Chemistry creates solutions that help advance energy efficiency in buildings.
Chemistry creates solutions that advance energy efficiency in buildings, helping to make our nation’s energy supplies go further while helping to lower energy costs for businesses and families.
Many building energy-efficiency solutions rely on innovations in chemistry – from high-performance building insulation and vinyl windows that help reduce air leakage, to reflective roof coating and pigments that help keep roofs cooler in hot climates while also reducing the urban heat-island effect.
The benefits to energy efficiency in buildings is vast:
- Energy efficient homes are 32 percent less likely to default on mortgages.
- Energy efficiency homeowners report fewer hospital visits for respiratory issues.
- Energy efficiency is a key tool in fighting climate change – buildings account for roughly 30 percent of all domestic energy use, however roughly 20 percent of that energy is lost or wasted.
Examples of chemistry-enabled energy-efficiency innovations include:
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is widely used to insulate buildings and seal cracks and gaps, making the building more energy-efficient and comfortable. SPF insulation can help resist heat transfer and helps reduce unwanted air infiltration through cracks, seams and joints. Additionally, sealants, windows, doors, siding, flooring, roofing, foundations, decking and piping made with advanced plastics can help improve energy efficiency and reduce waste and CO2 emissions.
UV-blocking window films made from polyester and other plastics can help block heat and glare from the sun, reducing the amount of harmful UV rays that enter through a window while also enabling air conditioning systems to work more efficiently.
Reflective light-colored roofing membranes made of vinyl or thermoplastic olefin blends are key energy saving applications. Just changing roof color from dark to light can be a simple way to slow heat absorption in warm climates, reducing summer air conditioning costs.
Learn more about how plastics can help architects, owner/managers and specifiers meet sustainability goals in new and retrofitted buildings.