Green boom in building products

Published:  18 January, 2010

MIDLAND, US: US-based Dow Chemical sees tremendous opportunities as consumers become more aware of the long-term benefits of green building practices.

The building sector alone accounts for 40% of all energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) worldwide, said Torsten Kraef, vice president of Dow Chemical's Building and Construction business group.

Dow Chemical formed its Dow Construction Chemicals business unit in September 2009, to focus on providing sustainable building materials to the construction industry.

Mr Kraef said: "Insulation materials certainly have significant benefits to offer to the building and construction sector."

"The key here is not only producing good insulation materials but to also enable low-cost installation of these materials," he said.

"We are developing products not only to make their performance better and sustainable but they also have to be in line with future regulations that we see coming," he adds. "Insulation standards in particular are being upgraded to be more energy efficient worldwide."

Other chemical companies investing in green construction include Bayer MaterialScience and BASF, both German, and US-based Hexion Specialty Chemicals.

Last August, Hexion announced its partnership with US biocomposites company Tekle Technical Services (TTS) to develop green building products for the construction industry.

Hexion plans to commercialize building materials such as composite panels, structural insulated panels, cement composites, and plastic composites that will incorporate TTS's natural fiber-based materials.

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