September 30, 2009
| by Steven Castle
Get a killer home theater, add some acoustical absorption panels, and I bet you never think those noise-dampening products could be green—as in made of eco-friendly materials.
Worse, I bet you never think of what many acoustical panels usually contain: formaldehyde, acrylics, artificial color and petroleum-based chemicals that can off-gas, emitting potentially harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds). In other words, they’re bad, bad, bad.
Kinetics Noise Control says it now uses eco-friendly fiberglass insulation from Knauf Insulation that is made of natural, bio-based materials. Knauf’s new ECOSE Technology binder does not contain petroleum-based chemicals, formaldehyde, phenols and those other baddies. It can also be molded into multi-density boards to achieve various acoustical properties. Best of all, Kinetics Noise Control says is doesn’t cost any more than its previous, not-so-green products.
“There’s a big push for it in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and LEED for schools to reduce off-gassing from VOC and formaldehyde,” says Matt Golden, acoustical product engineering manager at Kinetics Noise Control.
We’ll certainly see more green products like these in schools, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have them for your home theater, too.
Last year Auralex Acoustics introduced its Eco-Tech acoustic absorption panels made of 100 percent recycled polyester fibers.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates