Grey energy required for the manufacture of the most common insulating materials.
Definition of gray energy?
Embodied energy is raw energy (primary) necessary to the life cycle of a product, ie the energy required to extract, transform, distribute the product but also recycle when it reaches the end of life .
embodied energy concept applied to insulation
From a global perspective, the concept of embodied energy is fundamental for insulation.
Indeed; as insulation allows, this is his first role, to save energy, it is essential that the energy he saved during his lifetime, is greater than its embodied energy. If this is not the case, it is better not to use this insulation at all ...
When selecting and installing an insulating material must therefore:
- Choose the type of insulation is best for your situation (bulk rolls, panels ...)
- Follow the installation advice and implementation (humidity is a scourge for mineral wool in rolls, for example).
This service guarantees you a lifetime and maximum efficiency.
So we can define a point of return on investment calculated on gray energy, just as we can calculate a point of financial return. Regarding the latter, it varies between 5 and 15 years insulation chosen above all on the quality difference insulation before / after.
For a more concrete idea of what represents the following numbers, you can use the following equivalence: 1L of oil = 10 kWh.
1) Family of insulating concretes
- Monomur kind 3B Bellenberg: 600 kWh / m3
- Monomur kind Biomur: 740 kWh / m3
- Monomur kind Gelis: 774 kWh / m3
- Pumice block types Cogetherm: 161 kWh / m3
- Cellular concrete 400kg / m3 (common brands: SIPOREX ytong siporex): 400 kWh / m3
2) Wood Family
- Wood light crude, air dried (fir, spruce): 329 kWh / m3
- Light Wood, planed, parboiled (fir, spruce): 610 kWh / m3
- Heavy Wood (beech, oak): 560 kWh / m3
- Solid Wood Panel layers 3: 1636 kWh / m3
3) Synthetic Yarns
- Rockwool 20kg / m3 (rolls) 123 kWh / m3
- Rockwool 70kg / m3: 432 kWh / m3
- Rockwool 110kg / m3: 697 kWh / m3
- Rockwool 140kg / m3: 851 kWh / m3
- Rockwool 160kg / m3: 1006 kWh / m3
- Glass Wool 18kg / m3 (rolls): 242 kWh / m3
- Glass Wool 35kg / m3: 470 kWh / m3
- Glass Wool 60kg / m3: 806 kWh / m3
- Glass Wool 100kg / m3: 1344 kWh / m3
- Bulk Mineral wool: 216 kWh / m3
4) Other synthetic insulation
- Polystyrene foam: 500 kWh / m3
- Extruded Polystyrene (expanded Plates HCFCs) type Styrodur: 795 kWh / m3
- Polyurethane foam 30kg / m3 (molded plates): 974 kWh / m3
5) Natural and ecological insulation
- Wood wool panels 200 kg / m3: 219 kWh / m3
- Wood wool panels 150 kg / m3: 161 kWh / m3
- Wood wool panels 50 kg / m3: 58 kWh / m3
- Hemp wool, linen, cotton: 48 kWh / m3
- Wool sheep and other animal fibers: 56 kWh / m3
- Expanded cork consistent standard EN 13170: 450 kWh / m3
- Straw (Flat boots): 0 kWh / m3
- Straw (boots on vocals): 0 kWh / m3
- Blown cellulose wadding: 50 kWh / m3
- Wadding injected cellulose: 98 kWh / m3
- Cellulose wadding (panels): 152 kWh / m3
- Lime-hemp concrete 270kg / m3 (roof): 54 kWh / m3
- Lime-hemp concrete 450 kg / m3: 90 kWh / m3
- Concrete earth-straw 600kg / m3: 18 kWh / m3
- Natural Ponces: 16 kWh / m3
Disclaimer: This information has been obtained from sources deemed reliable. However, the authors or their organizations are not liable for damage or loss resulting from the use thereof. You are fully responsible for the use of this information
Source for figures: GRECAU