Green Products/Applications

Making Old Buildings New Again

February 1, 2010
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BASF’s Neopor® expandable polystyrene helps renovate Civil War building into a new learning center.

Brick lath buildings are not energy efficient, as they were usually built without wall cavities to hold insulation.


GreenTek Building Solutions in DuBois, PA, has created a new product called InsulWallTM interior wall system, using BASF’s Neopor expandable polystyrene (EPS) as the insulation ingredient. The crucial difference in Neopor versus standard white EPS is that it contains graphite particles, which significantly improves insulation capacity and gives it a silver-gray color.

GreenTek’s InsulWall was chosen by the Pennsylvania Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) to retrofit a historic three-story Civil War building used to manufacture war uniforms located in Philadelphia. The building will be converted into a modern learning center providing students with state-of-the-art energy conservation training and professional certification for green collar positions. The center will work with community colleges, technical schools and employers in the region who need their students and workers trained in green technology. The 20,000 square-foot center will house classroom and laboratory space with operable heating and air conditioning equipment, rooftop solar panels, and other real-life situations that green techs encounter in residential and commercial buildings.

Yesterday's Technology

Brick lath buildings were not energy-efficient since they usually were built without wall cavities to hold insulation. Brick, a natural material, will absorb heat or cold and transmit that energy into a room. For interior walls, it was common to mount gypsum board directly to the brick wall, which afforded poor thermal protection.

Today's Technology

InsulWall, a thin product that has Neopor EPS insulation laminated to paperless mold-resistant gypsum board, can be easily applied to interior walls without reducing the size of the room while eliminating high costs of retrofitting. OPCO, from Latrobe, PA, manufactured the new composite product.

“It is no surprise that GreenTek’s InsulWall was chosen for retrofitting this building,” said John Monti, president of GreenTek Building Solutions. “Our InsulWall, which incorporates Neopor, provides results for energy savings - the essence of this new training center.” Neopor outperforms other traditional materials through:
  • Energy Savings. Producing thinner parts consumes fewer resources; in addition, more efficient insulating technology means it takes less energy to heat and cool a building to the same degree.
  • Cost Savings. Working with thinner panels translates to lower construction and installation costs, as well as lower transportation and handling costs.
  • Flexibility. Work that requires a reduction in the thickness of insulation materials (i.e., retrofit projects) can easily be carried out using insulating boards that are thinner than conventional EPS, but can offer better R-value per inch thickness.
  • Handling. Elimination of sun glare from white panels makes it easier on the eyes. Insulating boards made from Neopor are quick to lay in any weather and are easy to cut and sand.
  • Durability. Neopor rigid foam boards are resistant to mold, mildew and rot, and are extremely strong and dimensionally stable. They are vapor-permeable, highly water-resistant and have low moisture absorbency.
GreenTek’s building products are designed to meet all green building requirements in both residential and commercial markets, and are the only patent-pending wall systems in the world with the following exclusive features:
  • GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified® components - no VOCs
  • Insulation options up to R-38, which dramatically reduces heating and cooling costs
  • Unlimited design potential allows user to choose their surroundings
  • Integrated steel stud systems for stability and strength
  • Professional, seamless finish that avoids that “manufactured” look
  • Superior R-10 mold and moisture resistance
  • Easy-to-assemble components for fast labor-saving installation
  • Easy reconfiguration to accommodate changes without reconstruction or solid waste
  • All components are recyclable
  • Vertical and horizontal chases that make wiring and plumbing easy
  • Limited lifetime warranty


About BASF

BASF Corp., headquartered in Florham Park, NJ, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 15,000 employees in North America, and had sales of approximately $17.5 billion in 2008. For more information, visit www.basf.com/usa.

About GreenTek Building Solutions LLC

GreenTek Building Solutions LLC was established by a consortium of home remodeling and construction professionals whose focus was to create an affordable green interior wall system for both residential and commercial use.

InsulWall is a trademark of GreenTek Building Solutions LLC. Neopor is a registered trademark of BASF SE. GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality is a registered trademark of GreenGuard Environmental Institute.


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