Continuous InsulationA2P1038: Introduction to Insulation Materials for Continuous Insulation Systems

March 7, 2023

To create an effective continuous insulation system in your building, choosing the right insulation material to meet your project-specific requirements is essential. There are several types of insulation materials used with continuous insulation systems. This article discusses three common thermal insulation materials: mineral wool, rigid foam board, and spray foam.

Each type of material has unique benefits and drawbacks that must be considered to make the best decision for your project. Below, we will provide an overview of each type of material so that you can decide which option is best for your project.

What is continuous insulation, and why is it essential in buildings today?

Continuous insulation is essential to modern building practices and designs, carrying out multiple functions necessary to create a safe and comfortable environment. It involves placing insulation continuously within building envelopes or roof systems to eliminate thermal, air, and moisture bridging, which can all add to energy costs, discomfort levels, and even building failures.

The three most common insulation materials used in continuous insulation systems are mineral wool, rigid foam board, and spray foam. Mineral wool is a popular thermal insulation material due to its cost-effectiveness in helping reduce energy costs and its fire resistance. Rigid board provides smooth and seamless interactions between components in continuous insulation applications. Spray foam provides excellent air sealing capabilities for air tightness. Each has its unique benefits; however, thermal insulation materials used in continuous insulation systems can make all the difference in the overall health of a building.

The three most common thermal insulation materials used for continuous insulation systems are mineral wool, rigid board, and spray foam.

When it comes to insulating buildings, continuous insulation components and products are a vital part of ensuring that structures remain energy efficient and hold up for the life of the building. Of the many continuous insulation types and material options available, mineral wool, rigid board, and spray foam are among the most popular in terms of thermal performance, building health, and ease of installation. Mineral wool is composed of natural minerals such as slag wool and basalt that form a fire-resistant blanket offering excellent acoustic properties when applied on ceilings or walls.

On the other hand, rigid foam boards can be made from expanding polystyrene foam (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS), or polyisocyanurate (polyiso) for higher durability in structurally sound wall systems that can resist moisture buildup. Meanwhile, spray foam has an impressive aerosol-based thermal insulation coefficient, forming a tight seal around gaps and crevices between applications. Each material has its advantages that make it ideal for its specific purpose; knowing which option is best for what job is crucial in choosing the suitable insulation material for your project.

Mineral wool insulation:

Cabrini University Athletic Pavilion | SMARTci Systems       Mineral wool insulation material

Mineral wool is an effective and popular continuous insulation material due to its ability to be custom cut for easy installation and its exceptional fire resistance and thermal efficiency. Made from natural materials like stone, recycled glass, rock wool, slag wool, and natural fibers that are spun together with a resin binder, this insulating material form offers great sound absorption, versatility, durability, and ease of installation compared to other insulation materials.

With the variety of widths, lengths, densities, and thicknesses, mineral wool can be custom fitted to any application allowing for much greater insulation potential. For these reasons, many people turn to mineral wool products for their continuous insulation needs.

Rigid foam board insulation:

Polyiso rigid board insulation materials         Polyiso rigid board insulation material

Rigid board insulation made from expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS), or polyisocyanurate (polyiso) is an effective and reliable option for commercial, industrial, and residential buildings. It can be installed on walls, ceilings, and between floors. Rigid foam board insulation is ideal for reducing energy costs and creating a more comfortable indoor space. In addition, it is an efficient way to regulate temperatures, and the foam is designed to resist heat transfer, keeping a space warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Rigid foam boards come in various lengths, thicknesses, and densities to accommodate multiple needs, such as when containing fire or vibration dampening. Additionally, it is easy to install and can be custom cut or profiled to fit any size space. Whether you’re looking for improved soundproofing best thermal insulation material, or better heat retention, rigid board insulation is an excellent choice.

Spray foam insulation:

Napoleon High School | Spray foam insulation material

Spray foam insulation offers outstanding insulation performance due to its robust airtightness, water-resistant qualities, and ability to expand and create a seamless seal when it is sprayed onto surfaces. The insulation is made with a combination of chemicals to reach its full potential.

