No Fossil Fuels Needed for Newton, Mass. Restoration Project

No Fossil Fuels Needed for Newton, Mass. Restoration Project

Newton, Mass. – The Green Cocoon, Inc. (TGC) was recently awarded an insulation project for a home in Newton, Mass. The original home, built in the early 1900s, is being fully renovated, gutted completely to the studs. Once completed, solar panels will be installed in the home and it will run on 100 percent electricity. Consequently, this house will not use any fossil fuels!

Closed cell spray foam was used on this project, specifically Gaco HFO (hydrofluoroolefin) spray foam. HFO closed cell spray foam is a reformulated version of spray polyurethane foam. But, the reformulated version has only a tiny fraction of the global warming potential of its predecessor.  HFO is a blowing agent and is an essential ingredient in spray foam insulation. It creates the tiny bubbles of trapped gas that slow the movement of heat and make foam such a good insulator with a very high R-value. But the most common blowing agent in spray polyurethane foam today, a hydrofluorocarbon, has a global warming potential (GWP) more than 1,000 times that of carbon dioxide. The newer type of blowing agent has a GWP of 1.[i]

 “We have been using an eco-friendly closed cell spray foam for quite some time,” said Candace Lord, Green Cocoon Vice President. “It reduces excess waste and energy consumption in buildings by up to 50 percent while adding rigidity and strength to the structure. The R-value is over 7 per inch, and it has a greater resistance to the leakage of air and water vapor. It is a perfect vapor barrier in both summer and winter.”

The contract was awarded by Essex Restoration, a residential building and remodeling company in Wilmington, Mass. They have been working with TGC for over two years on restoration and renovation projects.

[i] Green Building Advisor (2017, February 9). Next Generation Spray Foams Trickle into the Market. Retrieved from greenbuildingadvisor.com

Remembering Our First Passive House

We here at the Green Cocoon have a passion for efficiency, not only in our daily operations but also in the projects that we choose to work on. We have been fortunate enough to work on everything from small renovations and existing attics to energy positive, net-zero and our favorite, the Passive House. What is a passive house, you ask? The term passive house (Passivhaus in German) refers to a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, reducing its ecological footprint. A continuous, balanced supply of fresh air ensures unparalleled indoor air quality. Operable windows connect indoors with out. Super-insulated walls hold warmth in the winter and cool in the summer. Special windows and a building envelope consisting of a highly insulated roof and floor slab as well as highly insulated exterior walls keep the desired warmth in the house – or undesirable heat out. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling.

Dan ROy passive house
Currently in the U.S. there are less than 100 certified passive houses in existence, and we have worked on 4 of them. In the fall we will be starting another passive house in Rhode Island. We like to think of ourselves as the “go-to insulation company” for highly energy efficient projects.
To learn more about this project and passive house building in general, click here.