Archive/Subscribe | May 21, 2013

SPFA Tech Shorts

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California Proposal to Eliminate Flame Retardants in Foam Plastics

A group of SPFA stakeholder members in California have been very active in opposing a new proposal in the California Assembly to reduce or eliminate flame retardants in foam plastic insulation. This proposal, AB127, can have a significant impact on the use of foam plastic insulation across the State, and is being promoted nationally by a group called Safer Insulation Solution Working with Tim Shestek of the American Chemistry Council, more than a dozen SPFA contractor members co-signed a letter to the proponent, Assemblywoman Skinner of the California Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee (NRC). Many of our SPFA members also contacted the members of the NRC within their respective legislative districts. Although AB127 did pass through the NRC on April 29, it now moves to the Appropriations Committee, where the financial implications of the bill will be reviewed. SPFA will continue supporting the ACC and the Energy Efficient Foam Coalition’s grass-roots efforts in California Interested SPFA members should contact Rick Duncan for more information

Industry-Level Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for SPF in Progress

In November 2012, SPFA released final reports that documented the SPF industry’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study. This announcement and detailed report can be found at This study documents the detailed results of the overwhelmingly net-positive environmental impacts of generic LD, MD and roofing SPF products from cradle to end-of-life. The six impacts studied include primary energy demand, global warming (carbon footprint), ozone depletion, eutrophication (nitrogen release), smog and acidification (acid rain). While the study met all requirements of ISO-14040 and 14044, the results need to be summarized in a third-party environmental product declaration (EPD). EPD’s, following the Product Category Rules (PRC) for insulation, provide an important verification of the results that assist in product selection under sustainable building programs such as USGBC’s LEED, IgCC, GreenGlobes and other similar programs. UL Environments will be the most likely developer of the SFPA’s industry-level EPD. For more information on the EPD development, please contact Rick Duncan, Technical Director of SPFA at

Other Technical Activities
  • During the ASTM Spring meetings in Indianapolis, SPFA was very active. Mason Knowles, workgroup leader for ASTM C1029, is actively working to update this material specification for closed-cell SPF. In addition, Peter Birkbeck of Icynene is leading the workgroup to finalize a new material specification for low-density, open-cell SPF.
  • Material and installation specifications are needed for the new SPFA Professional Certification Program. In addition, Mr. Knowles has initiated the development of a new SPF Installation standard within ASTM. For more information on these standardization activities, please contact Mason Knowles or Peter Birkbeck
  • In April and May, three of SPFA’s Technical Committees held the first of their three meetings for 2013. On April 22, the Building Envelope Committee (BEC) met to update and outline projects and activities. One important project for the BEC is to complete the cold-climate guide for hybrid insulation systems. On April 24, the Roofing Committee held their first meeting. This year the RC will be working to update several roofing-related AY documents. On May 20 the new SPFA Safety Committee (SC) will hold their first meeting and develop a list of 2013 goals. For more information on the work being done by these committees, as well as upcoming meetings, please contact the respective committee chairs:
    >>Building Envelope Committee (BEC) – Chair: Mark Fortney, Gaco-Western 
    >>Roofing Committee (RC) – Chair: Roger Morrison, Deer Ridge Consulting 
    >>Safety Committee (SC) – Joe Bolduc, Masco Contractor Services 


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