If you are considering using green insulation in building or renovating a residential or commercial property – that’s great, not only because it will make the finished building a much more comfortable space to be in, but it will also reduce the energy required to keep the interiors at a comfortable temperature, and it is a better choice for the environment. There are currently several types of eco-friendly insulation to choose from – with extruded polystyrene, or XPS, being one of the most popular.
Daneel Pretorius, Category Manager for Swartland’s Summit range, elaborates: “XPS is a wonderful environmentally-friendly insulation solution – it is energy-efficient, easy to install and lightweight, which is why we are so excited to introduce the new Summit XPS Insulation Board to the market. It is affordable, 100% locally-made and manufactured in the Swartland factory, following strict global warming potential protocol to ensure a zero ozone depletion potential rating.”
What is Summit XPS Insulation Board?
“Essentially, XPS is extruded polystyrene foam board designed to create a single layer of thermal and moisture protection on a building’s walls, roof or floor, thereby greatly contributing to its overall energy efficiency,” explains Daneel. He says that XPS begins as solid granules of polystyrene resin, which are fed into an extruder where they are melted and mixed with additives to form a viscous fluid.
From there, a blowing agent is injected into the viscous liquid to enable expansion. Then under carefully controlled heat and pressure conditions, the mixture is forced through a die into a mould. Once hardened, the board is trimmed to various lengths and thicknesses to suit a wide gamut of commercial, agricultural and industrial thermal insulation applications. “This continuous process results in a closed-cell structure, which imparts excellent long-term strength and durability to the XPS boards,” says Daneel.
The many benefits of XPS Insulation Board
There are so many benefits to this amazing building material – some of which include:
Environmentally-friendly: Summit XPS Insulation Board is a very green material as it not only makes buildings more energy-efficient, but its manufacture does not result in harmful wastes or by-products. The gasses used in the manufacturing process have zero ozone depletion potential, with no significant contribution to increasing greenhouse gasses. It is also 100% recyclable, and its exceptionally long lifespan reduces its overall carbon footprint.
Versatility: XPS can be used for a wide variety of applications, including as nail-up ceiling and insulation, also as ceilinged insulation between trusses for an exposed truss look, over-rafter insulation, over-purlin insulation, cavity/perimeter wall insulation and under-floor (surface bed) insulation. To maximise its versatility, Summit XPS Insulation Board is available in thicknesses of 30mm, 40mm and 50mm, with special orders of 60mm to 100mm also available. As far as lengths are concerned, it is available in lengths of between 1,8m up to 8m, and you can choose between a faux Pine and smooth finish.
No leaks and easy installation: Summit XPS Insulation Board comes standard with tongue-and-groove edging, which makes for exceptionally easy installation. It also provides a tight, energy-efficient seal, stopping air leaks and gaps, and preventing any hot or cold air from escaping.
Lower heating and cooling costs: The main driver behind insulation is to reduce the cost of keeping a building’s interior cool in summer and warm in winter. A well-insulated building will be easier to cool or heat, as it will keep more of the cool or hot air indoors, preventing it from escaping. Summit XPS Insulation Board is an incredibly efficient thermal insulator, making it an excellent insulation material and reducing the amount of energy required to keep a building’s interior at a comfortable temperature. Remember – the thicker the XPS, the more insulation it offers.
Endurance: The insulative qualities of various insulation materials often degrade over time – resulting in slowly rising utility bills. However, this is not the case with Summit XPS Insulation Board – its closed-cell structure makes it really strong, ensuring an exceptionally long lifespan when compared to other traditional materials. Not only does this negate the issue of rising heating and cooling costs, but it also saves money as you won’t need to replace your insulation as often, and it lowers its cradle-to-grave carbon footprint, making it a wonderfully green building material.
No mildew: Mould and mildew can be very detrimental to the health of both people and pets, and it can contribute to possible damage to the structural integrity of a building. Summit XPS Insulation Board does not absorb moisture, and as such, it does not present a favourable environment for mildew or mould to grow. In fact, it serves as a barrier against moisture – helping to prevent this from ever becoming a problem.
No flame-spread hazard: Summit XPS Insulation Board will be classified as B/B1/2/H&V in terms of SANS 428, which means that although it is combustible, it poses no flame-spread hazard. Exposed to fire, it will shrink away from the heat source, creating no flaming droplets or flame-spread.