DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/62/S27.087

LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF THERMAL INSULATION SOLUTIONS FOR BUILDINGS

M. Barnaure, A. M. Ghita, M. C. Iftode
Tuesday 12 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgem.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-13-3 / ISSN 1314-2704, 29 June - 5 July, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 62, 683-690 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/62/S27.087

ABSTRACT

The thermal insulation of the building envelope is a very important factor for the total energy consumption of buildings. Considering the fact that more than 40% of the global energy use and the corresponding CO2 emissions comes from the building sector, the choice of good thermal insulation products can contribute to large energy savings. The choice of thermal insulation products should not be solely made based on installation and operational costs, but rather on the global environmental impact and energy demand during the entire life span of the product. Because of this, the application of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is necessary. The life cycle of a building thermal insulation includes: raw material extraction, manufacturing of raw materials, distribution of materials, packaging, use and maintenance, disposal and recycling. The thermal insulations are commonly made of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) or Mineral Wool (MW), and, to a less extent, of Polyurethane (PUR) or Agglomerate and Expanded Cork (ICB). Each material has its advantages and relative shortcomings. In this research, LCA is used to compare typical modern solutions of thermal insulation for buildings. A state of the art review of current thermal insulations for buildings is made. For several types of thermal insulations, a comparative assessment is made. Conclusions are drawn related to the global environmental impact of each insulation type.

Keywords: EPS, MW, ICB, carbon footprint, energy