Today’s commercial project teams places high value on the environmental performance of buildings. Therefore, polyiso insulation plays a significant role in energy efficient buildings because polyiso insulation creates the highest R-value per square inch of any commercial insulation product; and remains the material of choice for commercial roof insulation and as a high performance component in energy efficient vertical wall systems.
The overall environmental values of polyiso insulation include more than just the reduction of heating and cooling loads. Polyiso insulation manufacturing is increasingly performed using environmentally responsible manufacturing processes. The most up-to-date facilities are using CFC-free, HCFC-free, and HFC-free foam blowing technology with Zero Ozone Depletion potential and negligible Global Warming Potential.
Because polyiso is lightweight it is also energy efficient to deliver, load on the roof and install. There are significant labor reductions when installing polyiso insulation components on commercial roofs. Polyiso provides a suitable substrate for a roof membrane and in both single membrane and BUR systems for low slope roofs. Polyiso insulations adds longevity to the roof assembly and it reduces condensation. Some polyiso products are also resistant to mold growth.
One of the most impressive statistics regarding polyiso’s long-term thermal performance was documented as part of a study on the material’s reduction of carbon dioxide emissions over time. The study, which was recently referred to in a release by PIMA (Polyiso Insulation Manufacturer’s Association), concluded that polyiso reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 4 million metric tons each year. The study compared this reduction to removing 711,000 autos from the road or equivalent to 407 million gallons of gasoline. Jared Blum, President of PIMA compared these numbers to the energy used annually in 314,000 homes.
The study on polyiso insulation and reported by PIMA provides analysis of polyiso usage from 1987 to 2011. It’s based on numbers derived from estimates of total polyiso shipments from manufacturers, and energy modeling techniques for polyiso applications. The study compared the performance of polyiso insulation materials to typical materials.
The data also considered the various climate regions in the United States and the quantity of polyiso used. The Tegnos Research Study found “the cumulative savings in building heating and cooling energy over a typical twenty-year roof system service life would be in excess of 14,000 trillion BTUs,” stated the PIMA press release announcing the study.
These impressive numbers strengthen an already well-established case for specifying polyiso in commercial roof and vertical wall projects. The opportunities for long-term benefits exceed many performance data available for other materials.