Use-phase benefits of polyurethane and polyisocyanurate insulation essential for evaluating environmental impacts

Atlanta, September 24, 2012 — The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has emerged as an essential tool for evaluating environmental impacts associated with products used in the building and construction industry. The LCA technique involves quantifying and interpreting energy and material resource inputs along with the environmental consequences of outputs throughout a product's life cycle from raw material extraction to end-of-life (cradle to grave).

In conventional LCA studies on durable building products, environmental impediments associated with some aspects, such as required maintenance, are evaluated during the relatively long use-phase portion of the life cycle. This is where thermal insulation performs its function of providing occupant comfort while limiting a building's impact on the environment by conserving operational energy. For that reason, it is critical during the early design and decision-making stage to consider the use-phase benefits of installing insulation or using additional insulation in an assembly or system in order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the life cycle impacts.

This is the topic of a technical presentation titled "Connecting Use-Phase Benefits with Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment," to be presented by Jerry Phelan, Codes and Standard Advocate, Building Energy Performance and LCA Specialist, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. The presentation will be given at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry's 2012 Polyurethane Technical Conference in Atlanta.

According to Phelan, the polyurethane industry is supportive of the use of LCA. "In the building and construction community, designers are increasingly interested in the life cycle profile of the products and assemblies that are being specified," explains Phelan. "The polyurethane industry has grown familiar with the LCA concept, developed a deeper understanding of the impacts of insulation products and is satisfying the demand made by architects, specifiers and other decision makers for this information."

About Bayer MaterialScience LLC:

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,800 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2011 sales of 10.8 billion euros. Bayer MaterialScience's 2011 sales in North America were $2.9 billion. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.


Sean Kelly, Phone: 412-777-5200

For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC's polyurethanes, call 412-777-7454 or visit

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