December 2008


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Ben Graham <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
VGBN Discussion <[log in to unmask]>, Ben Graham <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 11 Dec 2008 20:27:14 -0500
text/plain (95 lines)
Did anyone catch the article in the Rutland Herald about this inventor in
southern vt that is working on a real insulation product from mushrooms?
Maybe a couple of months ago.


On 12/11/08 8:10 PM, "Tim Yandow" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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.

Those who give up freedom for safety, deserve neither.
Benjamin Franklin

Ben Graham
Natural building/design services/workshops/consulting

Integrating Culture and Nature