29th Mar 2024 -

Insulation has an important role in a structure's energy efficiency and environmental footprint. Isover is an industry leader in developing sustainable insulation solutions that meet the highest standards and minimise environmental impact in the construction industry. 

Its manufacturing uses recycled materials and energy-efficient processes for superior thermal insulation and reduced carbon footprint. This feature examines Isover’s environmentally friendly solutions and the manufacturer’s future sustainability goals. 

What are Isover’s sustainable solutions?

Isover provides a comprehensive range of products to meet the needs of sustainable construction projects. Each solution blends the latest material innovations and manufacturing principles to tackle environmental impact. Below, we outline these product types.

Glass mineral wool insulation

A brand staple, the thermally efficient wool fibres offer excellent insulating performance. This type is highly beneficial for applications like exterior wall insulation, roof and loft insulation and floor insulation. Isover spacesaver and Isover acoustic partition rollprevent air leakage and thermal bridging. Glass wool is resistant to moisture and mould and can maintain its performance for up to 50 years. 

Stone mineral wool insulation

For enhanced fire resistance, Isover's stone mineral wool insulation incorporates materials like basalt and recycled slag. It consists of around 70% natural resources and raw materials. They make superb insulation for fire-rated applications from fire-rated curtain walls to high-temperature industrial insulation. Superior acoustic properties also make the stone wool ideal for sound insulation.

Timber frame insulation batts

The timber frame insulation batts blend recycled timber fibres with water-based binders. These boards are light but strong, with good insulation for walls and façades. They are great for interior design and noise reduction. 

Their excellent vapour permeability prevents moisture issues. As wood is a renewable material, the insulation has a low embodied carbon footprint.

Exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS)

Isover's EIFS offers an excellent sustainable solution for continuous insulated façades. The system's mineral wool insulation offers exceptional thermal resistance. Also, EIFS allow for vapour permeability to prevent moisture issues. 

With water-repellent properties, the continuous insulation and reinforced base coat create a protective exterior envelope. This improves durability and extends the building's service life.

Is Isover insulation recyclable? 

Recyclability is a core factor of Isover's product offering. Its commitment to a circular economy ensures its products have a minimised environmental footprint. Here are the key elements that make Isover insulation highly recyclable. 

1. Mineral wool recyclability

The primary component of Isover insulation is mineral wool made from natural rock materials like recycled slag. You can effectively recycle mineral wool at the end of the insulation's life cycle. When it is time to replace it, you can reuse and recycle old mineral wool insulation to make new insulation. 

2. Closed-loop glass recycling

Isover's glass wool insulation roll and slab contain up to 80% recycled glass cullet. This significantly reduces the need for energy-intensive newer glass manufacturing. Plus, Isover has implemented recycling facilities that enable a closed loop for the glass wool. 

Isover recycles used glass wool insulation to make new insulation, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

3. Recyclable facings and accessories

Isover uses recyclable wool and eco-friendly materials for sustainable insulation products. The company makes its Vario membranes from recyclable polypropylene. Any metal components used, such as pins and tucks, are also fully recyclable materials. 

4. Unparalleled recycled content usage 

Through its recycling initiatives, Isover has achieved a high level of recycled and renewable content usage. You can trace up to 97% of the raw materials back to recycled or renewable sources. This minimises reliance on newer insulating materials and reduces the environmental impact.

5. End-of-life recycling

Recyclability is a core principle that guides Isover's product engineering. They purposefully construct the insulation solutions with recycling in mind for their end-of-life phase. This closed-loop approach ensures that they can recapture and reintegrate the materials into new production cycles.

How to retrofit with Isover insulation

For ageing infrastructure, retrofitting with modern insulation is a powerful solution to elevate environmental performance. Properly executed insulation retrofits breathe new life into buildings, aligning them with sustainability targets. 

Retrofit materials

Isover offers a range of materials suitable for retrofitting to boost material usage and installation efficiency. For example, Isover cavity wall insulation slabs and Isover APR 1200 glass mineral wool roll insulation. They friction-fit between studs, joists, and rafters for a compression-fit installation. This secure fit maximises coverage area with minimal air pockets.

Enhanced masonry insulation

For retrofitting masonry wall assemblies, Isover's semi-rigid insulation board options provide an ideal solution. These boards can be easily dry-fitted into open masonry wall cavities. This improves the insulation values without requiring any structural alterations. The boards also allow moisture transfer and prevent condensation buildup by permeating them.

Proper air sealing

Good sealing stops heat from escaping, making sure your home stays energy efficient. Isover's continuous insulation like mineral wool boards creates an unbroken insulating envelope with no thermal bridging. The use of joint sealing tapes and vapour control membranes enhances the air-tightness of the retrofit insulation. 

Improving performance

Once you finish the retrofit, you can measure improvements to the building's energy value and sustainability. Energy audits and rating assessments compare the current heating and cooling energy demands against pre-retrofit usage levels. Lower bills serve as an indicator of reduced energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. 

Long-term thermal standards

Following proper techniques, existing buildings can bring their sustainability credentials up to modern standards. The upgraded insulation systems deliver durable, long-lasting thermal performance. This provides immediate operating energy use and emissions reductions after the retrofit.

What is the future of Isover sustainability?

Saint-Gobain, the parent company of Isover, has set out its roadmap to boost environmental performance by 2030. Through a focus on key areas, it aims to set higher benchmarks for eco-friendly insulation and operations in the years ahead. 

It aims to drastically reduce the water it uses. Isover plans to cut its water usage by half compared to current levels. In high-water risk areas, the goal is to eliminate all water discharge from operations.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change is another top priority. Isover wants to lower its direct emissions from manufacturing and energy use by 33%. Isover will also work to reduce emissions from other sources like transportation and raw material production by 16%.

Waste management is also key. Isover intends to reduce waste from manufacturing and residues sent to disposal by a massive 80%. Isover will avoid using as many new raw materials as possible, increasing the share of recycled inputs by 30%. The packaging will also improve, becoming 100% recyclable with 30% recycled or plant-based content.

Isover will study the environmental impact of their products, including sourcing materials, manufacturing, and disposal. This data will guide further sustainability efforts across design, sourcing and production. 

Through these comprehensive initiatives, Isover is targeting an ambitious overarching goal. It plans to decrease carbon emissions and achieve a net zero carbon product range by 2050.

Can you buy sustainable Isover insulation today?

Building Materials Nationwide is proud to collaborate with Isover insulation, a renowned leader in sustainable building solutions. Our partnership ensures you lay or install top-quality products from Isover acoustic insulation to Isover timber frame batt. We dedicate ourselves to supporting projects that promote sustainability in construction.

For trade customers, opening a trade account with us unlocks an array of benefits. You will access competitive trade pricing on Isover insulation, seamless transactions and efficient UK delivery options. With a trade account, you receive personalised support from your trade account manager. We ensure all your project requirements are met every time.

Whether you are a contractor or construction manager, partnering with Building Materials Nationwide and opening a trade account allows you to build projects with confidence. Open a trade account today or contact the team with your questions.

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