Information for architects and builders

In most developed countries, approximately half of energy usage is consumed by buildings. A large part is used to heat and cool the buildings. According to the Energy Information Administration, properly insulating a building is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing energy usage.

The versatility of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI)-based polyurethane foam makes it suitable for an extensive range of insulation applications. Each year, polyurethane insulation is used globally in products for residential housing, commercial buildings, retail stores, public institutions and more.

With their optimal insulating performance, insulation materials made of polyurethane foam are very versatile. The products range from insulation boards for roofing, walls, floors and ceilings, to window frame insulation and foam sealants, through to metal-faced sandwich panels for industrial buildings.

Polyurethane insulation provides architects and builders with a versatile material that combines physical strengths and mechanical properties to help design buildings that reduce energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions.

When examining the manufacturing process and the life cycle assessment (LCA) of a building, polyurethane insulation helps add to a building’s sustainability. To learn more about polyurethane insulation and how it helps architects and builders create sustainable buildings, click here.

Polyurethane insulation can be used in many building products where the need for insulation is combined with load bearing, impact resistance, sealing, weight and space saving, low maintenance and longevity. Polyurethane insulation is ideal for renovation when the emphasis is on energy efficiency. Retrofitting insulation in existing buildings can cut average energy consumption by more than 50 percent and polyurethane foam simplifies the installation. Low thermal conductivity means thinner insulation for any specified insulation level and thinner insulation means it is easier to fit into the building cavity. The insulation performance is exceedingly high even with modest material thicknesses. Finally, good mechanical properties and excellent adhesion to other materials opens up a broad field of applications.

In the construction industry, polyurethane products are regulated through fire codes, building codes and by local, state, national and international government agencies. Building and fire codes, issued by National Fire Protection Association, ASTM International and International Code Council, etc., provide the needed requirements for the safe use of polyurethane insulation materials in buildings and help safeguard lives and property. Additionally, polyurethane products are put through rigorous tests by third parties, including Factory Mutual Global (FM) and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL), to ensure they adhere to the strictest national and international building and fire codes.


  • Walls
  • Roofs
  • Floors
  • Building retrofits
  • Around pipes