Figures released by Research of Market indicate that the global demand for foam board insulation is increasing. The demand is being led by countries including the US and China where building and construction are most concentrated, and the material is said to be popular due to its low cost and its performance as a high-quality insulating material.
Foam board insulation such as Celotex is produced by layering aluminium foil and using an adhesive between each layer to hold it in place. When a “blowing agent” is added, the adhesive expands and when it is dry the material is cut into boards.
The boards are commonly used in the building and construction industry to line walls and roofs and are supplied by specialist retailers such as Insulation Giant. Retailers are seeing an increase in their Celotex product being used in the home build industry, as property developers bid to make homes that are more environmentally friendly – “green”.
It is now standard practice to build properties that are insulated to the highest of standards as this means they are less expensive to heat. Along with solar panelling and a state-of-the-art heating system, some properties that are super insulated can use so little energy that they are able to sell some back to the national grid – sometimes for a profit.
Such is the fascination for “green building”, that many architects are interpreting the term literally. Reporting for the Telegraph, Tim Richardson comments; “The trend for “green” eco-fantasy buildings is sweeping the world of architecture, with designers now integrating gardens, terraces and all manner of vertical planting in their specifications for office blocks, apartment buildings and even skyscrapers.”
The trend highlights the need for modern architecture to take a more holistic approach when it comes to the environmental issues that affect it and not just to focus on the materials and technology that go to make a building. Vertical gardens are being designed as part of new architectural projects, that often without which, would not have any green space or horticulture due to their densely populated locations.
The tallest building in the world to boast a green, vertical garden is One Central Park in Sydney, Australia and in addition to the garden it features tree balconies.
All this may seem a world away from the more ubiquitous foam board insulation, that has now been around for almost 100 years. Both, however are enjoying increased popularity among architects and the building and construction industry and therefore give us an insight into the homes and offices of the future.