Sustainable Insulation for Commercial Buildings and Properties

Sustainable Insulation for Commercial Buildings and Properties

Sustainable Insulation for Commercial Buildings and Properties


Sustainable insulation is becoming more popular, which is excellent for both your budget and the environment. The manufacture of these insulation materials, which are also totally recyclable, requires less energy. 

As modern homeowners, we want to make a long-term influence on the environment by upgrading and retrofitting our homes with ecologically friendly items. The advantages of environmentally friendly insulation are comparable to those of traditional insulation types, with the added benefit of being safer for the environment and your family.

The Advantages of Environmentally Friendly Insulation

Adding insulation to your home is the most effective approach to reduce your carbon footprint because the increased protection from the elements means you spend less energy to heat your home and keep your air conditioning running for longer. However, there are additional advantages to using eco-friendly insulation:

Materials that are safe and long-lasting:

Natural and sustainable are popular buzzwords in the consumer goods industry, and for good reason. One of the most significant advantages of eco-friendly insulation is that it contains fewer dangerous compounds, such as formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Most are less irritant to the skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract, and many are made of recycled materials, diverting trash from landfills.

Lower Manufacturing Costs: 

Embodied energy – the cost of producing anything – is quite high in some insulation materials, such as fiberglass, which can take up to 10 times as much energy to produce as cellulose insulation. In comparison, environmentally friendly materials such as cork, wool, or even shredded denim require minute amounts.

Savings on energy:

The main advantage of eco-friendly insulation is that it helps you be green in other ways because stronger insulation means you use less gas or fuel to run your furnace. Furthermore, green alternatives can deliver a significantly greater R-value per square inch!

Commercial Building Insulation Importance

Greater energy efficiency, lower energy bills

The value of energy efficiency is obvious: it saves building occupants money on energy bills while lowering CO2 emissions from power plants, hence lowering carbon footprints.

As energy expenses rise and the public becomes more aware of the carbon footprint, the benefits become increasingly important. More than a dozen major Canadian metro areas have enacted commercial and multifamily energy benchmarking standards in recent years, which means that existing buildings must report on annual energy use and obtain a score from 0-100 based on their efficiency. 

These scores are frequently made public, and disclosure is essential for any real estate transaction, which might have an impact on prospective buyers and tenants. As energy efficiency becomes more important in building transactions, astute commercial building professionals will detect and profit from this trend by designing and constructing buildings that surpass regulations and distinguish themselves from the competition.

Meeting the comfort demands of the occupants

Thermal comfort is a significant factor in occupant happiness. Occupants are likely to be dissatisfied in a facility that is uncomfortable or has considerable temperature changes. Although insulation and air sealing are important factors in thermal comfort, meeting code is no guarantee of occupant satisfaction.

In fact, ASHRAE has a distinct standard for achieving occupant thermal comfort expectations: ASHRAE Standard 55-2013.

It is tempting to believe that more targeted heating and cooling control is the answer to satisfying tenants throughout a facility. However, without sufficient insulation and air sealing, heat will always migrate to cold places, requiring occupants to expend even more energy to remain comfortable.

Acoustic Influence

The body of studies proving the relationship between noise and workplace productivity and satisfaction is growing. According to a recent Cambridge Sound Management survey, 30 percent of office workers are distracted by their peers’ talks. 

Similarly, according to another survey, 60% of employees report being more productive when the office is quiet. The issue of noise is becoming more prevalent as the trend toward more open workspaces, floating walls, and glass features increases.

Acoustic design is a highly complex process that is influenced by numerous building elements such as building type, location, and occupancy. Insulation may not be able to provide a quiet office on its own, but it should be incorporated into acoustic design and solutions. The acoustic qualities of various types of insulation should also be compared and assessed.

Sustainability and Responsibility

In 2015, an expected 40-48 percent of new non-residential construction would be “green,” and 13.8 billion square feet of building space is LEED-certified as of August 2015. What effect does this have on commercial building professionals? Lease rates for “green” areas might be up to 20% higher than the national average, resulting in high rental prices and lower vacancy rates. 

Comparing and selecting insulation types is an important component of sustainable design, as it contributes to decreased energy use, improved indoor air quality, and increased comfort. Certain types of insulation can also help meet recycled content criteria while reducing GHG emissions.

Popular Green Insulation Types

Cellulose

This popular environmentally friendly insulating material is manufactured from recycled paper goods. Paper can emit dangerous greenhouse gases when it decomposes in a landfill. When recycled into insulation, cellulose is one of the most environmentally friendly options for anyone trying to decrease hazardous items in their house.

Fiberglass

Another popular insulation material comes in a variety of compositions and is most commonly employed blown-in or as batts. It is glass sand blown into fibrous strands, as the name implies, and creates an efficient insulation layer that will last for decades.

Sheep Wool

Nomads, pioneers, and people all around the world have used sheep’s wool for centuries to warm their bodies, cover tents, and insulate their homes – and it works! Sheep’s wool, which is fire, water, and mold resistant, provides an excellent home insulation material and is gaining favor among people looking for environmentally responsible solutions for their homes.

Wool evolved over generations to keep sheep warm, dry, and safe from the weather, and it is sometimes of little or no benefit to farmers in the commercial farming business, who must shear the animals every six months to keep them healthy. Wool, when used as insulation, can help eliminate the need to constantly regulate your indoor temperature, saving you both energy and money.

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