Archive/Subscribe | March 25, 2015

SPFA News & Announcements

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>>Dr. Richard Duncan, SPFA Technical Director, to Host "Intro to SPF" Webinar in April
SPFA 's Technical Director, Dr. Richard Duncan, will be hosting an April webinar on "Introduction to SPF" for registered students/teams in the DOE's Race to Zero Student Design Competition. "It would be an educational experience for the participating students," said Duncan. The webinar will provide a generic introduction to SPF chemistry, safety and building applications.
>>SPFA Sponsors DOE's Race to Zero Student Design Competition; Award Ceremony Is in April
The 2015 DOE Race to Zero Student Design Competition (formerly known as the DOE Challenge Home Student Design Competition) will be wrapping up in April, and SPFA is one of the sponsors, again. SPFA also sponsored the inaugural competition last year.
The Race to Zero is an annual competition, open to students and faculty from any interested collegiate institution in the United States and Canada. The competition is based on a real-world scenario where a builder needs to update an existing product line (house plan) to a high-performance house design or is developing a new high-performance home product line. Teams are presented a specific design problem and are asked to either redesign an existing floor plan or create a new house design that satisfies the project requirements. The mandatory performance target is the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home specification. In its inaugural year, 28 teams from U.S. and Canadian universities competed to design cost-effective Zero Energy Ready Homes for mainstream builders.  The core zero energy ready requirement focused on high-performance features that sharply reduce energy use, and allow for all or most of the remaining energy use to be offset with renewable energy. The winning teams produced market-ready, state-of-the-art design solutions for high-performance homes that are energy efficient, comfortable, and durable.
The winners will be announced April 18-20, in Denver. Colo., and will receive a firm commitment by a production home builder to actually construct the winner and runner-up designs, and a free two-day building science training program by Dr. Joseph Lstiburek and Dr. John Straube. There are 33 teams registered to compete, representing 27 schools across the United States and Canada. Read More at   

>>SPFA Technical Director Speaks at IBS Session on Insulation
SPFA's Technical Director Dr. Richard S. Duncan was one of the speakers at a session at IBS 2015, the NAHB International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. Along with C.R. Herro of Meritage Homes and Martins Pecholcs of Bayer MaterialScience LLC, Duncan discussed the topic "Insulation: From Spec Through Inspection, Steps to a Versatile High Performance Solution" on Jan. 20. The moderator was Justin Koscher of the American Chemistry Council and Spray Foam Coalition. Read More here.

>>California DTSC Corrects Misinformation About SPF 
SPFA Pleased with Corrections, but Continues to Represent Industry in the Fight to De-list the Product Completely from the Agency Process Aimed at Potential Product Regulation 

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), a leading voice representing spray polyurethane foam industry contractors, manufacturers and the complete product value chain, is pleased to announce that the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has completed corrections to the public documents distributed by the agency as part of the Safer Consumer Products Priority Products Initiative. Corrections completed by the DTSC include the deletion, or adjustment, of inaccurate facts about the spray polyurethane foam (SPF) product, its chemical components and safety. The SPFA, along with partner organizations representing a resolute coalition of homebuilders, building performance professionals and systems manufacturers, had previously made requests to the Department in person during a series of public workshops and in submitted letters, as part of the formal process surrounding the state’s Priority Products Initiative.

As part of the DTSC’s corrections, changes have been made to the publicly distributed Priority Product Profile for SPF, in addition to the scope of the Department’s activity. Corrections include:
-- The Department has altered the definition of "Spray Polyurethane Foam Systems", narrowing it to include only pressurized two-component systems utilized to make SPF. Additionally, the definition includes two-component systems marketed for insulation and roofing applications, however now excludes roof coatings.
-- The Department has excluded one-component spray polyurethane foam systems sold in cans from the official Scope of Products being evaluated.
-- The DTSC has removed HDI and TDI, isocyanates utilized in some elastomeric roof coatings but not in the A-side of SPF systems, from the scope of the Chemicals of Concern documentation.
-- The Department has deleted certain reference documents from the Priority Product File.
-- The DTSC revised the contentious and incorrect statement found on page 6 of the Product Profile that read "diisocyanates are the leading attributable cause of asthma in the workplace" to state "exposure to diisocyanates in the workplace can cause asthma." SPFA has long contended that California’s own CDC data (p. 104) tracking all of the sources of Occupational Asthma, indicates the incorrectness of their statement.

