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Green insulation in your walls

The Montreal Protocol obliges the insulation industry to eliminate all ozone-depleting substances from their products by 2010. Demilec did not wait until 2010 to take action: it is the first Canadian company to meet the new requirements.

Boisbriand’s company has just launched Airmétic Soya, a sprayed polyurethane insulation composed of soybean oil and recycled plastic that is harmless to the ozone layer. Airmétic Soya is made up of 40% ecological products, such as recycled plastic bottles and soy oil, a renewable resource. The rest of the ingredients remain chemicals and petroleum derivatives, but this is still a substantial improvement over the older generation of polyurethane. This new insulation product meets the requirements of the National Building Code (CNB) and complies with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program, the highest certification in sustainable building.

This greener version has the same qualities as standard polyurethane. Sprayed by professionals on the surfaces to be insulated (wall, ceiling, roof, foundation), this polyurethane swells 30 times its initial volume in five seconds. It acts both as insulation (thermal resistance of R-6 per inch of thickness), air barrier (exceeds 150 times the requirements of the CNB) and as vapor barrier (with an application of more than half a thumb). “Whether green or not, polyurethane is the best solution for insulation, because it has the ability to perfectly seal all surfaces, even the most imperfect,” said Daniel LeBlanc, activity coordinator at VMM Inspections.

However, mineral wool continues to dominate the market, due to its ease of installation and its more affordable cost. “However, the energy efficiency of polyurethane allows owners to save a lot of energy,” says François Lalande, representative at Demilec.

Airmétic Soya costs about 5% more than standard polyurethane, but this difference will diminish. “And despite this slight additional cost, there is already a strong demand for this product due to the craze for green buildings,” says Mr. Lalande.

Concordia University engineering students used Airmétic Soya to build their solar home, which won first prize last fall from the National Association of Home Builders in the Energy Efficiency category at the prestigious Solar Decathlon competition . The goal of this competition, which took place in Washington, was to design a 100% solar house.

Demilec’s headquarters, research center and its Canadian factory are located in Boisbriand.

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