When it comes to building sustainable homes that can meet passive house certifications, choosing the right insulation is crucial and there are so many different insulation materials on the market these days that the choices can be overwhelming. At Lamelli, we have carefully reviewed every component that goes into our prefab homes and selected only the best materials and technologies. In this blog post you will learn why Lamelli has chosen polyurethane foam insulation and how it can benefit you.
What Is Polyurethane Foam?
The first polyurethane foams were created in 1947 and first used in construction in Canada in the 1950’s once it became apparent that the foam worked well as a self-contained insulator. The foam expands to fill any gap, even the smallest gap, to ensure perfect insulation in all directions.
When it comes to insulation there are two ways polyurethane is used- as rigid foam panels or as open-cell spray foam, also known as soft foam. Lamelli uses rigid closed-cell foam panels for use in prefabricated homes as it is a high performance material that can easily be installed as part of modular construction.
One cubic inch of our polyurethane foam contains millions of tiny plastic closed cells filled with a non-ozone depleting blowing agent. This blowing agent is captured within the cells, contributing to it’s insulating efficiency. These closed-cells create an excellent air barrier with superior resistance to water.
Benefits of Polyurethane Foam
- High performance insulation that offers optimal, life-long insulation with no drawbacks, maintenance or repairs.
- Air tightness
- Moisture barrier
- Structural stabilization
- Fire ratings
- Noise reduction
- Energy savings and reduced heating costs
- Is cost-effective and easy to install
- Enhances property value and quality of life
Building With Highly Insulated Polyurethane Foam Panels
The use of polyurethane foam eliminates thermal bridges, complex joints and substructures. The foam is also dense and extremely efficient, making it easy to keep structures light and sleek. 1.6 cm of rigid polyurethane foam has the same insulation efficiency as a 1.34 m thick concrete wall.
This makes it the ideal choice for our hyper insulated wall panels. Our insulated panels can be used to form the exterior of your home and in the roof to achieve R values of 40-60, perfect for the harsh winters found throughout Canada and parts of the United States.
Insulated panels are a long-term investment. Polyurethane foam provides insulation for decades and preserves the structure of your home and does not allow for water penetration, walls dampness and the formation of mold and fungi. It will function for as long as the building stands and has a useful life beyond 50 years.
Polyurethane Foam & Sustainability
Although polyurethanes are made from oil, a non-renewable resource, they actually conserve many resources. When used to insulate a building, polyurethane saves 70 times more energy throughout its life cycle than what was needed to manufacture it, meaning their lifetime energy balance is positive.
One of the most effective means of radically reducing carbon dioxide emissions is improving energy efficiency and buildings are the biggest source of CO2 emissions, accounting for more than 40 percent of global energy use and one third of greenhouse gas emissions. Thermally insulating the envelope of a building is paramount to optimizing a building’s energy performance. Polyurethane foam provides superior insulation because of its low thermal conductivity. Polyurethanes help preserve natural resources through improvements in energy efficiency, waste management, resource efficiency and environmental footprints.
Recycling Polyurethane Foam
Polyurethane can be recycled so long as the material is pure polyurethane and not mixed with other plastics, which is the case inside of Lamelli’s hyper insulated panels. Where polyurethane materials cannot be recycled, they may be recovered. Polyurethane contains as much energy as coal, making it viable feedstock for municipal incinerators that use the energy to generate heat.
Want a home that stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter? Build a modular prefab home that is suitable for any climate that you can enjoy year round without incurring high energy costs, thanks to technologies like our closed-cell polyurethane foam. Browse through our website and contact us today to learn more about Lamelli’s innovative modular prefab designs.