10 Interesting Facts About Air Krete

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Green Construction Image Gallery Air Krete is a unique foamed cement insulation material that is eco-friendly and has many benefits. See more green construction pictures.
Photo courtesy of Air Krete Inc.

Air Krete is a type of foamed cement that is used as insulation instead of fiberglass or other materials. It is effective in keeping houses warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Additionally, it is environmentally friendly and pays back its carbon cost of manufacturing with its durability and longevity. Air Krete is also impervious to rodents, fireproof, and does not contain carcinogenic microfibers like traditional fiberglass insulation.

While Air Krete is great for saving money, headaches, and the environment, there are also some fun facts about it. Here are ten interesting things you may not know about Air Krete.

10: Seawater

Air Krete is made from air, water, and magnesium oxide cement. When seawater reacts with limestone, it creates magnesium hydroxide, which is harmful to the R-value of walls. However, the process of electrolysis splits off a water molecule, creating H2O and MgO, which is good for the R-value of walls when it’s blown in, allowing the paste to trap bubbles of air.

9: Air Krete vs. Portland Cement


Air Krete is more eco-friendly than traditional Portland cement.
Photo courtesy of Air Krete Inc.

Portland cement is the most common manmade product on Earth and adds a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during its manufacture. The manufacture of Air Krete, on the other hand, releases only 20-40% of the CO2 of traditional cement due to the source of its primary component being as plentiful as the waters of the ocean.

8: Noise Reduction

Air Krete is an effective sound barrier and is installed in recording studios and music institutes to reduce noise levels. Once dried, Air Krete is too rigid to vibrate, making it an excellent option for noise reduction.

7: Biosphere and Audubon


The Biosphere II opened in 1991 and was a 3.15-acre enclosed space that amazed people. However, visitors weren’t allowed inside the biosphere itself, so a visitor’s center was constructed. This center was insulated with Air Krete, which is also used in the insulation of the New York City headquarters of the Audubon building. The building’s architect referred to it as a “massive thermal shell upgrade” and it has saved the 1890 building $100,000 in energy costs per year. Air Krete is environmentally friendly and has been tested by major corporations.

6: Fireproof

A video on YouTube shows a demonstrator holding a gas torch to a penny that is resting on a piece of Air Krete. The penny melts, but the Air Krete remains unaffected. Air Krete is also fireproof, as demonstrated when a contributor to a green design forum started a fire in their living quarters built in an old barn. The quarters were insulated with Air Krete, which prevented the fire from spreading to the barn structure according to the local fire department.

5: Pest-proof


Air Krete is an effective pest repellent due to its ability to trap air bubbles inside. The material sprays as a liquid and hardens to a porous, pumice-like consistency that dries out anything it touches. Pests avoid it because it sucks the moisture out of them and anything else it touches.

4: R-value

The R-value of a material refers to its thermal resistance. Air Krete has an R-value of 3.9 per inch, which is higher than concrete without trapped air, straw bales, and most types of high-density fiberglass batts. It takes a lot of traditional concrete to equal an inch of Air Krete.

3: No Settling


Once it’s installed, Air Krete doesn’t settle and remains in place for many years, eliminating the need for reapplication. Photo courtesy of Air Krete Inc.

Stability is crucial when it comes to insulation. However, some sprayed foams and other substances used to keep the heat in or out tend to settle into a compacted mass at the bottom of wall cavities, which defeats the purpose. With Air Krete, a lattice as flimsy as chicken wire is sufficient to hold it in place. Once Air Krete sets, it doesn’t settle and maintains its initial form for many years.

2: From Shaving Cream to Pudding

Air Krete, like most modern foam insulations, is blown into place. However, unlike most foam insulations, it can be blown into walls from the outside, making it an ideal choice for remodeled homes where finished interiors must remain intact. Once applied, Air Krete changes in consistency. According to the Energy Savers website of the U.S. Department of Energy, it has a “shaving cream” consistency upon application and transforms into a “thick pudding” once it dries. Some people describe Air Krete as having a pumice-like texture.

