Benefits of Insulation in the building related to green or sustainability

September 20, 2019


When it comes to sustainability and green improvements, there is no greater bang for your buck than high-quality insulation. While solar panels and battery banks can remove a large portion of a company's environmental impact, those panels and batteries have an environmental cost attached to the manufacturing. Conversely, with adequate insulation, it is possible to reduce electricity needs altogether. After insulation, a facility will reduce heating, and cooling requirements and potentially require a smaller HVAC system or fewer solar panels to meet the new, lower, heating and cooling demands.

There is a wide variety of benefits with insulation. Over time, HVAC systems become dirty and clogged from particles in the air, and this causes the entire system to work hard to heat or cool a space. With increased insulation, less heat, or cool air escapes the building, and thus, the HVAC system does not need to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature. Additionally, when an HVAC system doesn't run as often, heating and cooling costs are reduced. This reduces your environmental impact significantly in one action. In addition to preventing air from moving in or out of a building, insulation also creates a sound barrier. Keep industrial noises inside a building or sounds from vehicles outside of the building to reduce distractions and disturbing nearby neighbors. High-quality insulation can improve the comfort of the people working inside the building as well as outside.

While attic insulation is often touted as a great way to reduce heat loss and gain in a building, it isn't the only project that affects your bottom line. Walls and ceilings are only the most obvious places to look for escaping air. Do not to overlook pipes, HVAC ducts, and electrical outlets as these often run through a building's envelope and allow heating or cooling to escape into unwanted places. Pipes carrying hot water from a boiler will lose heat as the water travels to the faucet. And any duct work has the same consequence when air moves from the furnace to a register or vent. Even electrical outlets allow air to escape into the walls and outside. There is a wide range of insulation products designed specifically for these problem areas.

In addition to deciding where to insulate, it is important to decide what kind of commercial insulation to use. Spray foam is a popular choice to walls and attics due to its higher R-value, but with a high price tag and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), fiberglass may be a more economical choice. While that may not seem like the most sustainable choice, fiberglass insulation can be made of recycled and bio-based materials rather than oil-based products. With this type of insulation, not only can you reduce your energy demands, but you can also reduce the amount of garbage headed to the dump. Therefore, when selecting which type of insulation will meet the needs of your facility, you have not only several options but options that are all environmentally friendly.

Embarking on any construction project can be an expensive endeavor, but the financial payback can make the upfront cost entirely worthwhile. Attic insulation can save as much as 25% on heating and cooling costs, which explains why this particular insulation project is so popular with building owners. For many people, the environmental impact of a project dwarfs in comparison to the potential financial gain, but it is clear with insulation that both your bottom line and the environment will benefit from additional insulation.
If you are concerned about the environmental impact of your building and want to reduce HVAC costs, adding insulation to attics, walls, pipes, or outlets will achieve these goals. By insulating pipes and air ducts, you can reduce the stress on your furnace, increasing its lifespan and the comfort of employees or tenets. And with noise reduction, you can have an improved relationship with your neighbors. There are many choices today to meet your insulation and budget goals, and the payback for high-quality insulation is equally high.

JJ Sterling
As the co-founder of Urban Splatter and an architecture graduate from Chicago, I thrive on crafting a digital nexus where architectural innovation intersects with boundless digital opportunity. My academic roots in the Windy City's rich architectural tapestry inspire a unique vision for Urban Splatter's journey into the ever-evolving digital frontier of design. Join us as we navigate the exciting confluence of structure, style, and technology.

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