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Redefining Home Insulation for Consumers and the Planet

Greenfiber brings what’s behind the walls to the forefront of sustainable living.

When Tiana and Shannon Harris bought their dated home in Austin, they knew they had to address energy performance issues. “The utility bills were high. The HVAC was old. And, honestly, we didn’t really know where to start,” says Tiana.

The couple, who work in property management and are lifestyle bloggers, partnered with Green Builder Media to turn their inefficient home into a ReVISION House net-zero dream home.

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SANCTUARY by Greenfiber is a cellulose insulation product that creates a thermal blanket around a home, providing an R-value of 3.7 per inch and reducing a home’s heating and cooling costs by up to 25 percent.

The first order of business? Get a handle on how the home was performing. The team immediately set up an energy audit to determine the home’s main energy-efficiency issues. The audit revealed that the insulation in the attic needed to be replaced because it had been displaced by air blowing through roof openings as well as animals. The audit advised the couple to insulate to R-38.

Versatile Insulation

To help increase the energy efficiency, safety, comfort, and sustainability of the home, the ReVISION House Austin team chose SANCTUARY® by Greenfiber® insulation.

SANCTUARY is a cellulose insulation product that creates a thermal blanket around a home, providing an R-value of 3.7 per inch and reducing a home’s heating and cooling costs by up to 25 percent.

Steve Gerber, vice president of Research & Development at Greenfiber, notes that SANCTUARY was designed specifically to fit the needs of builders and contractors. “It’s a higher grade cellulose for a cleaner application that is versatile and easy to use. It is the first all-in-one cellulose product that can be dense-packed or loose-filled and spray-applied,” he says.

ReVISION House Austin Floorplan

The ReVISION Austin House team specified SANCTUARY by Greenfiber insulation in the attic (R-38) to replace aging insulation, which had blown out of place by wind from the vents. In addition, the team is installing the product in select interior walls to provide sound attenuation. The home’s redesigned floor plan, by Chris Cernoch of Studio C² Architecture + Planning, shows the interior placement (yellow lines). “Sound attenuating insulation will be located in the pantry (which also has the dog crates) and the bedroom that Tiana and Shannon plan to use for podcasting,” Cernoch says.

Optimum Safety, Inner Zen

Reducing unwanted indoor and outdoor noise creates a meditative and safe space inside the home. SANCTUARY creates a barrier that is capable of reducing sound power by up to 60 percent.

“We are moving interior walls as part of the redesign of our house. Providing quiet areas in our one-story home for visiting friends and because we often work from home is important,” Tiana says. With this in mind, the ReVISION House team specified SANCTUARY for the attic for energy efficiency and in select interior partition walls in the main living area for sound attenuation.

The insulation boasts a Class 1/A fire rating, making it one of the safest insulation materials on the market. It qualifies it as a fire blocking material and provides a one-hour firewall, giving residents more time to escape in case of an emergency.

According to the manufacturer, the insulation is 57 percent better at resisting fire than typical insulation, and if burned doesn’t release dangerous chemicals and gases like formaldehyde.

Reduced Carbon Output

Greenfiber manufactures its product in an environmentally friendly way. “Our insulation is made with 85 percent post-consumer paper that is specifically treated for fire-resistance and uses low-energy manufacturing,” says Shane Short, CEO of Greenfiber.

The manufacturing process is designed to emit zero waste, other than dust, which is filtered out of the air in the production system. This process is carbon neutral, helping to make consumers feel good about buying a product that is sustainable from the beginning to the end.

“Other insulation materials rely heavily on carbon-intensive processes and raw material, sources like refined oil,” says Alyson Burroughs, VP, Marketing & Business Development. “But our insulation starts as a plant material, is made into paper, and reused as insulation, so it gives builders or homeowners a ‘carbon credit’ when they  install it in their homes.”

Sanctuary Front_Three Quarter-R -web-1Greenfiber has production facilities in every region of the country, which reduces transportation costs for consumers and carbon emissions for the environment. “Last year, Greenfiber diverted 97,000 tons of carbon emissions,” Short says. “That’s the equivalent to 1.2 million tons of waste diverted from landfills.”

ReVISION house Austin is just kicking off. Learn more about this important sustainable retrofit project and follow along as Greenfiber SANCTUARY is installed in the home.