Material Collection

Insulation

Insulation has been a much analyzed and observed material category in the green building movement. As we learn more about toxicity and hazards, how do we balance the demand for high performance with potential human health impacts? The products in this collection look to holistically address health and sustainability, considering thermal performance and renewable and recycled resources, and avoiding commonly added toxic chemicals such as halogenated flame retardants.

Insulation

13 products
How to Use This List

About Our Collections

The goal of our collections is to help promote transparency in the material ingredients of building products by fostering knowledge and awareness of products and materials for which life-cycle information is available, and that have environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts.

Keep an eye out for the following symbols:
A Healthier Affordable Building Product

Products with the designation of "Healthier & Affordable" were specified and installed in at least one of our Case Studies of healthier affordable housing.

Available at the Donghia healthier Materials Library

The Donghia healthier Materials Library library is open to Parsons student and faculty. Learn more about access and opening hours here.

New Product

This product has been added to the collection within the past six months.

Ingredient Disclosures

There are several ways of evaluating a material’s health that we include with product information. Disclosures are reports by manufacturers about product ingredients, impacts, or other attributes.

Key Disclosures include:
Health Product Declaration (HPD)

A voluntary technical specification for reporting information on product contents and associated health information, intended to be the health-analogue to Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

Declare Label

Declare is a transparency platform and product database that answers three questions: 
  1. Where does a product come from?
  2. What is it made of?
  3. Where does it go at the end of its life?

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

A standardized format for communicating the environmental effects associated with a product’s raw materials extraction, energy use, chemical makeup, waste generation, and emissions to air, soil, and water.

Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

A reporting format that provides basic information about a material’s chemical ingredients, the potential safety hazards to installers, and recommended practices for installation.

Other
Learn More
Category Sub-category Manufacturer Product Ingredient Disclosures

EcoBatt

EcoBatt Insulation is free of formaldehyde, acrylics, and artificial colors. This insulation combines sand, post-consumer recycled bottle glass, and Knauf’s ECOSE Technology. This product is Declare Red List Free. It has also achieved a Greenguard Gold Certification, which ensures that it meets strict standards for VOC emissions.


Category
Insulation, Fiberglass
Manufacturer
Knauf Insulation
Product Website

Material composition *

Glass Fibers from recycled glass bottles 48%, Sand 13%, Borax 7%, Soda Ash 4%, Quicklime 3%, Manganese Dioxide <1%, Sugars 4%, Ammonia <1%, Ammonium Sulfate <1%, Silane <1%, Kraft/Asphalt Facing 19%

*As reported by manufacturer and product EPD

AVAILABLE SIZING

Available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses for wood and metal framing

COLORS

Taupe

Jet Stream Ultra

A Healthier Affordable Building Product
Available At the Donghia Materials Library

Knauf Insulation Jet Stream ULTRA is an unbonded, fibrous glass blowing insulation that is designed to be used in attics or with the BIBS system (Blown-in-Blanket System). This product is Declare Red List Free, and meets the strict VOC emission standards for the Greenguard Gold Certification. Additionally, it is made with over 60% post-consumer recycled content.


Category
Insulation, Fiberglass
Manufacturer
Knauf Insulation
Product Website

Material composition *

Post Consumer Cullet 62%, Sand 18%, Borax 10%, Soda Ash 5%, Quicklime 4%, Manganese Dioxide <1%, Anti-static Agent <1%, Lubricating Oil <1%, Polysiloxane <1%

*As reported by manufacturer and product EPD

AVAILABLE SIZING

32 lb Package

COLORS

White

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
Declare | Red List Free
GREENGUARD | Gold
Last Updated

September 21, 2016

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

UltraTouch

UltraTouch Denim Insulation is an alternative to traditional fiberglass batt insulation that is free of VOCs and other chemical irritants. This product contains 80% post-consumer recycled denim, and provides excellent sound absorption and thermal insulation.


Category
Insulation, Denim
Manufacturer
Bonded Logic
Product Website

Material composition *

Recycled Fiber 80%, Binder Fiber, Ammonium Sulfate, Boric Acid (undisclosed %)

*As reported by manufacturer and product SDS

AVAILABLE SIZING

Available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses for wood and metal framing

COLORS

Blue

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
Last Updated

September 21, 2016

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Polar Barrier Loose Fill

Polar Barrier’s Loose Fill insulation is manufactured using 100% recycled paper. Primarily intended for use in walls and attics, this insulation provides superior sound control, fire protection, and energy savings compared to fiberglass. The production of Polar Barrier Loose Fill also uses up to 10 times less embodied energy than fiberglass does, and its reliance on recycled materials diverts waste from landfills.


