flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

Be Flexible When Looking for Rigid Foam Insulation

Advertisement
billboard - default
Sponsored Content

Be Flexible When Looking for Rigid Foam Insulation

The residential construction industry likes to stick with what it knows when it comes to rigid foam insulation. For BASF’s Justin DeMarco, that’s a mindset that needs to change.


February 18, 2019
The residential construction industry likes to stick with what it knows when it comes to rigid foam insulation. For BASF’s Justin DeMarco, that’s a mindset that needs to change.

It’s hard to deny the versatility that rigid foam insulation brings to residential builds. From the roof to the walls and below grade, it’s a great insulator that increases the performance and comfort of a home. Of the options available, extruded polystyrene (XPS) has been a popular option in North America for years. But, does it still hold up against current construction material innovations?

 

 

Even gold standards start to lose their luster

 

Breaking building habits can be hard and for Justin DeMarco, Specification and Business Development Manager at BASF, it’s no surprise that XPS continues to be a popular option.

“The preference for XPS seems to come down to a couple of factors: builders have been using it for years so there is a comfort level with the material and it’s readily available, making it easy to get. But, the main driver and probably the most obvious, is price point.”

Factors like these make XPS a simple choice but with more sophisticated builders and homeowners demanding energy efficiency paired with growing efforts to reduce the overall impact on the environment, it’s becoming clear that XPS may not be the best choice any longer.

“I think one of the biggest disadvantages is the fact that North American XPS loses its thermal resistance over time,” explains DeMarco. “It’s a pretty considerable downside to the material and future home owners are the ones paying for it with higher utility bills because they’re not getting the same thermal resistance in year five as they did in year one of owning a home insulted with it. 

“On top of that, it’s important to consider the environmental impact of XPS. Despite the world shifting to low-Global Warming Potential (GWP) blowing agents, XPS in North America tends to still be extruded with greenhouse gases HFC-134a or HFC-142b.  The Global Warming Potential of HFC-134a is 1,430 times more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide while HFC-142b is 2,310 times more harmful. These options are simply unsustainable.” 

So what’s the alternative to XPS in North America? For BASF, it’s a spin on a material that already exists, but with some added chemistry.

 

 

What’s gold is grey

 

It’s important to differentiate one rigid foam insulation from the other and more often than not, manufacturers will use a specific color to create that separation. For BASF’s Neopor®, the color actually serves a higher function other than simple brand recognition.

 

It’s important to differentiate one rigid foam insulation from the other and more often than not, manufacturers will use a specific color to create that separation. For BASF’s Neopor®, the color actually serves a higher function other than simple brand recognition. 

“The grey isn’t just a color additive. It comes from the high-purity graphite that’s impregnated into the polymer matrix,” says DeMarco. “Neopor®’s graphite builds on the benefits of expanded polystyrene as it both reflects and absorbs radiant heat energy, slowing down the flow of heat much better even at lower densities.”

Graphite’s reflective properties also ensures Neopor®’s R-value does not degrade over time the way XPS does. In fact, Neopor®’s R-value increases as the temperature outside drops

“We have customers who are offering a 50 year warranty on their insulation despite Neopor® only being around for about 20 years. Neopor® doesn’t rely on a blowing agent that off gasses to boost its R-value. That’s the kind of confidence we’re seeing in Neopor® and its ability resist the flow of heat compared to other rigid foam insulations,” says DeMarco.

With all these benefits, including its moisture management and drying potential in extreme weather, the most important factors remain: the cost benefit to the builder and the long term utility cost impact to home owners. 

“It’s important for builders to build homes in a cost-effective way while still putting emphasis on building efficiently alongside consideration for the environment. 

“Neopor® requires 30 per cent less raw material to produce the same thermal resistance compared to XPS. For example, Neopor® Type XI insulation at R-10 is 30 per cent less expensive than XPS Type X at R-10. 

“Innovative products like Neopor really let builders see that saving money doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment and that BASF creates chemistry for a sustainable future,” says DeMarco.  

To learn more about Neopor® and how BASF can help you build for a sustainable future, follow the link. 

Neopor® Website

Written By

BASF provides innovative technologies and tailored solutions for design and construction challenges. Their multi-disciplinary team of experts assists builders, developers, architects and engineers in building more sustainably and affordably through the use of innovative chemistry and applied building science.

Advertisement
boombox1 -
Advertisement
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category




Advertisement
native2 - default
Advertisement
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.


Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Subscribe
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.