As a result, spray foam insulation is widely seen as an excellent option for maintaining consistent temperatures within a space and helping make homes more comfortable while saving energy bills. It is one of the most popular continuous-type insulation materials used in modern homes today, alongside mineral wool insulation and rigid board insulation.

When choosing a type of thermal insulation material for your project, consider the climate, the building envelope requirements, and the installation method to ensure the best possible results.

Choosing the most suitable continuous insulation material for your project can determine its success or failure. When considering which type of thermal insulation material to use, it is essential to consider factors such as the climate and regional temperature extremes, the required R-value of proper insulation for the building envelope, as well as the method of installation.

Common options for thermal insulating materials include mineral wool batts, rigid board insulation, and spray foam insulation. Mineral wool offers good thermal performance in hot and cold climates, whereas rigid board is usually used in colder climates for increased thermal resistance. Spray foam insulation provides superior air tightness but requires a professional application for optimal results. Additionally, consideration should be given to the presence of any vapor barriers or moisture sources that could affect the insulation materials’ long-term performance.


Continuous insulation is an essential factor to consider in your building project. It helps keep the temperature inside the building consistent, prevents air infiltration from outside, and can provide savings on heating and cooling costs. In addition, each type of continuous insulation offers unique characteristics that make it more suitable for certain climates and applications.

For example, mineral wool is excellent for fire resistance, and the rigid board has superior moisture resistance. Spray foam, however, provides excellent airtightness and thermal efficiency. To choose the best material for your project, consider building codes and regulations, climate conditions, ease of installation methods, budget constraints, and overall energy consumption goals. Investing in quality continuous insulation materials can make a big difference in the energy efficiency of space — and will benefit you in the long run as you save money on utility costs too!

SMARTci™ continuous insulation systems with GreenGirt® Composite Metal Hybrid (CMH™) Sub-Framing

SMARTci 1 in 1 continuous insulation system        SMARTci 2 in 1 System    SMARTci 2.5 in 1 System

SMARTci 3 in 1 SystemGreenGirt Clips GreenGirt Delta Adjustable Sub-Framing System

SMARTci™ continuous insulation systems with GreenGirt® composite metal hybrid (CMH™) sub-framing by Advanced Architectural Products are an innovative and energy-efficient solution for commercial building projects and building envelopes. The SMARTci systems are compatible with various insulation options, including mineral wool, rigid foam board, and spray foam insulation. This flexibility allows for customizing the CI system to the specific project requirements.

The GreenGirt CMH sub-framing component of SMARTci systems is a lightweight and robust solution for insulation retention and cladding attachment by providing superior stability and ease of installation. The elements of SMARTci systems, including GreenGirt CMH sub-framing, are designed to allow for easy attachment of mineral wool, rigid foam board, and spray foam insulation. In addition, SMARTci systems provide a thermal break by eliminating through-metal and through-wall fastening. Combining the GreenGirt CMH sub-framing and insulation material creates a continuous insulation system, providing superior energy efficiency and improving building health.

Overall, SMARTci continuous insulation systems with GreenGirt CMH sub-framing are an ideal solution for any building project requiring high insulation performance and energy efficiency. The system’s universal compatibility allows for project-specific customization and is a best-practice solution for your building envelope. If you want to learn more about the SMARTci continuous insulation systems or GreenGirt CMH sub-framing, visit our website or contact us today.


© 2023 Advanced Architectural Products

If you wish to receive our latest news, sign up for our mailing list!

Advanced Architectural Products Logo

Creating engineered best practice continuous insulation solutions, while leaving the world a better place than when we started.


If you wish to receive our latest news in your email box, just subscribe to our newsletter!

959 Industrial Drive, Allegan, MI 49010  |  (269) 355-1818

© Copyright 2024 Advanced Architectural Products. All Rights Reserved.

Patents Privacy Policy