Materials obtained from petrochemicals (mainly polystyrene) or from natural sources processed with high-energy consumptions such as glass and rock wools are commonly utilized for the insulation of buildings. From the perspective of sustainable development, it is important to choose easily recyclable, renewable, locally available and environmentally friendly raw materials. Thermal performance of unconventional insulation materials such as pine apple leaves, wheat straw, rice straw, rice husk/hull, coconut fibre, bagasse, date palm fibre, cellulose fibre-forestry waste, corn cob and sheep wool were investigated for this study. In addition, an experiment was conducted to compare the thermal performance of different materials being used at the Eco-Center in Turkey. As a result, it can be said that the thermal conductivity of petroleum by-products (XPS, EPS, polyurethane foam) is slightly lower than that of plant/agricultural waste materials; however, preferring the latter over the former has many hidden advantages that have great long-term impacts.
Part of the book: Insulation Materials in Context of Sustainability