Accelerated Insulation Recycling System (AIRS)

EPA Grant Number: SU836788
Title: Accelerated Insulation Recycling System (AIRS)
Investigators: Manoosingh, Celine
Institution: Georgia Southern University
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017
Project Amount: $10,220
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2016) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Sustainable and Healthy Communities , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


Use Design for Disassembly (DfD) to address demolition-generated insulation waste; features pre-fabricated panels that are easily disassembled to optimize reuse with only minor reprocessing.


Construction and demolition waste accounts for 52% of the total land-filled space (EPA, 2009). While many advances in disassembly sequencing in buildings have been proposed to recycle concrete, steel and tile associated with construction and demolition waste, the insulation contained within every building persists as a significant environmental challenge to recycle and reuse. The technical challenge addressed by this project is the curtailment of demolition waste associated with disposal of current insulation technologies.


A Design for Disassembly (DfD) approach is taken address this challenge, and an alternative insulation system is proposed for further development and assessment. The proposed system utilizes the structure of prefabrication panels to employ an insulation system with complimenting manufacturing and disassembly processes to optimize the ability to reuse the proposed material in its totality with minor reprocessing required. Currently, even when deconstruction techniques are employed for homes, there are two primary issues associated with material recovery: lack of access to material, and the adhesive and varied nature of the material itself.

Expected Results:

The key contributions from this work include firstly, the development of insulation prototype aimed at reducing the amount of insulation waste land-filled and an exploration of associated functionality metrics (structural and thermal). Secondly, this project will produce a comprehensive inventory of life cycle data, and will quantify the emissions into the air, water, and land that take place through every life cycle phase associated with the traditional and redesigned insulation, as well as the potential for negative health effects associated with the production, use and end-of-life of each option. Lastly, this work will contribute an optimized manufacturing and disassembly processes for the alternative insulation, with a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis to determine value.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 2 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

sustainability in the built environment, waste management, design for disassembly, material recovery, life cycle assessment;

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report