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Title: A Protocol for Lifetime Energy and Environmental Impact Assessment of Building Insulation Materials

This article describes a proposed protocol that is intended to provide a comprehensive list of factors to be considered in evaluating the direct and indirect environmental impacts of building insulation materials, as well as detailed descriptions of standardized calculation methodologies to determine those impacts. The energy and environmental impacts of insulation materials can generally be divided into two categories: (1) direct impact due to the embodied energy of the insulation materials and other factors, and (2) indirect or environmental impacts avoided as a result of reduced building energy use due to addition of insulation. Standards and product category rules exist that provide guidelines about the life cycle assessment (LCA) of materials, including building insulation products. However, critical reviews have suggested that these standards fail to provide complete guidance to LCA studies and suffer from ambiguities regarding the determination of the environmental impacts of building insulation and other products. The focus of the assessment protocol described here is to identify all factors that contribute to the total energy and environmental impacts of different insulation products and, more importantly, provide standardized determination methods that will allow comparison of different insulation material types. Further, the intent is not to replace current LCA standardsmore » but to provide a well-defined, easy-to-use comparison method for insulation materials using existing LCA guidelines.« less
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  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 46C; Journal Issue: 10.1016/
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
EE USDOE - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE)
Country of Publication:
United States
life cycle assessment (LCA); environmental impact; building insulation materials; energy; buildings.