How to Deal with the Rising Cost of Insulation

How to Deal with the Rising Cost of Insulation

How can you deal with rising batt fiberglass insulation prices that threaten the bottom line of your building projects? Fox Blocks insulated concrete forms (ICFs) offer an innovative insulation solution to increasing costs for fiberglass insulation. Cost-stable Fox Blocks, made with expanded polystyrene (EPS), provide a superior insulation product with better indoor environmental quality than batt insulation.

The combination of ongoing shortages and increasing demands has led to higher fiberglass insulation prices. Over the past year, the global pandemic impacted the supply chain between China and North America, causing a shortage of many building products, including fiberglass insulation. A significant problem since most of the world's fiberglass production comes from China. The booming housing market and the increasing demands for insulation to construct energy-efficient buildings have also contributed to insulation shortages and higher prices. Of concern, relief may not come soon. According to Grand View Research, Inc., the global building thermal insulation market size will reach $438.95 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8 percent. The rising demand and cost of insulation challenge contractors to correctly estimate building expenses and stay on budget and schedule.

Why is the Demand for Insulation Increasing?

The increasing demand for insulation stems from today’s families and businesses insisting on energy-efficient homes and buildings, both because of rising energy costs and concerns for the environment. To achieve a high-performing structure, builders must include significant amounts of insulation to the outer walls, floors, and ceiling, along with pipe and duct insulation. Applying insulation to these areas can achieve up to 50 percent energy savings, compared to structures without insulation.

However, in the past few years, several other situations have increased the demand and consequential shortages of insulation:

  • The booming home building market has put a drain on the available insulation.

  • Government policies have increased the demand for insulation. In 1965, building codes in the U.S. only required insulation in the walls of homes. Most recently, the 2021 Residential IECC increased the R-values (over 2018) in insulation in attics, slabs, and continuous insulation for walls.

  • In 2020, the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee increased the money to the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). WAP helps low-income households lower their energy costs by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, improving the lives of more than 7 million families since 1976.

  • COVID has slowed the manufacturing and transportation of insulation, leading to delays, deficiencies, and higher costs during the construction process.

Avoid the High-Cost of Fiberglass Insulation with Fox Block ICFs

Builders can avoid the increasing costs and shortages of batt fiberglass insulation by choosing an alternative insulation method like Fox Blocks insulated concrete forms (ICFs). Fast and easy to install Fox Blocks ICFwall system offers you a cost-stable and available insulation method for constructing your next high-performing, safe, and healthy home and commercial building.

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What is Batt Insulation?

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Batt fiberglass insulation comes in flat pieces, with or without paper or foil facing. Batt fiberglass insulates the walls, ceilings, and attics of a structure and often fits between the framing. Batt insulation, available in different R-values, may require an extra layer or thicker framing to achieve the insulation needed according to the structures’ climate zone.

Batt insulation must be installed properly, tight to the wood frame and not compressed. Thermal bridging at the wood framing dramatically reduces the R-value of the wall or ceiling installation. Any issues with the batt installation also decrease the efficiency.

What are ICFs?

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Fox Block insulated concrete forms (ICFs) include a system of expanded polystyrene (EPS) rigid insulation blocks, separated with plastic webbing, all manufactured in the U.S. and Canada. The ICF blocks come in tightly fitted interlocking sections that form a wall system. Once in place, workers carefully pour concrete into the blocks. You can then attach drywall and siding finishers to the fastener strips embedded in the insulation.

Why Choose Fox Block ICF’s Over Batt Fiberglass Insulation

Fox Blocks ICFs offer a cost-effective method for battling the increasing cost of batt fiberglass insulation for home and commercial building construction.

  • Energy-efficient, high thermal mass Fox Blocks ICFs achieve an R-23 rating for continuous insulation, eliminating thermal bridging and creating an airtight building envelope. Fox Blocks ICF construction meets, if not exceeds, the codes and standards of the 2021 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1.

Batt insulation has an R-value ranging from R-2.9 to R 3.8 per inch of thickness, requiring extra insulation to prevent thermal bridging. Batt can also serve as a bedding material for pests that can damage the fiberglass, leading to uneven airflow and drafty structures.

  • Fox Blocks create homes and buildings with excellent indoor environmental quality:

  • Moisture-resistant ICFs stop the growth of unhealthy mold,

  • ICFs contain little to no VOC.

  • ICFs surpass energy codes for airtightness for better control of Indoor air quality (IAQ)

  • ICFs produce excellent acoustics by lessening sound transfer between the inside and outside of a structure, improving the productivity and comfort of the occupants.

Fiberglass insulation requires a vapor barrier; otherwise, moisture can become trapped, leading to mold and significantly reducing the insulation R-value. Any moisture intrusion will influence the efficiency of the batt insulation. This moisture stays in the batt insulation and ultimately causes the wood framing and OSB to rot. Furthermore, fiberglass insulation traps allergens, dust, and mold (caused by moisture).

  • Along with stable pricing compared to batt insulation, Fox Blocks reduces construction time by combining insulation, attachment, structure, and air and vapor control in one product. A feature that tremendously saves energy, money, and time over applying batt insulation during wood-frame construction.

How ICFs can Help You Deal with the Rising Cost of Insulation

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The interruption in the insulation supply chain due to COVID and the booming home building market has significantly increased fiberglass insulation prices. Fortunately, we have a solution to help you stay on schedule and budget ﹘ cost-stable, locally-produced Fox Block ICFs. Fox Blocks will help you more accurately estimate your next project. Also, Fox Blocks provide a superior insulation product with better indoor environmental quality than batt insulation.

Contact Fox Blocks today for more information on how we can help you with increasing insulation prices and shortages.