Properties and Environmental Benefits of Cellular Glass

Cellular_foam glass

Q: What are the insulating properties, environmental and health benefits of cellular glass? Cellular glass is an insulation made from natural materials that contains between 40-70% recycled content. The content is commonly obtained from defective windows from car and construction industries. Cellular glass was originally developed during the last century in Moscow, Russia. Production of Cellular Glass Recycled glass is ground and placed in a steel mold. The material undergoes a heating process where it expands to create millions of {Read More}

Straw Bale in Green Building and Construction

Building a straw bale house.

Q: Is straw bale considered a green building material for houses? Does it meet the building code standards? Straw is a renewable & natural material that has many useful applications in basketry, crafts and the production of biomass power. However, one of indigenous and prevalent uses of straw is to build and insulate houses. Straw is commonly mistaken for hay and it is important to make a difference between the two. Straw is the byproduct of cereal grains (barley, oats, {Read More}

Cork Flooring Pros and Cons

Cork oak trunk

Cork is increasingly being embraced as an eco-friendly flooring choice for the kitchen and bathroom. If you are considering cork flooring for your home, you are likely to weigh pros and cons of your decision, particularly when cost, durability and environmental sustainability are at stake. The lifestyle priorities are rapidly changing and the indestructible vinyl is, thankfully, not in any more. Fresh information has become available and now the arguments in favor or sustainable lifestyle have climbed up in the {Read More}

What are R-Values of Building Materials?

Q: What are R-values of building materials? Can R-values be added to get the total R-value? The R-value is an insulating property of a material, also referred to as the thermal resistance. Based on particular materials that manufacturers use, the R-values vary considerably. For R-values individual to your project always check manufacturer literature. R-Values can be added. R-final (or R-total) is calculated as the sum of the single components: R1 + R2 +… + RN = R-Final for example R5 {Read More}

What are R-Values of Polystyrene and Spray Foams?

Q: What are R-values of polystyrene and spray foams? R values of polystyrene usually range from 2.3 to 5.0 per inch and are based on its density. Loose-fill polystyrene (tiny pieces of foam or fiber) has a lower R-value, usually 2.3 per inch.  Foam board polystyrene (strong, firm insulation panels) has a higher R-value. Expanded polystyrene (EPS), for example, has an R-value of 4.0, while extruded polystyrene (XPS) has an R-value of 5.0. R-values per inch of spray foams are {Read More}