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Product standards for residential thermal insulation were authorized by the Minnesota Legislature in response to the marketing of substandard insulation. In 1985 administrative rules established minimum standards for all residential insulation products sold or installed in the State. When possible, these requirements were based on industry consensus standards. The rules require manufacturers to file annual reports with the State, indicating that their products have been tested and meet the minimum standards. Manufacturers must also provide installation instructions to purchasers. Special testing provisions and installation instructions are required for insulations intended for use exterior below ground.
Manufacturers of insulation marketed in the State have been notified of this regulation. Filings of products are acknowledged by the State as being complete, or incomplete, with explanations as necessary. The State has published lists including products of 36 companies with completed filings and of those with filings in preparation.
Four areas have been particularly difficult in the design and implementation of this program. The first is deciding on equitable quality assurance requirements for manufacturers of insulation. A second is determining what products are acceptable for exterior foundation wall applications. Third is how consumers can identify which insulation products meet the standards. Finally, and probably most important, is how the installation of material can be improved so as to realize its full potential energy saving benefits.
The insulation manufacturing industry has been-very supportive of this program. In the first two years of its existence, the program has benefited both consumers and industry.
thermal insulation, design standards, quality assurance, quality control, residential buildings, building materials, materials testing
St. Paul, MN