Despite frequently being a focus of design investigations, sustainability remains difficult to define and hard to achieve. Passive design employs tactics like superinsulation and passive solar orientation to create ultra-low-energy architecture. Atlas Molded Products helps designers and builders implement superinsulation strategies incorporating molded polystyrene rigid insulation that goes beyond prescriptive codes to design structures requiring limited supplemental energy for thermal comfort. With 13 North American manufacturing locations, Atlas Molded Products’ complete line of insulation products provide premium thermal protection top to bottom.
“Superinsulation means wrapping the entire envelope - roofs, walls, foundations, and footings,” says Jim Nugent, Regional Sales Manager for Atlas Molded Products. Beginning with foundations, molded polystyrene geofoam is used to structurally support the slab and encase footings to limit below-grade thermal infiltration and exfiltration. Within vertical walls and cavities, sheets of rigid insulation provide high R-value, continuous insulation, while roofs benefit from both flat and tapered sheets where drainage is an issue. “Molded polystyrene’s superior thermal resistance, incredible strength, low global warming potential, and moisture resistance make it ideal for every side of a high-performance envelope.”
Measured in R-values, Atlas Molded Products [turns part of our name into an article] provide thermal comfort in fully warrantied insulations that range from R-5 to R-20. Able to withstand freeze-thaw cycles in below grade applications, molded polystyrene is both lightweight and strong. Atlas manufactures materials in four compressive strengths from 15 to 60 psi, each backed by an industry-leading warranty. While other types of insulation may claim higher initial R-values than molded polystyrene’s R3.9/inch ratio, third-party testing shows that fluorocarbon off-gassing occurs in other insulations that decreases their effective R-value over time.
The hydrofluorocarbon blowing agents, commonly known as HCFCs, used in Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) insulations are also extremely potent greenhouse gasses, with a very high global warming potential. Conversely, pentane, the blowing agent used in molded polystyrene production has a very low global warming potential and doesn’t leach from the insulating cells post-installation. Molded polystyrene also outperforms XPS in resisting water absorption. While all foam insulations absorb water in wet conditions, both real-world and laboratory conditions prove that molded polystyrene dries faster and retains less water by volume further contributing to a higher retained R-value.
For more information, visit www.atlasmoldedproducts.com.