Consider Specifying Red List Free Polyiso

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There is more and more interest in the ingredients that are in the food we eat. For example, think of how often you’ve been presented with gluten-free food options recently. The same trend is occurring in building products. In the building products industry, Red List Free products are those that are considered free of certain persistent environmental chemicals. Although the merits of the Red List are sometimes debated, chlorinated fire retardants — including those traditionally used in insulation products — are included.

That created a challenge for the R&D team at GAF, and I’m proud to say we have recently introduced polyiso insulation products that are Red List Free and have published Declare labels. We call this new product line EnergyGuard™ NH (non-halogenated) polyiso insulation.

I recently showed a piece of the new product to a builder and he said, “It looks boring.” Well, yes. It is kind of boring. It’s just a sheet of insulation, and it looks (and performs) exactly like our regular EnergyGuard™ insulation. However, it delivers the same or better fire resistance and insulation performance without any Red List ingredients, such as chlorinated fire retardants. That’s actually pretty exciting! I think it’s especially exciting that we’re offering this innovation across both our EnergyGuard™ HD and EnergyGuard™ HD PLUS high compressive strength products as well — with coated glass facers. That’s an innovation the marketplace has been looking for.

The development of EnergyGuard™ NH Polyiso Insulation Board supports the GAF commitment to providing architects, contractors, and building owners with affordable products that help them meet their sustainable and environmental design goals. EnergyGuard™ NH Polyiso Insulation Board has all the inherent properties and performance factors polyiso insulation is known for (including one of the highest insulation values and a UL Class A roofing fire rating), is available with a variety of facers, and does it all without halogenated flame retardants!



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    • Thomas J Taylor, PhD

      Terry – great question. All of the polyiso board manufacturers, including GAF, use pentane as the blowing agent. This has been the case for several decades now. The ozone depletion potential (ODP) of pentane is zero – which is why it is being used. The previous blowing agents were bad actors in terms of ODP, which led to the transition to pentane. I can’t speak about the spray foam market – those materials can use different blowing agents as well as fire retardants.


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