Category
Insulation, Cellulose
Manufacturer
Insolution Manufacturing
Product Website

Material composition

Cellulose Insulation, exact material ingredients N/A

AVAILABLE SIZING

30.0 lbs package

COLORS

White

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
Last Updated

September 21, 2016

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Cellulose Fiber Insulation

This product provides a natural insulation alternative that optimizes human and environmental health. Greenfiber's cellulose insulation is free from formaldehyde, asbestos, glass fibers, and mineral wool. The product is also made with up to 85% recycled materials from local sources, diverting hundreds of tons of paper from landfills and reducing energy consumption from transporting raw materials.


Category
Insulation, Cellulose
Manufacturer
US Greenfiber LLC
Product Website

Material composition *

Cellulose Fiber <85%, Boric Acid <10%, Ammonium Sulfate <11%, Distillate Mineral Oil <2%

*As reported by manufacturer and product SDS

AVAILABLE SIZING

19.05 lb Package

COLORS

Off-White

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
Declare | Red List Free
Last Updated

September 21, 2016

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Safe'n'Sound

A Healthier Affordable Building Product

Safe’n’Sound is a batt insulation made from mineral wool that provides excellent acoustic dampening and is non-combustible. It is especially well suited to use in interior walls and ceilings between walls. Safe’n’Sound is Greenguard Gold Certified, meaning it meets strict requirements for VOC and formaldehyde emissions.

*NOTE: This product contains phenol formaldehyde. According to the manufacturer:
"Phenol formaldehyde is allowed in rigid mineral wool insulation for exterior applications (such as rain screen assemblies or foundation insulation). While rigid mineral wool insulation does contain some formaldehyde, most of the formaldehyde is eliminated in the production process through a chemical reaction and high heat. Rigid mineral wool insulation installed on the exterior of the building possess less risk to humans and ecosystem than rigid foam insulation products, which almost always contain HFRs and use blowing agents with high global warming potential."


Category
Insulation, Mineral Fiber
Manufacturer
Roxul
Product Website

Material composition *

Mineral Fiber 94-99%, Cured Urea Extended Phenolic Formaldehyde Binder 1-6%

*As reported by manufacturer and product SDS

AVAILABLE SIZING

Available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses for wood and metal framing

COLORS

Taupe

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
GREENGUARD | Gold
Last Updated

September 21, 2016

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Thermacork Standard Insulation

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

Thermacork is a 100% natural, renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable rigid-insulation material produced from natural cork. Cork forests benefit the environment, acting as habitats for a diverse range of species as well providing a carbon sink that captures CO2 and greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere.


Category
Insulation, Cork
Manufacturer
Amorim Isolamentos
Product Website

Material composition *

100% cork (suberin, lignin and cellulose).

*As reported by manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

8"x 39” Panel - Available in a variety of thicknesses

COLORS

Burnt Cork

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
Declare | Red List Free
FSC Certification
Last Updated

September 21, 2016

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Seaweed Insulation

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

Seaweed insulation provides an organic alternative to materials such as mineral wool. Seaweed mats are formed using heat and high-pressure compression. It allows for a long lifetime and for repeated recycling, either reused as insulation or transformed into 2D or 3D designs. Advance Nonwoven's Seaweed Insulation is Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified. Their standard product contains no added flame retardants or antimicrobials. However, because these additives are available upon request, it is best to emphasize a desire for no added treatments when ordering the material.


Category
Insulation, Seaweed
Manufacturer
Advance Nonwoven
Product Website

Material composition

90% seaweed, 10% recycled fiber

AVAILABLE SIZING

Thickness 10-250 mm, width 1200 mm max, length is unlimited

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other
Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard
Last Updated

March 13, 2018

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Sheep Wool Insulation

Black Mountain's sheep wool insulation provides an excellent alternative to manmade batt insulation products. The product is designed for use in loft, rafter, internal wall, and inter-floor applications. Because it is a natural material, this wool insulation is completely biodegradable and requires 85% less embodied energy to produce than manmade products. Additionally, wool actively improves indoor air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and toxic gasses such as formaldehyde and is naturally flame retardant.


