The terms “green construction” and “sustainable building” are popular buzzwords in the construction industry. However, you may not know exactly what they mean. Green building refers to the structure, or the building practices used to build it, being both environmentally responsible and resource-efficient. Therefore, choosing the best insulation is a crucial part of green building. It is key to reducing a building’s energy usage. For you, this means lower energy bills and overall reduced greenhouse gas effects. Choosing the best insulation, one that is green and sustainable, is tricky. That’s why Sharrett Construction has created a list of pros and cons between the three most common types of insulation. 

Popular Insulation Choices For Green Construction

The three most common types of insulation are spray foam, fiberglass batting, and foil. They may have many similarities yet there are even more differences. 

Foil Insulation

Foil insulation, often known as reflective foil, originated in the 1950s. Surprisingly its domestic popularity skyrocketed when it was used by NASA in astronaut suits. One of the great benefits of foil insulation includes its ability to reflect and block 97 percent of radiant heat. Therefore, outside heat from the sun does not get mixed in with cool air. The reverse is also true when outside temperatures are colder than indoor temperatures.

Pros of Foil Insulation:

  • Strong
  • Can be used with other insulation
  • Resists humidity and moisture
  • Creates a vapor barrier
  • Doesn’t lose effectiveness
  • Easier and faster to install than fiberglass
  • Completely safe
  • Blocks out radon by creating a barrier

Cons of Foil Insulation:

  • More expensive than batting
  • Often needs to be used with other forms of insulation to be effective
  • Can be somewhat awkward to handle
  • Not always available 
  • Requires specialty installation

Fiberglass Insulation / Batting 

Batting, otherwise known as fiberglass insulation, is common in construction projects across the world. Additionally, fiberglass insulation is a green building product made from recycled materials such as limestone and glass. However, fiberglass insulation should not be used in areas of high humidity because it is highly susceptible to mold. Because of this, a vapor barrier must always be used.

Pros of Fiberglass Insulation:

  • It’s cost-effective 
  • Easy to install (with the proper safety equipment)
  • Readily available almost anywhere
  • Perfect for conductive and convection heat
  • Made from recycled materials

Cons of Fiberglass Insulation:

  • Dangerous to lungs and skin
  • Additional vapor barrier required
  • Useless against radiant heat
  • Less effective as it ages
  • Susceptible to humidity and dampness
  • Acts like a sponge, absorbing water
  • Potential for dangerous mold growth

Foam Insulation

Spray Foam Insulation Green Construction

Spray foam is our last form of insulation. This type of insulation expands to nearly 100 times its original size and then hardens to create an airtight seal. Hence, spray foam is the only FEMA approved insulation against flooding. Spray foam insulation is a product that has been available to homeowners since 1986. However, there have been many advancements in the types of spray foam available since its introduction. Including environmentally friendly options that are compatible with green construction and sustainable building practices. Many new construction projects use spray foam because it offers superior energy efficiency benefits.

Pros of Spray Foam Insulation:

  • Great reduction in utility bills
  • Creates an airtight seal
  • Water-Resistant
  • Prevents mold and mildew buildup
  • Long and stable lifespan
  • Eco-friendly varieties
  • Can reinforce your walls and roof and make them stronger
  • Prevent contaminants from getting inside

Cons of Spray Foam Insulation:

  • Can leave small gaps in coverage if not installed properly
  • Can shrink when installing in areas with extreme temperature differences
  • Requires professional installation
  • Requires more investment upfront
  • Takes time to cure

Sharrett Construction Is Committed To Green Construction and Sustainable Practices

At Sharrett Construction we know energy-efficiency is important to home and business owners. To achieve maximum energy savings, we often recommend spray foam insulation. This is because of it’s eco-friendliness, effectiveness, and durability. Making it the best insulation overall for your Florida home or business. Accordingly, we have properly trained professionals to handle all of your spray foam installation needs. To learn more about spray foam insulation or our overall commitment to using sustainable practices in our projects, call Sharrett Construction at (863) 840-9781. Or schedule a consultation with us online.

Fully licensed and insured, Sharrett Construction is proud to serve the construction needs of clients in the central Florida area. This includes Lakeland, Tampa, Hyde Park, Davis Island, Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Kissimmee and more.