Investing in energy efficiency (EE) upgrades to existing buildings has the potential to deliver substantial benefits to building owners, residents, and the environment by reducing emissions from energy use, lowering energy bills, and improving comfort. Insulation and air sealing are two key upgrade measures that lead to better-performing buildings. Unfortunately, some of the materials used in EE upgrades contain chemicals that can contribute to adverse health impacts. These chemicals of concern can pose threats to a building’s residents and to the workers who manufacture, install, and dispose of the products, as well as to the communities adjacent to the manufacturing facilities.
There are many challenges to the inclusion of insulation and air-sealing measures in low-income multifamily housing upgrades and to ensuring that safer materials are used. These include current EE program designs that fail to support implementation of these measures, lack of strong program technical specifications, the fragmented nature of program implementation, and a lack of state-level data collection and report standardization. There are also many opportunities to broaden the use of insulation and air sealing in EE programs and ensure that safer materials are used.
Read the full report below to learn more.