants) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Low embodied energy & greenhouse gas emissions
- Sustainable material sourcing (e.g., agricultural impacts or other natural resource use)
- End-of-life recycling or disposal options
*Depending upon the performance requirements (e.g., your local temperature ranges and variations; construction above or below grade), building occupants, project scope, and other considerations.
- GSA's Green Procurement Compilation (GPC) is a comprehensive green purchasing resource designed for federal contracting personnel and program managers.
- EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) for building insulation materials (federal purchasing requirements for recycled content).
- ENERGYSTAR certified seal and insulate
- EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM) estimate of streamlined life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emission factors for fiberglass insulation
- EPA 2009 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant recipient – Ecovative mushroom insulation
- Design for the Environment Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) resources
- Protect Your Family from Asbestos-Contaminated Vermiculite Insulation
- StopWaste Guide to Environmentally Preferable Fiberglass and Cellulose Insulation Products
- Green Science Policy Institute’s Safer Insulation Initiative
- Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers. Institutional and Federal purchasers can use this model specification language for insulation (Section 07 20 00 Thermal Protection), which provides federal agencies' requirements and other practices to consider when specifying insulation.
BuildingGreen.com provides print and electronic resources to help in the design and building of construction projects from a whole-systems perspective, and publish the Environmental Building News and the GreenSpec®.