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Journal of Sustainable Development






This study utilizes a proposed sustainable design process to investigate the functional and environmental metrics associated with an alternative insulation for use in buildings. A prototype exploring the use of evacuated packets of a silica compound substituting for conventional insulation was assessed. Assessment criteria included experimental comparison of heat transfer characteristics, as compared to a control facility. Additionally, a comprehensive environmental life cycle assessment and disassembly analysis was performed. Pilot study results indicate that in the new insulation design applied to the unit, heat flux decreased by an average of 4%, and improved environmental sustainability, resulting in a savings of 1.2 metric tons of CO2e over 20 years per 100 sq. ft. of insulation replaced. Results provide an alternative insulation design for use in construction, and a framework by which to assess the efficiency and environmental performance of sustainable building products.


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