The Tech Block Wall System is a new sustainable method for building exterior walls for residential or commercial buildings. Tech Block’s are manufactured using a safe, clean, non-toxic, non-polluting process, and the blocks are environmentally friendly in the following ways:
- The main ingredient of the blocks, polystyrene foam beads, takes decades to degrade when buried. They use polystyrene that is a waste by-product from the manufacture of other products. By recycling this material, they help to save valuable landfill space.
- The 47.5 R-value of Tech Block will help to reduce heating and cooling costs for the life of the structure.
North Americans have been building homes with wood for over 200 years. This dependence on wood has reduced our national heritage of forests to 7% of the original stock. Today, the dwindling supply has resulted in increased costs of construction and decreased quality of materials. The current proliferation of alternate wall systems is the response to this alarming situation.
The Tech Block R-value of 47.5 is considerably higher than that of a traditional wood-frame wall. Essentially, R-value is based on the insulating qualities of wood. An R-factor of 1 is equal to the resistance to heat transfer in 1" of dry pine wood. In the real world, things like design, altitude, latitude, wind exposure, and orientation to the sun will have a greater impact on the comfort level and energy usage of a home than a few units difference in R-factor. In the case of exterior walls specifically, the number, size and construction of the doors and windows and the general ‘tightness’ of construction will have a large effect on a home’s livability. R-value does not take these points into account.
Heat moves through building materials in three ways: conduction, which is heat moving through a material, convection, which is heat carried by air, and radiation, which is heat carried by light. These are simplified definitions, but useful in understanding thermal transference. Exterior walls transfer heat in each of these ways to varying degrees, and the influence of each changes as environmental conditions change (high wind, cloud cover, etc.).
Tech Block resists the radiation of heat and they also greatly inhibit heat conduction and convection. This is because polystyrene is a poor conductor of heat and the air trapped inside the polystyrene beads cannot move freely to support convection.