1: Good Enough for Gore


Air Krete insulation was used in Al Gore’s eco-friendly home renovation. Photo courtesy of Air Krete Inc.

Al Gore, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient and environmental advocate, made his Tennessee home more environmentally friendly by using Air Krete insulation, among other things. The addition of Air Krete, along with solar panels, geothermal energy, fluorescent light bulbs, and LEDs, helped Gore’s house reduce its summer energy bill by 11% compared to the previous year during a heat wave when most homes in the area had 20% to 30% higher bills. If more people used Air Krete in their homes, it could lead to fewer heat waves in the future. To learn more about green building materials, visit the links on the next page.

Additional Information

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Sources

  • Air Krete. “Testimonials.” 2009. (Feb. 24, 2011)http://www.airkrete.com/testimonial.php
  • Alter, Lloyd. “Air Krete: Green Insulation from Cement.” Treehugger.com. April 22, 2009. (Feb. 25, 2011) http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/04/airkrete-green-insulation.php
  • Associated Press. “Gore gets green kudos for home renovation.” MSNBC.com. Dec. 13, 2007. (Feb. 24, 2011) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22248699/ns/us_news-environment/
  • Austin Energy Green Building. “What Is Concrete Foam Insulation And Does It Work?” SaveGreenly.com. (Feb. 24, 2011)http://www.savegreenly.com/what_is_concrete_foam_insulation.htm
  • Croxton Collaborative Architects. “Selected Projects: National Audubon Society Headquarters.” (Feb. 24, 2011)http://www.croxtoncollaborative.com/proj_nasocietyh.htm
  • Hanle, Lisa J. et al. “CO2 Emissions Profile of the U.S. Cement Industry.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (Feb. 24, 2011)www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/conference/ei13/ghg/hanle.pdf
  • Johns Manville Insulation. “Distinguish Your Home With The Best Insulation.” (Feb. 24, 2011)http://www.jminsulation.com.au/products/
  • Materials Research Institute. “Infrastructure for the 21st Century.” Summer 2009. (Feb. 24, 2011)http://www.mri.psu.edu/articles/09s/FoM_09s/Pioneer.asp
  • U.S. Department of Energy. “Cementitious Foam Insulation Material.” Feb. 9, 2011. (Feb. 24, 2011)http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11720
  • YouTube. “Airkrete-penny demonstration.” West Coast Insulation. March 18, 2008. (Feb. 24, 2011)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlnWazT_9pY&feature=player_embedded

FAQ

1. What is Air Krete?

Air Krete is an eco-friendly insulation material made from magnesium oxide and magnesium chloride. It is a foam-like substance that is pumped into walls, floors, and ceilings to provide insulation. Air Krete is non-toxic, fire-resistant, and does not emit harmful fumes or gases. It is also a great sound insulator and can reduce noise pollution.

2. How is Air Krete installed?

Air Krete is installed by professionals using specialized equipment. The material is mixed on-site and pumped into the walls through small holes. Once the material is injected, it expands to fill the space and hardens within a few hours. The installation process is quick and non-invasive, and does not require any structural changes to the building.

3. What are the benefits of using Air Krete?

Air Krete has several benefits over other insulation materials. It is non-toxic, fire-resistant, and does not contain harmful chemicals or fibers. It is also highly effective at insulating against heat and cold, and can reduce energy bills by up to 50%. Air Krete is also a great sound insulator and can help reduce noise pollution.

4. How long does Air Krete last?

Air Krete is a long-lasting insulation material that can last for the lifetime of a building. It does not shrink or settle over time, and does not degrade or deteriorate. Air Krete is also resistant to mold, mildew, and pests, which can prolong its lifespan.

5. Is Air Krete expensive?

The cost of Air Krete insulation varies depending on the size of the building and the complexity of the installation. However, it is generally more expensive than traditional insulation materials such as fiberglass or cellulose. However, the long-term benefits of using Air Krete can outweigh the initial cost, as it can reduce energy bills and improve indoor air quality.

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