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Neopor Insulation Featured in First New York Passive House

Dennis Wedlick Architect LLC designs first Passive House in NY State


BASF's insulation material Neopor® (expandable polystyrene: EPS) is featured in the first certified Passive House in New York State. Designed by Dennis Wedlick Architect, LLC (DWA), the three-bedroom The Hudson Passive Project is one of the most energy-efficient homes in the country, and the first in New York State to achieve the demanding standard established by the Passive House Institute®, Germany. The Passive House Institute has compiled data that compares the energy ratings of different types of home. That data shows that by adhering to the Passive House design standards, a 90% decrease in energy consumption can be achieved.


A European innovation of the late twentieth century, the mission of the Passive House Institute is to build thoughtfully designed homes with seamless building envelopes that minimize energy waste and heating costs without compromising comfort. A building envelope separates the interior and exterior of a building. The Hudson Passive Project achieved Passive House standard without auxiliary technology like photovoltaics, wind turbines, or solar thermal hot water systems.


Design innovations for the project included a daylighting strategy that incorporated skylighting and south-facing windows coupled with a high-performance building envelope. To design a house that has near zero energy consumption without the use of auxiliary technology, DWA needed to not only incorporate these design innovations but also needed to find an insulation that could achieve an insulating value of R-50 and R-60 for the foundation. These criteria were essential to allow the home to use solar heat as well as recapture the heat produced by appliances.


To achieve these insulating values, DWA specified energy-efficient Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) from Timberline Panel Company, Cambridge, NY optimized with insulation panels , provided by Opco, using Neopor beads supplied by BASF Corporation. Neopor stands apart from traditional EPS because it contains graphite particles that reflect and absorb thermal radiation. Use of this unique material minimizes heat loss by improving insulation capacity. The use of EPS raw material can be reduced by up to 50% to achieve the same insulation performance as conventional panels made of EPS. SIPs with a Neopor core can be up to 20% thinner than those with a core of conventional EPS.


"The exceptional R-value performance of Neopor means that architects, system suppliers and builders can go far beyond what was thought to be possible, and in a very cost-effective and sustainable way," said Aaron Wood, BASF's North American Marketing Manager for the Global Foams Business.


Other Passive Houses enhanced with Neopor include:

  • La Clairière, a 13-unit marriage of energy efficiency and affordability, is the first passive public housing structure in France.
  • Located in Rothenburg, the first Passive Certified multiple-dwelling complex in Switzerland is comprised of three loft houses and four villettes.
  • An external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) made with Neopor allowed builders of a Weinheim, Germany passive duplex to forgo interior insulation and make exposed wood walls a design feature.