Green Building Products Go Soy

Many inventions for green building were inspired by nature.  Compressed Earth Blocks are a perfect example.  Now, we’ve already started using the simple legume, the soybean, in everything from our food to insulation.If you’re looking ways to better your productivity environment, you might look into this humble plant.  Soy-based products are sprouting everywhere; roof coatings, emollients – even the Statue of Liberty has taken steps, using soy elevator grease, and soy-based construction products have hit the construction market by storm.One of the reasons these green building products have become more in demand is due to indoor air quality.  Soy-based products don’t contain harmful chemicals and are free of formaldehyde, so those with sensitivities to chemicals and allergies find their environment easier to work in.Soy-base Green Building Products Although soy-based products in green building are relatively new, it’s a growing market.Spray Foam Insulation – Soy-based insulation ranges in R-value from 13 – 24, and is cheaper than traditional insulations of its type.  It doesn’t contain formaldehyde and provides better insulation that traditional spray foams.  Time and moisture don’t affect its usefulness, it doesn’t mold or mildew, and it doesn’t settle.  Lastly, soy-based insulation decreases the amount of lumber needed in construction, which lowers building costs.Carpet Backing – This carpet backing, manufactured by Dow Chemical Company, replaces some of the chemical-based backing with soybean oil.  This lowers the chances of people with high chemical sensitivity, as well as the backing being a highly durable substance.Adhesives – Although soy-based adhesives aren’t new (they’ve been around for more than seventy years), they were replaced by formaldehyde compounds.  With concerns about the environment, however, soy-based adhesives are once again moving to the front, better than they ever were.  NutraSoy 7B is a perfect example – environmentally friendly, lower cost and with great tensile strength than the wood it’s used on.The next time you have some minor repairs or cosmetics that need to be done, think “soy” and green building for healthier employees, higher productivity and a better bottom line.

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