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Going Green Benefits

Benefits click here to download a PDF

Environmental benefits:

  • Buildings account for over 20% of Australia's GHG emissions
  • Energy consumption in buildings is growing faster than most other areas of use.

  • Insulation is the most cost effective way of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gases emissions in the built environment.
  • Insulating buildings is the most financially attractive of all energy efficiency and renewable energy measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Insulation alone can cut Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by up to 5%.
  • Current insulation production technology is proven and available now installing insulation has an immediate impact on energy demand and GHG emissions.
  • A response to climate change demands well-insulated new and existing buildings.

Economic benefits:

  • Insulation reduces average home heating and cooling costs by around 30%
  • Insulation reduces the burden of increasing energy prices.
  • The cost of installing insulation already pays for itself in around 3-5 years through reduced energy bills, and payback time will improve as energy costs rise.
  • The right insulation is a once-only cost that lasts for the life of the building (typically 50 - 70 years) and requires no further maintenance.
  • Saved energy is the most sustainable energy. Insulated buildings reduce the need for additional power generation capacity by "smoothing out" the peaks in energy demand.
  • Well insulated buildings have reduced need for air-conditioning.
  • Insulation improves property values and has been shown to increase the return on rented and leased properties.
  • Insulation is not expensive. To insulate the ceilings, walls and floors of a typical house costs less than 1% of the construction cost.

Social benefits:

  • People spend a great proportion of their lives in buildings. Insulation provides more than energy efficiency. Thermal and acoustic insulation play important roles in improving the quality of life by providing environments that are more comfortable - this leads to greater productivity at work.
  • Studies show that well insulated buildings provide a healthier environment by controlling temperature and noise levels.
  • By reducing household and business running costs, energy saving from insulation can provide a buffer to other cost of living increases.
  • Insulation protects and improves the quality of life of the elderly and socially disadvantaged.

More Benefits

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Although EPS is derived from a non-renewable resource - oil, it represents less than 0.1% of crude oil usage.

As EPS is highly energy efficient - the energy saved over the lifetime of an insulation panel, for example, in reduced heating demand more than compensates for the oil used in its production. (Typically, for every kg of oil used in panel manufacture, about 200kg will be saved in reduced heating demand over the lifespan of the panel)

Effects on the Atmosphere

Expanded polystyrene as an efficient and effective thermal insulation material can play its part in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and make a very positive contribution to the alleviation of global warming. The consumption of fossil fuels for both domestic and industrial heating is a significant contributor to the global output of carbon dioxide.

It has been estimated that the effective application of EPS insulation could cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 50%. The energy used in the manufacture of EPS is recovered within six months by the energy saved in the buildings in which it is installed. For the remainder of the life of the building, the EPS reduces its energy requirement thereby requiring the combustion of less fossil fuel which results in less CO2 being generated. Furthermore the insulation performance of EPS does not deteriorate during its lifetime therefore the reduction in emissions lasts the full lifetime of a building.

No CFCs or HCFCs foam agents are used in its manufacture, so EPS causes no damage to the ozone layer.

EPS in Landfill

Growing concern over local and national waste disposal problems has focused attention on plastics and their environmental impact. It is a common misconception that many of our waste problems are caused by plastics. In fact, the total amount of plastics in our municipal solid waste is only 7% by weight. Of this, EPS accounts for only a very small fraction - less than 0.1%.

Over 30% by weight of Australian domestic garbage is wasted food. EPS packaging extends the life of landfills by keeping food fresh and at the correct temperature for long, thereby helping reduce food spoilage.

EPS is in fact an ideal material for landfill as it is inert and non-toxic, so the landfill site becomes more stable. EPS aerates the soil, encouraging plant growth on reclaimed sites. EPS does not degrade and will not leach any substances into the ground water, nor will it form methane gas (a major contributor to the depletion of the ozone layer).

EPS products used in the building and construction industry have a very long effective lifespan because of their durability, so disposal of the product is minimised.

Letter to Builders & Plasterers - Click here

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