BRE Green Guide
Expanded Polystyrene – the leading insulation material for construction industry applications – has scored the highest A+ summary rating in every one of four different densities tested in the latest and most rigorous BRE Global Green Guide to Specification. This is supported by at least eight ‘straight As’ in each of the separate impact ratings for each EPS density.
BRE is the UK’s foremost authority on sustainable construction and the BRE Green Guide is the most authoritative source of environmental credentials for materials used throughout the industry. It categorises materials according to their type and application – in this case, EPS for insulation – and analyses them according to their environmental performance across thirteen demanding impact assessments. These range from climate change impact to stratospheric ozone depletion, ecotoxicity and fossil fuel depletion.
The results for EPS show that, in every density measured, EPS had a summary result of A+ – the highest BRE rating meaning the lowest environmental impact. In fact, when measured across all impact assessments, EPS scored As, A+ or Bs in no less than ten of the thirteen environmental matrices.
“These results are testament to the outstanding environmental credentials of EPS when used in construction,” said Philip Cheshire, Chairman of the British Plastic Federation’s EPS Construction Group. “BRE is internationally recognised as the authoritative voice in such matters and their Green Guide is the bible for any architect or construction specifier who wishes to demonstrate that their selection of building materials minimises environmental impacts. In fact, EPS pays back far more than its minimal production impacts through savings in energy as the top insulation material in so many modern construction projects.”
EPS benefits from exceptional light weight, high impact resistance and high thermal and acoustic barrier properties. It is made in the UK using clean technologies which enable producers to claim a zero ODP (Ozone Depleting Potential) as well as zero GWP (Global Warming Potential).
EPS is also uniquely recyclable at any stage of its life cycle and can easily be converted into long-life applications including wood substitutes. It is also non-toxic in manufacture, normal usage and disposal – scoring A+ on eco-toxicity and human toxicity. It also offers exceptional economy at a time when construction and civil engineering projects are under severe budget scrutiny.
“We are delighted that the BRE Global Green Guide has recognised the credentials of EPS which have meant it has long been the preferred choice for architects and specifiers. We are entering a difficult time for the construction sector and it is important that those selecting EPS can rest assured they are making the right decision for the economy as well as for the environment,” concluded Philip Cheshire.
- Environment facts
- Recycling post-packaging EPS
- Recycling post-construction EPS
- Environmental performance
- BRE Green Guide
- Seafish: Alternative disposal of polystyrene fish boxes (pdf)
- Practicalities, Managing Waste & Energy Recovery
- Recycling Machinery Suppliers
- Links to companies that sell recycled plastic products
More on EPS and the environment