Expert Advice on Green Buildings

Knauf ECOSE Rockwool Insulation: High Performance with Less Environmental Impact

Product Review provided by: Sarah Gudeman, Morrissey Engineering, Inc.
Product Review

The Knauf Group (founded in 1932) is a worldwide corporation dealing with the production of building materials, products and systems including gypsum, thermal and sound insulation, limestone and lime, chalk and cement as well as plant engineering. Knauf Insulation was formed in 1946 and is one of the UK’s leading insulation manufacturers of glass and rock mineral wool as well as extruded polystyrene insulation products.

Rockwool (also known as stonewool) insulation is a natural product formed when steel is spun to provide a fibrous material, applicable for several uses, but most typically implemented as insulation. Rockwool contains no asbestos, formaldehyde or chemical additives. It also is durable and can maintain its initial characteristics and performance for the life of the building. Rockwool is also non-combustible and does not absorb moisture and therefore lacks the ability to support mildew or fungus, so will not become a contributor to poor Indoor Air Quality.

ECOSE® Technology (protected by several global patents) is a proprietary process that converts biological materials into an inert polymer to create an exceptionally strong binder for mineral wool insulation strands. It is a formaldehyde and phenol-free technology based on rapidly renewable materials in lieu of chemicals and offers the same potential benefits to other products where resin-substitution would be an advantage.

Knauf promotes that ECOSE® Technology makes their products more sustainable because it uses up to 70% less energy than traditional binders, the materials to create the binder are rapidly-renewable and bio-based, the lack of chemicals, formaldehyde and phenol in the manufacturing process reduces emissions at the manufacturing plant and improves indoor air quality of the installed product. Finally, no artificial colors or dyes are added to the product. By eliminating petroleum-based binder ingredients, ECOSE® Technology also reduces the carbon footprint of production.

Therefore Knauf’s Rockwool insulation with ECOSE technology delivers all the typical benefits of mineral wool products (fire resistance, enhanced acoustical performance, a high level of recycled content with improved durability) with no artificial colors or dyes, improved IAQ, reduced environmental impact through a decreased carbon footprint and it’s cost competitive with traditional mineral wool insulation.