Stafford, Virginia – A Life Cycle Assessment use phase analysis report commissioned by the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance has highlighted the long-term benefits of insulating with SPF. Although it acknowledges an initial higher impact for SPF compared to fibreglass, there are long term environmental benefits.
The report compared the environmental impacts of the two forms of insulation, looking at the cumulative energy demand and global warming potential for insulated homes in different US climate zones over a 75-year period.
Calculations were made for a typical 233m2 (2512ft2) new home that had been insulated an air-sealed to 2018 IECC standards. Three zones were assessed: hot and humid climate zone 2 in Houston, Texas; mixed climate zone 4 in Richmond, Virginia; and cold climate zone 6 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The homes were insulated using fibreglass as a baseline, and various types of SPF. The insulation environmental impact spent to insulate each building was calculated, and energy modelling performed to estimate the annual energy use of the homes.