Friday, July 21, 2006

Insulation Nation ;)

What do you know/think about sustainablility and insulations? Among some of the "sustainably claimed" are: denim/recycled cotton, cellulose, rockwool and soy.

+Cotton Insulation
Cotton insulation is made from post-industrial recycled cotton textiles, such as denim. Other benefits of cotton insulation is it doesn’t require any warning labels, no respiratory or other safety equipment is required, it retains its r-value in colder conditions, has superior acoustical properties and requires less energy to manufacture.

Cotton insulation comes in batts similar to fiberglass insulation. Insulation in batt form does not settle in the wall cavity, which is a criticism of blown insulation, and installation is familiar to most people who have used fiberglass.
  • Sold in bundles.
  • Pieces are 94 inches long.
  • Cost works out to approximately 56 cents per square foot for R-13 and 78 cents per square foot for R-19.
  • Batts are compressed and fluff up after packages are opened.
+ CELLULOSE insulation is made from recycled newspaper and treated with fire retardants and insect protection.
Borates, derived from the mineral Boron, are natural materials that can be used as fire retardants and insect repellents in cellulose insulation.

Used As a loose fill material applied in attics, install baffles to keep the material away from soffit vents. The baffles will also prevent wind from the soffit vents through blowing the insulation. Don't cover recessed light fixtures unless the fixtures are certified to accept insulation.

Cellulose insulation can be effectively used in wall cavities in new construction. As a dry loose-fill wall insulation, it could settle.

Wet-blown insulation offers superior insulating qualities and can be trimmed by hand on walls before installing drywall. Moisture control is critical with wet-blown insulation as overly moist insulation requires a longer drying period performance.

Prices can vary according to installer.
Cellulose/cotton/fiberglass insulation: less than $.20 per square foot for R-19 uninstalled.
Wet blown cellulose insulation: 50% more installed.

Cellulose insulation uses recycled newsprint that contains printers inks which can possibly outgas formaldehyde into a home. If there is any outgassing from inks, it should fall well below levels irritating most persons. However, an environmentally-sensitive person should be careful in selecting cellulose and install a vapor retarder between the insulation and the living space. (Note that the vapor retarder can exacerbate mildew problems if humidity levels in the house are high.)
There are also chemical additives often added to treat cellulose that are not thoroughly understood from an indoor air quality standpoint. Cellulose insulation that is treated with borates is preferred. Cellulose insulation can be bound together as a wet spray and instalthe entire wall.

Found this company Located Houston: international cellulose corp.

For example:
K-13 is made from natural recycled fibers that have been chemically treated to add resistance to fire, mold and mildew.

Celbar is a spray-applied insulation product for residential or commercial use. It is a blend of specially prepared cellulose fibers which are organic in nature and treated for adhesion and fire resistance.


- manufactured in Texas, Washington,North Carolina and Indiana.

It is made comprised of steel slag ( over 75%) with some basalt rock ( 25% or less). In some plants the recycled steel slag makes up almost 100% of the content.

Blow-on application will seal wall cavities similarly to wet-blown cellulose offering superior insulating service compared to batts.

It is installed in attics in a loose fill blown form that goes in at a rate of 1.4-1.8 pcf , while the side wall spray is installed at a rate of 4-5pcf. With theses densities the slag wool has better STC ratings and R ratings when compared in exact designs with the otther cellulose and fiber insulation products.

Weighs more than fiberglass (rockwool is 1.2 pounds per square foot for R-30 versus 0.5 pounds for fiberglass). It is less likely to become airborne.

Rockwool is the only insulation that will stop fire.

Rockwool: $0.50 per square foot installed in 2 x 4 wall, comparable to cellulose in attic.

+ SOY Insulation

Resistant to mold and mildew, soy foam insulation is sprayed on; the product expands in the wall like similar products. According to the United Soybean Board (USB), soy insulation provides insulation characteristics that are as good as or better in four-inch walls as traditional batting insulations with six-inch stud construction. And unlike traditional batting, it's free of formaldehyde. Soy-based insulation may also reduce building costs by decreasing the amount of lumber used.

Rigid foam soy insulation is new on the market, as well. One manufacturer, Urethane Soy Systems Co. (Volga, S.D.) touts its "Soy Therm" as having a density of 1/2 pound per cubic foot of rigid foam insulation.

could not find any real numbers. only that its "
price-competitive with common fiberglass insulation".

BioBased Systems
Environmental home center
cotton insulation

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