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Why closed cell spray foam is a smart option for continuous insulation

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Closed cell spray foam is a smart option for use in continuous insulation applications

Properly used and installed, all insulation will help reduce the use of energy for heating and cooling in buildings, which will help with sustainable and efficient building performance. When comparing spray foam and board insulation however, there are several notable differences.

  • First, spray foam can more completely and fully insulate and seal a building without joints, gaps, or other interruptions in the continuous insulation. The fact that it adheres to surfaces helps ensure thermal performance.
     
  • Second, there is normally no waste associated with spray foam compared to board insulation since only the amount of material needed is used. Rigid XPS boards often need to be cut to fit producing scraps and waste.
     
  • Third, since spray foam is delivered in liquid form, a tractor trailer load of it can hold a significantly greater amount of board feet of insulation than a truck load of rigid foam insulation boards.
     
  • Fourth, the process for producing spray foam insulation compared to board insulation is different not only in the base material used but also in the type of blowing agents used. Those blowing agents have been independently rated and range widely in terms of Global Warming Potential (GWP). Icynene ProSeal Eco with 100 percent water blown technology offers the lowest rated GWP of 1.  By contrast, XPS chemical blowing agents carry a dramatically higher GWP of over 1,000. It is easy to see which one is more environmentally appropriate based on those numbers.

Icynene’s story got even better when the company introduced ProSeal Eco, an environmentally responsible 100% water blown closed-cell spray foam.

“The environmental advantage of Icynene ProSeal Eco pulls heartstrings of specifiers because you don’t have to worry about environmental issues like global warming or about spraying at lower temperatures like 5°F,” says Duffy.

“Plus the product offers more flexibility in diverse weather. The R value of ProSeal Eco is comparable to extruded polystyrene foam, but not as high as ProSeal. When you consider there is no compromise to going to a spray foam product, the question becomes: Why would anyone use XPS? It’s a good question; they should go ask the growing number of people using spray foam.”

Subscribe to Icynene’s Building Genius blog to catch the next post in this series with Green Builder magazine. Download the free eBook.

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