"The SPFA is pleased that these critical changes were completed to these public documents, as the facts put forth in the initial documents were grossly incorrect and have caused irreparable harm to our members and the building industry in the state of California," said Kurt Riesenberg, executive director of the SPFA. "However, the SPFA and its members believe that spray polyurethane foam was unjustly selected for the Safer Consumer Products Initiative because it is not a consumer product, but rather a professionally installed product, and because the information used by the DTSC in the selection process was so faulty. Furthermore, any safety concern surrounding the installation of SPF is a worker issue and is already being addressed by US OSHA under the Isocyanates National Emphasis Program. It is for these reasons that the SPFA believes it should be de-listed from the DTSC Priority Products Initiative process altogether."

Next steps in the Department’s Priority Products evaluation process include the establishment of the Final Priority Product List, an Alternatives Analysis and a Regulatory Response (which could range among a number of rules and regulations regarding the use of SPF in California). The SPFA will actively participate in the process at all stages on behalf of its member constituents and the spray polyurethane foam industry at-large.

"Our members in California continue to face unwarranted scrutiny because of the inclusion of SPF in the Priority Products Initiative and the SPFA will continue to fight to have it removed," added Riesenberg. "The process has not only damaged the business of our California members, but it has called into question the state of California’s ability to achieve its stated net-zero energy goal by 2020. Spray polyurethane foam outperforms competing building materials in energy efficiency, but is being simultaneously promoted and persecuted by two sides of the same state that needs it to achieve this aggressive energy goal."
See press release here.
>>SPFA Forms Marketing Committee
SPFA formed a Marketing Committee -- co-chaired by Mac Sheldon and Ridge Stockdale --  and there are opportunities for SPFA members to be involved. If you would like to be involved in promoting, protecting and growing the SPF industry, and helping SPFA do the same, please reach out to Kurt Riesenberg, SPFA Executive Director. 
Some of the initial goals of the committee are to:
- Provide input to SPFA’s SPRAYFOAM Professional magazine & bi-weekly newsletter for future articles, topics, authors, new areas
- Consider/establish consistent industry messaging for various audiences – architects, specifiers, builders, general contractors, code officials
-Establish regular informational webinars on SPF (safety, PPE, OSHA, fire testing, introduction to foam, decoding thermal and ignition barriers, building science, troubleshooting, etc)
-Utilize SPFA’s deep list of previously-submitted projects (Annual Awards Program) to construct dozens of success stories and promotional material 
>>SPFA's Board Members
SPFA's Board of Directors for the 2014-2016 term include: 

President: Mr. Dennis Vandewater, Sadler Coating Systems (IA)
Vice President: Mr. John Achille, Coastal Insulation (NJ)
Treasurer: Mr. Richard Spiess, Innovative Insulation Solutions (IL)
Immediate Past President: Mr. Robert (Bob) Duke, Carolina Comfort Foam

Contractor Officer Seats (6):
Ms. Bonnie Strickler, Puff Inc. (VA)
Mr. Ron Winkle, Western Pacific Roofing (CA)
Mr. Larry Ash, United Thermal Systems (NY)
Mr. Tyler Fiske, Anchor Insulation (RI)
Mr. Bryan Heldreth, RPC (VA)
Ms. Tiffiny Flaim, Biofoam Inc. (IL)

Non-Contractor Officer Seats (6):
Mr. Joe Stockdale, Bayer Material Science (TX)
Ms. Mary Bogdan, Honeywell (NY)
Mr. Mitch Clifton, NCFI (NC)
Mr. Mac Sheldon, Demilec Inc. (TX)
Mr. Nick Pagano, Graco Inc. (MN)
Mr. Tom Sojak, Gaco Western (WI)

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