“Green Buildings” is a term frequently used in the building design and construction industry. Unfortunately, there is not a single definition so that all can agree as to what this means. Many organizations define the term—each a little differently—so that its definition has become as varied as the number of buildings claiming to be green.
All definitions seem to agree that “green” or “sustainable” buildings in some way serve to protect the environment so that today’s use of materials do not comprise tomorrow’s ability to exist. XPS insulation boards play an important role to achieving “green” or “sustainable” goals, regardless of how these terms may be defined.
As environmental concerns become a growing dynamic in building design and construction practices, it is important to consider how insulation plays an important role in a building’s “green” design and performance. The concept of environmentally-conscious building design (“green buildings”) has been incorporated into tools that measure environmental performance of buildings and building materials.
For instance, tools such as LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), strive to use design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the impact of materials and buildings on the environment and its inhabitants. LEED-certified buildings are rated based on a series of requirements and credits that are used to evaluate the sustainability of buildings in five focused areas:
- Sustainable Sites
- Water Efficiency
- Energy & Atmosphere
- Materials & Resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Innovation and Design Process
For more information on LEED, click here.
Whether using LEED or other available “green” certification tools, such as ASHRAE 189.1, optimizing material selection is a key component in building “green.” XPS is an excellent environmentally-responsible alternative to other types of building insulation because XPS ranks well in most of the key attributes of a ‘green building material,’ including characteristics like recycled and/or recovered content, reusability/recyclability, durability, air quality and most importantly—energy efficiency.
“Green”buildings constructed with XPS insulation products address energy efficiency and moisture management with a single product—reducing the negative effects from thermal bridging and moisture absorption so that the energy-saving R-value is retained over the insulation’s useful life.