Archive/Subscribe | April 24, 2014

Industry News & Announcements

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>>SPFA Sponsors U.S. DoE Challenge Home Student Competition
As part of its Building America Program, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) invited college students across the United States to participate in the DOE Challenge Home Student Design Competition and become part of a leadership movement to achieve truly sustainable homes. There are 33 teams from across North America and more than 300 students participating. 

Through the Challenge Home, DOE seeks to apply proven innovations for high-performance homes that could be implemented by the home building industry, thereby serving as "models for success." The idea behind this competition was to inspire and develop the next generation of building science professionals, to advance and enhance building science curriculum in universities, and to provide a practical and accessible competition to compliment the "more aggressive" Solar Decathlon competition. 

From April 26-28 at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., the teams will present their designs and competition awards will be announced.

Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) is a sponsor of this event. For details on sponsorship or for more information on the event, click here.

>>SPFA PCP Training Puts Honeywell Solstice® LBA to the Test
At SPFA’s SprayFoam 2014, contractors gathered to complete the SPFA Professional Certification Program. For the first time, roof field exams were offered as part of the program. Contractors sprayed a West Development Group roof system made with Honeywell’s new low global warming potential Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent. View the video ( for the full story. 

Contractors were impressed by the foam’s ease of spraying, good rise and smooth, glass-like finish. Solstice LBA is a nonflammable, VOC-exempt (U.S. EPA) foam blowing agent with an ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) of 1 (compared to a GWP of greater than 800 for HFC alternatives). Honeywell is gearing up to meet demand with a new Solstice LBA production facility. The new plant is nearing completion and large-scale commercial quantities will be available in Q2 2014. (See related articles in the upcoming SPRAYFOAM Professional Summer 2014 issue. Also, the cover photo is of the plant during its construction phase, in April 2014.) 

For details on Solstice LBA, call 800-631-8138 or visit
RE: California Department of Toxic Substances Control Proposed Regulation of Chemicals Utilized in Spray Polyurethane Foam "for Home and Building Insulation, Weatherizing and Sealing, and Roofing" 

As a leading voice for the spray polyurethane foam industry, the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) is aware of, and disappointed, by the March 13, 2014 announcement by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) regarding the Department’s draft regulation on the use of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation and roofing.

With industry best practices and the safe and effective installation of spray foam representing two core missions of the organization, SPFA has consistently, openly and transparently collaborated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the safe use of spray foam ingredients and systems over the past half-decade. While SPFA understands and emphasizes that the recent DTSC announcement is not a ban of spray polyurethane foam (or the use of diisocyanates found in a multitude of consumer products), it considers the announcement unfortunate as it undermines the desire among California private and professional customers’ for a safe and effective building product that delivers on performance.

California has demanded increased energy efficiency performance of homes and buildings in a way that few products other than spray foam can deliver, and simultaneously initiated efforts to regulate the product in a way that may render its performance impotent.
Read full statement here.

DuPont Fluorochemicals (DuPont) announced significant progress in delivering a new foam expansion solution based on hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) technology, which offers breakthrough reduction in global warming potential (GWP) as well as energy efficiency benefits. 
DuPont has established firm plans to start-up small-scale production in 2014 of HFO-1336mzz, which will be marketed as Formacel® 1100 foam expansion agent. The company also is forming plans for world-class commercial capacity to meet the long-term needs of polyurethane foam customers for high efficiency, low GWP solutions. DuPont is actively engaged in the development of Formacel® 1100 foam expansion agent as part of its expanding portfolio of low GWP products. In addition, the company is exploring the potential to use HFO-1336mzz in refrigerant applications. 
Formacel® 1100 foam expansion agent, based on HFO-1336mzz, can help significantly reduce the environmental footprint of rigid polyurethane foam insulation around the world. In addition to its extremely low global warming potential and zero ozone depletion potential, Formacel® 1100 also offers excellent thermal insulation performance allowing for reduced energy consumption, which further reduces greenhouse gas emissions. 
For more information, click here.  

>>Nominations Sought for Polyurethane Innovation Award
The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) of the American Chemistry Council today opened the call for entries for its 2014 Polyurethane Innovation Award. This award recognizes visionary technologies in the global polyurethanes industry and commercialized the previous year.

Nominations for this year’s award must be submitted to CPI no later than 5 p.m. EDT on June 18. Click here for the award rules and entry form. The award winner will be announced during the 2014 Polyurethanes Technical Conference, which will be held Sept. 22-24 in Dallas.

>>New Bill Proposes the Creation of Performance-Based Whole-House Retrofit Tax Credit
Source: / Stacey Freed 
A new bill proposing the creation of a performance-based whole-house retrofit tax credit has been introduced in the Senate. The legislation is intended to boost energy efficiency in government, in industry, and in commercial and residential buildings which account for more than 40 percent of energy consumption in the United States. A recent McKinsey study concluded that maximizing energy efficiency for homes and commercial buildings could help reduce U.S. energy consumption by 23 percent by 2020. 

>>Applications for Housing Innovation Awards Available, Deadline June 30, 2014
The 2014 Housing Innovation Awards for the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program will feature builders in custom, production and affordable categories who are leading a major housing industry transformation to zero energy ready homes.  

Any registered builder who has certified a DOE Challenge Home or DOE Zero Energy Ready Home between April 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 is eligible to compete.  Applications are due June 30, 2014.  Please contact us if you need assistance.

The 2014 Housing Innovation Awards ceremony will be held on September 23, 2014, at EEBA’s Excellence in Building Conference in St. Louis, MO. 

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