Walls & Ceilings Architect/October 2009 - (Page 4)

The Growing Role of Insulation T h bui ldin i dust y is chan he bui ld in g in du st ry i s ch n gbuilding industry uild n s changing—for t h e be tt er. Th er e has better. There i ng—fo r the bett er. Ther ha s fo o t ere been an undeniable shift toward b d i b l hi ft t h t d more sust a i nable const r uc t ion. Recent research predicts that sustainable building will grow at a rate five times that of conventional building. Today, more than ever, designers, builders and contractors are challenged with creating energy efficient, quiet, productive environments in a cost effective, sustainable manner. If buildings are going to be competitive in the future, they will need to provide superior energy efficiency, occupant comfort and sustainable design in a cost effective manner for owners and occupants alike. Insulation contributes directly to all of these important attributes by providing improved indoor air quality, acoustical performance and thermal protection while allowing for greater architectural design freedom. But the benefits don’t end there. The largest benefit is likely the enormous impact that insulation can have on a building’s ability to be more sustainable. In fact, few materials have a greater impact on a building’s ability to be “green.” And, when you consider that insulation actually in Sustainable Building Energy savings and federal incentive programs encourage a better sustainable world from new green products in the market. By Scott Miller saves owners money in the long run, it becomes evident that insulation might possibly be the most important thing a building owner can do to ensure both long-term cost savings and environmental sustainability. ENERGY USE IN THE MARKETS According to the Energy Information Administration, residential and commercial buildings are responsible for about 40 percent of the energy use and 39 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Energy efficiency through insulation is the simplest, most cost-effective way to reduce energy use and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. Insulation is inherently carbon negative. The amount of energy it saves is overwhelmingly greater than the energy it takes to make the product. From an energy savings standpoint it is perpetual, as once in place, it uses no energy to save energy. According to Energy Conservation Management Inc., glasswool (fiber glass) insulation saves 12 times as much energy per pound in its fi rst year in place as the energy used to produce it. And it continues to save that much more energy each year it is in place. All insulation products installed in U.S. buildings currently save consumers 12 quadrillion Btu annually, reducing the amount of energy they would have used by about 42 percent compared to having no insulation. A simple way to demonstrate the impact the amount of insulation has on operating costs, freedom of design, occupant productivity and ROI is to look at the Knauf Insulation corporate headquarters located in Shelby ville, I nd. T he LEED Gold Certified building is super insulated to R- 40 exterior | Walls & Ceilings Architect | October 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Walls & Ceilings Architect/October 2009

Walls and Ceilings Architect/October 2009
The Growing Role of Insulation in Sustainable Building
Ward of the Worlds
Firestop Systems
Green Building "Decertification"

Walls & Ceilings Architect/October 2009