Category
Insulation, Wool
Manufacturer
Black Mountain
Product Website

Material composition *

Sheep Wool 98%, Thorlan IW 1%, Polyproylen-mesh 1%

*As reported by manufacturer and product SDS

AVAILABLE SIZING

14.5" and 22.5" wide rolls, available in 3.5" and 5.25" thicknesses

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
Last Updated

June 05, 2019

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Wool Batt Insulation

Sheep's wool provides a healthy and comfortable choice for insulation. Wool is naturally flame resistant. Additionally, wool's unique structure (a hydrophobic exterior and hydrophilic interior) allow it to absorb up to 35% of its weight in moisture from a room. When used as insulation, this gives wool the unique capacity to manage both humidity and temperature. Batt insulation requires the material to hold its shape. Traditional batts are held together with chemical additives. Havelock Wool's uses needle punching to hold their product together, avoiding toxic chemicals.

*Note: The current HPD has recently expired (4/2019), new HPD pending per manufacturer


Category
Insulation, Wool
Manufacturer
Havelock Wool
Product Website

Material composition *

Wool, Boric Acid

*As reported by manufacturer and product HPD

AVAILABLE SIZING

15.5" wide rolls, available in 2", 3", and 5.5" thicknesses

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other
Last Updated

February 27, 2018

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Hempcrete Block

IsoHemp’s hempcrete blocks are a non-load-bearing masonry product. These natural, healthy blocks are designed to be used for insulating envelopes, partition walls, and counter-partitions. Made only from hemp and lime, hempcrete’s ability to diffuse accumulated heat makes it a fantastic thermal regulator. This product also regulates humidity due to its permeability and is naturally very fire-resistant, making toxic flame retardants obsolete. Not only are IsoHemp hempcrete blocks good for human health, they also have a positive environmental impact. Their manufacture requires very little energy, and they act as a carbon sink, actively absorbing CO2 from the air.


Category
Masonry, Hempcrete
Manufacturer
IsoHemp
Product Website

Material composition *

Hemp (particle size of 2 to 20 mm) 80%, Hydraulic Lime 11%, Air Lime 9%

*As reported by manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

30 cm x 60 cm, available in 6, 9, 12, 15, 20, and 30 cm thicknesses

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Last Updated

July 17, 2019

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Hempcrete Blocks

Just Bio Fiber's hempcrete blocks are a breathable, durable, non-toxic alternative to typical structural wall assemblies. Made primarily from hemp and lime, these blocks are Declare Red List Free as well as naturally fire resistant. Wall systems built with these blocks regulate temperature and humidity while retaining heat. They also do not require a vapor barrier and are resistant to mold, insects, rodents, and mildew.


Category
Masonry, Hempcrete
Manufacturer
Just Bio Fiber
Product Website

Material composition *

Hemp Hurd 30-50%, Calcium Hydroxide 20-40%, Calcium Carbonate 10-30%, Calcium Magnesium Tetrahydroxide 10-30%, Kaolin 1-10%, Fibrous Glass 1-10%, Silica Sand 1%, Styrene 1%

*As reported by manufacturer and product Declare label

AVAILABLE SIZING

21.3" x 10.7" x 8"

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other
Declare | Red List Free
Last Updated

March 01, 2019

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Tradical Hemcrete

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

Tradical® Hemcrete® is a highly sustainable hemp-lime product line designed to create insulating walls in new structures or to retrofit existing floors, roofs, and walls with thermally efficient, breathable insulating layers.


Category
Masonry, Hempcrete
Manufacturer
American Lime Technology
Product Website

Material composition *

Hemp, Lime (Calcium Hydroxide), Hydraulic Lime Binder, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Silicates, Silica, Oxides of Magnesium, Aluminum, and Iron

*As reported by manufacturer

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other
Last Updated

April 06, 2018

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Spec Guidance

Looking for batt insulation? Choose unfaced fiberglass or animal wool. Residential fiberglass batt insulation is an affordable and energy efficient option, and the industry has reformulated the product to be free of formaldehyde.

For blown insulation, prefer cellulose or unbonded fiberglass.

Avoid foam. Rigid board insulation products such as EPS, XPS, and polyisocyanurate often contain harmful halogenated flame retardants. Insulations made from polystyrene foam (XPS and EPS) may off-gas styrene, a suspected carcinogen. Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) reacts on site, and is prone to releasing hazardous substances during installation.

Polyurethane products contain asthma causing isocyanates.

For board insulation, specify formaldehyde-free mineral wool boards. Alternatively, consider upgrading to cork. While potentially more expensive, many cork insulations are free of hazardous content. (HomeFree). For sealing applications, choose caulking or sealant tapes.

Prefer mechanical installation methods to adhesives.

Updated July 18, 2019
↑  Glossary