This activity is based on PLTW POE Project 1.3.4 Renewable Insulation

Renewable Insulation

The largest amount of energy consumed within the average home is related to maintaining adequate climate control through heating and cooling systems. To conserve energy and decrease expenses associated with climate control, proper home insulation techniques are required. Insulation technologies relating to materials and application have advanced throughout the home building industry with time. The home building industry once relied on straw and newspaper for insulating material. The industry currently utilizes technology such as fiberglass and blown expandable foam. Insulation material advancement is driven by consumers demanding insulation material designed for high insulation value along with positive occupant health and environmental impact. Many homeowners today are designing new "green" homes. To meet the needs of green consumers, insulation manufacturers are developing insulating materials made from recycled products such as jeans, t-shirts, and other low volatile organic products that can be treated with boric acid. Manufacturers have found that many green materials have other benefits to the homeowner as well, such as cotton’s ability to provide excellent soundproofing.

The goal of this challenge is to design and build an a renewable composite insulation panel that will provide the highest insulation value.


As you solve this problem, you will follow the Design Process. Document each step in your engineering notebook as you complete this design challenge.

To meet the requirements of this challenge your team should:

  1. Define the Problem
  2. Generate Concepts
  3. Develop a Solution
  4. Construct and Test Prototype—construct your panel such that your layers of insulation are uniform and not more than one inch thick. Place your panel on the thermal tester, insert the thermometer and take data as follows.
  5. Evaluate the Solution
  6. Present the Solution—Answer these questions in your notebook.




Last updated on: 28 October 2013