December 2008


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Tim Yandow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Thu, 11 Dec 2008 20:10:19 -0500
text/plain (75 lines)
I agree with Richard that using petro based insulation is a better choice
than burning it. Although I am a big proponent of cellulose and use it
almost exclusively in the homes I build, there are instances where foam is
very useful, such as in attic trusses where you may only have 6-8 inches
of truss rafter to place insulation in a finished attic space and can't
afford to loose the headroom. I think it is important to stay open minded
about insulation materials and their appropriate applications as we are
still in the petroleum age and working towards figuring out how to rid
ourselves of petroleum based building materials.

Tim Yandow

> In my book, using petrochemicals for high-performance
> insulation/air-sealing is a much better use of oil than is burning it to
> stay warm.
> Richard Faesy
> Vermont Energy Investment Corp.
> 14 School Street
> Bristol, Vermont 05443
> P: 802-453-5100 x19
> F: 802-453-5001
> C: 802-355-9153
> From: VGBN Discussion [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Suzy
> Hodgson
> Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 1:03 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [VGBNTALK] not natural building products?
> cellulose insulation made with recycled paper is a good green option with
> performance - high R value and low ghg emissions
> On 11 Dec 2008, at 12:55, Robert Riversong wrote:
> Icynene vs straw is a good example of the difficulty in making appropriate
> choices of "green" materials.
> While I don't think that spray foams should be used in new construction,
> stuffing straw into existing walls for a retrofit/upgrade is not a
> sensible option and with a limited wall cavity Icynene may be the best
> alternative for renovation. Even for new construction, straw bales - with
> their low R-value per inch (1.45, about the same as lumber) may not be
> the best choice.
> Besides having no global warming or ozone-depleting installation
> by-products, Icynene has only a little more embodied energy per cubic foot
> than fiberglass (not that I would recommend fiberglass for anything),
> typically less installed embodied energy (since framing bays are not
> generally completely filled) and better efficiency payback.
> Best use of remaining fossil energy and petrochemicals? Not so simple to
> discern.
> --- On Thu, 12/11/08, Michelle Smith Mullarkey
> <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> Point taken. I admittedly was thinking of products like Icynene vs.
> straw, but it seems fossil fuels really are part of our entire world.
> On 12/10/2008 6:21 PM, Robert Riversong wrote:
> --- On Wed, 12/10/08, Michelle Smith Mullarkey
> <[log in to unmask]><mailto:[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Fossil fuel is still used to manufacture and transport the majority of
> green building products (not natural building products such as straw
> bales)...
> I'm afraid that fossil fuels are used for the production of most straw and
> since some of it is coming from Canada, there's also transportation costs.
> "Natural" building materials are not necessarily immune from the
> environmental costs of other materials.