Mineral Wool

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Urban Rustic: Prepping for a Basement Slab

Before the concrete can go down, the basement needs insulation and air-sealing

Posted on Jan 23 2018 by Eric Whetzel

Editor's note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The first blog in his series was called An Introduction to a New Passive House Project; a list of Eric's previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric's blog, Kimchi & Kraut.


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  1. Eric Whetzel

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Mineral Wool Makers Dropping Formaldehyde Binders

Two manufacturers will begin making insulation with ‘no added formaldehyde’ later this year

Posted on May 4 2017 by Scott Gibson

Two manufacturers of mineral wool insulation have announced that they will stop using binders containing formaldehydeChemical found in many building products; most binders used for manufactured wood products are formaldehyde compounds. Reclassified by the United Nations International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2004 as a “known human carcinogen." in at least some of their products, a move aimed at addressing long-standing health concerns and meeting tougher green certification requirements.


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  1. Roxul

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Windwashing in Exterior Mineral Wool

When mineral wool is installed on the exterior side of wall sheathing, is the performance of the insulation affected much by windwashing?

Posted on Jan 6 2017 by Martin Holladay
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Fibrous insulation materials like mineral wool do not stop air flow. Unlike rigid foam (which is a pretty good air barrierBuilding assembly components that work as a system to restrict air flow through the building envelope. Air barriers may or may not act as a vapor barrier. The air barrier can be on the exterior, the interior of the assembly, or both., as long as the seams between panels are taped), mineral wool can only slow down air flow, not stop it.

So what happens when builders install mineral wool insulation on the exterior side of wall sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. ? Is the thermal performance of the mineral wool degraded by wind?


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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: Patrick Walshe

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How to Attach a Thick Layer of Exterior Insulation

A reader worried that extra-long screws will sag over time looks for an inexpensive and practical solution

Posted on May 9 2016 by Scott Gibson

Adding a layer of insulation to the outside of a house, over the wall sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. , makes all kinds of sense from an energy perspective. But the thicker the layer, the more challenging becomes the actual means of attaching it to the building.

In a post in the Q&A forum at Green Building Advisor, Burke Stoller shares some of his concerns, as well as a proposed solution. Stoller is working out the details for a 6-inch-thick layer of Roxul ComfortBoard mineral wool, consisting of two layers of 3-inch-thick panels, each 2 feet by 4 feet.


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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: Burke Stoller
  2. Image #2: James Hardie
  3. Images #3 and #4: Steve Baczek

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If Ants Like Rigid Foam, Should We Stop Using It?

Rigid foam insulation is routinely used in high-performance buildings, but it also seems to attract carpenter ants

Posted on Mar 28 2016 by Scott Gibson

Writing from the Pacific Northwest, Malcolm Taylor dives into a problem experienced by many homeowners and builders: a carpenter ant infestation in rigid foam insulation.

"I am involved with two projects right now that have carpenter ant infestations — and in both cases they are in the foam," Taylor writes in this Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor. "One is particularly difficult to fix as it is a flat roof with tar and gravel above and a wood tongue-and-groove ceiling, making it hard to get at the nests."


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Sub-Slab Mineral Wool

Some builders have begun installing a continuous horizontal layer of mineral wool insulation under concrete slabs

Posted on May 22 2015 by Martin Holladay
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UPDATED on April 5, 2016


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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1 and #2: Michael Hindle
  2. Image #3, #4, and #5: EcoHome
  3. Image #6: Roxul
  4. Image #7: Brennan + Company Architects

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Mineral Wool Insulation Isn’t Like Fiberglass

What you don’t know about mineral wool insulation will make you look stupid

Posted on Apr 8 2014 by Gregory La Vardera

If you are interested in green building, or call yourself a green building expert, then you should know about mineral wool insulation. If you have not seen mineral wool handled and installed, then you need to read this.

If you think that mineral wool batts are similar enough to fiberglass batts that you already know what you need to know about it, then you are a fool. And you still need to read this.


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Image Credits:

  1. Smålandsvillan
  2. RepCon NW
  3. Randek AB

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Better National Distribution for Mineral Wool Batts

After Owens Corning purchased Thermafiber, Menards agrees to distribute Thermafiber UltraBatts

Posted on Nov 7 2013 by Alex Wilson

Back in May of this year I wrote about a new rigid mineral wool insulation product from Roxul and how it can be used in place of foam-plastic insulation materials like polystyrene in certain applications. I've been revising the BuildingGreen Guide to Insulation Products and Practices and dug back into lots of insulation products. There are some new mineral wool developments to report.

Before getting into the details, here’s a little background: Mineral wool, variously referred to as rock wool, slag wool, and stone wool, was one of the first insulation materials to be widely produced commercially — starting back in 1871 in Germany.


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Image Credits:

  1. Thermafiber

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Owens Corning Buys Mineral Wool Manufacturer

By purchasing Thermafiber, Owens Corning has expanded its portfolio of insulation products

Posted on Jun 25 2013 by Scott Gibson

Owens Corning is going into the mineral wool insulation business.

The Toledo, Ohio, company has purchased Thermafiber Inc., a manufacturer of mineral wool insulation for residential, commercial, and industrial markets.

Owens Corning already makes a variety of insulation products, including its familiar pink fiberglass batts, blown-in fiberglass, extruded polystyrene, and duct liner and duct board.

Thermafiber has a single 145,000-sq. ft. plant in Wabash, Indiana, with about 150 employees. Owens Corning would not say how much insulation the plant currently produces.


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Image Credits:

  1. Owens Corning

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Mineral Wool Boardstock Insulation Gains Ground

Roxul ComfortBoard IS has some important environmental and performance advantages over XPS and polyisocyanurate insulation

Posted on May 16 2013 by Alex Wilson

Readers of this Energy Solutions blog may be aware that I’ve been critical of some of our foam-plastic insulation materials. I’ve come down hardest on extruded polystyrene (XPSExtruded polystyrene. Highly insulating, water-resistant rigid foam insulation that is widely used above and below grade, such as on exterior walls and underneath concrete floor slabs. In North America, XPS is made with ozone-depleting HCFC-142b. XPS has higher density and R-value and lower vapor permeability than EPS rigid insulation.), which is made both with a blowing agent that contributes significantly to global warming and with a brominated flame retardant, HBCD, that’s slated for international phaseout as a persistent organic pollutant.


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Image Credits:

  1. Roxul
  2. Residential installation of ComfortBoard IS.

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