WELCOME TO THE PLANETARY HOME IMPROVEMENT STORE ︎︎︎ TO FIND A PRODUCT, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN ON THE HOME PAGE ︎︎︎ The home improvement store is a geological site on demand. Rockwool, Sheetrock, Quikcrete. Materials are processed into products, packaged, stockpiled, stacked, and sold across global DIY supply-chains, from Bauhaus to OBI and Hornbach. Basalt, gypsum, limestone. Material economies are severed from mineral entanglements with millennia of rock, fossil, plant, and stone. The store is the modern quarry. It takes 1 day to install drywall; it takes 299 million years to form gypsum. ︎︎ TO FIND A PRODUCT, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN ︎︎︎

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Holocene — Carboniferous
Present — 369 MYA

100% expanded polystyrene (XPS) granulate
The smooth pink surface of foam board insulation belies the geological complexity (and contradiction) of closed-cell petroleum-based foam. Production of extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation in factories begins with tiny 1mm polystyrene pellets, which are expanded by up to 40 times their original size in a steam chamber that aerates pellets before they are cured, molded, and puffed into blocks.

Set into walls, floors and ceilings, these standardized light, bright, and (almost) airtight panels have high thermal insulation properties and are resistant to moisture. But this also comes at the cost of oil extraction, styrene emissions, and energy-intensive processes. Low building energy use is paradoxically achieved by installing an insulation product with the highest embodied energy on the market.

For other insulation products, see Mineral Wool Insulation and Fiberglass Insulation.

Feed “raw” polystyrene resin granules into extruder ︎︎︎ Heat at high temperatures until molten ︎︎︎ add additives (such as pink coloring agent) ︎︎︎ add blowing agent ︎︎︎ force plastic mixture through die to extrude it ︎︎︎ cool and expand into desired shape ︎︎︎ trim foam board to final dimensions ︎︎︎ package and ship