That the insulation of buildings with styrofoam, as polystyrene commonly referred to, is anything but unproblematic, has been criticized by experts for years (see criticisms below). This has now induced the UWG Group to propose in the Committee on Construction and Transport that in the future, urban buildings should no longer be styrofoam-insulated. The explanatory statement states: “The production of styrofoam from fossil petroleum consumes vast amounts of energy. It emits a lot of CO 2 (climate-damaging greenhouse gas). “
Different views on the subject of mold
In addition, the UWG points out that Styrofoam despite fire protection class B in the event of fire releases strong smoke and toxic gases. In addition, it could come through the insulation with Styrofoam to increased mildew. In its report to the committee, the administration explains that in the course of the renovation of City Hall II on Graebestrasse rock wool and, alternatively, polystyrene as insulation were already tendered. The statement that Styrofoam promotes mold growth, however, does not want to leave the city’s building administration in such a position: “In a technically correct installation, the risk of mold formation is always reduced and not increased.
In his practice as a civil engineer, Jürgen Deichsel has, however, according to his own data, often experienced that work was not carried out properly, and after a few years, defects in the insulation were visible: “Styrofoam often does not last longer than 30 years and then has already been revised In addition, the expert criticizes that, according to his observation in the past, the necessary fire bars have not been sufficiently installed in many buildings, in order to prevent the fire from jumping from one floor to the other in the event of a fire, as a presbyter Tiller had to report that there is a condition of the state church, which prohibits the use of polystyrene in church buildings:”Steinwolle was used for the cultivation of the kindergarten in Künsebeck and also with the new building of the device at the Neustädter Straße no polystyrene is used.”
In its draft resolution for the committee meeting on Thursday evening from 17.15 clock in the town hall hall, the administration accepts the request of the UWG and advises to renounce in the future, in principle, the use of polystyrene in urban buildings. Exceptions should be made to the committee on a case-by-case basis. The decision on the application, however, the policy.
- For many years, lobbyists and politicians have been campaigning to keep houses airtight with polystyrene, better known as styrofoam. Meanwhile, the critical voices are multiplying, stating reasons against the use of the insulating material made of petroleum.
- Older insulation boards contain the bromine compound HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane). In the event of a fire, it should prevent the fire from spreading over the entire façade. Already in 2008 it was included in the list of toxic substances and banned worldwide. However, it has only been possible to use insulation materials in Germany since 2015. Despite the ban, plates treated with HBCD were allowed to be sold until August 2017.
- Meanwhile, styrofoam plates treated with HBCD were classified as toxic waste and had to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Because there were massive disposal bottlenecks, the classification of the policy was withdrawn. Since August 2017, styrofoam treated with HBCD has therefore only to be disposed of separately.
Use of biocides
- Styrofoam is also criticized because it often adds chemicals (biocides) to the material to prevent algae and mold on insulated house walls.
- Controversial is the energy balance of Styrofoam. Critics note that she turns negative when her lifetime is 50 years old
The life time of EPS/XPS should be only 30 years while 50 years is given in the Environmental Product Declarations. Also flame retarders are (have to be ) used, which are problematic for disposal. On top of that, biocides are present to avoid mold and algae. All these large problems are NOT present in GLAPOR cellular glass and its life time is a lot larger than 50 years, like every bottle and window can tell you. Indeed, GLAPOR is foamed from bottles and windows.