Insulation is one of the most important components of any environmentally responsible building because it reduces energy consumption and the pollution that usually results. In this sense, any insulation material is a “green” product.
Good design and appropriate levels of insulation can minimize, or even eliminate, the need for central heating and cooling in many buildings. Insulation is a key part of the building envelope and an important element in the entire building as an integrated system. Choosing an insulation material should include considering how it works with the rest of the wall, roof, and floor system—and what additional functions, such as air-sealing, the material might serve.
A few guidelines and issues to consider when pairing insulation materials and structural elements for maximum efficiency: