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>>Industry Mourns Loss of Sig Hall 
With heavy hearts we share the sad news of Sig Hall’s passing on September 2, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, his children and extended family. Interment was private. The family will hold a memorial service and celebration of life at a future date.

One example of the many ways Sig contributed to SPFA and the SPF industry was apparent at Sprayfoam 2014 in Palm Springs, Calif. Sig hosted the Field Exams at his Western Pacific Roofing property. For his efforts in leading his company to prepare for the event, Sig received SPFA’s 2014 Workhorse Award. (Pictured here with Bonnie Strickler, who presented the award to him.) "It’s great to get an award like this, but really the names of each one of our staff and the volunteers belong on it because they worked so hard for so long to do everything needed to get us ready," Sig stated at the time. "We have the best team and they recognized how important this would be with the eyes of the whole industry on us expecting us to deliver." This represented the very first SPFA-hosted Field Exams to be offered at the Annual Convention and Expo.

Sig was also an SPFA leader, having served on the Board of Directors and as the organization’s President. 
  • "The grief of this personal loss to our family is shared by all his friends and everyone who knew and worked with Sig." Johnny Zamrzla, business partner 
  • "Sig was a great and fair company leader, family man, veteran, friend and SPFA past president.  He will be sorely missed." SPFA Executive Director Kurt Riesenberg 
  • "Sig was a  wonderful man. He led his company and SPFA with humility charm and wisdom. Whenever Sig spoke, my ears listened intently. He will be missed by all." Gaco Western Chairman and CEO Peter Davis 
  • "Loved him like a brother!!" Joe Stockdale, Covestro   
The Energy Department is encouraging students from all collegiate institutions to be a part of a new leadership movement to achieve truly sustainable homes.Continuing to build on the momentum from previous years, the 2016 U.S. Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition will be held April 16–17, 2016, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Registration is open, and the comprehensive 2016 competition guide is available. A new enhancement to the competition is the design contests. Up to 10 teams will be selected to compete in each category. Below are the four categories:
>Suburban Single-Family Detached House
>Urban Single-Family Detached House
>Attached Housing (two- to six-unit duplex or townhouse style)
>Small Multifamily (three or fewer stories above-grade).
Source: plasticsnews.com
Average per-pound selling prices for polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, PVC and PET all fell in August. PE saw the largest August drop with 5 cents, while PET prices fell 4 cents. Next in line were PP and PS, each with a 2-cent drop, while PVC prices ticked down 1 cent. 
Source: epa.gov
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant of $799,723 to the University of California Santa Barbara to develop a model to better understand and predict the biological and ecological consequences of exposures to chemicals in the environment. The project -- titled ‘Dynamical Systems Models Based on Energy Budgets for Ecotoxicological Impact Assessment’ -- is expected to enhance our understanding of the effects of exposures to chemicals. New mathematical models will be developed to predict patterns of exposure to metals, nanoparticles and certain flame retardants in industrial and consumer products that could impair human health or the environment.
The STAR grants are part of EPA’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability research program’s efforts to develop new methods to improve chemical evaluation and support environmental sustainability.
Source: americanchemistry.com
SPF was recently featured in a competition for graduate and undergraduate students, along with faculty advisers, to design a high-performance, energy-efficient home that can offset the majority – if not all – of its annual energy consumption. SPF’s versatility and effectiveness was showcased throughout the competition this year as four of the five grand winner finalists incorporated SPF in their designs to combat air leakage and prevent heat transfer. 

>>Center for Polyurethanes Industry Announces Finalists for Innovation Award 
Source: americanchemistry.com
The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry announced the finalists for the 2015 Polyurethane Innovation Award, selecting innovations created by Dow Chemical, Honeywell and Novomer. "Each year, the selection process gets tougher as companies from all corners of the polyurethanes industry continue to raise the bar creating incredible innovations and developments," said Lee Salamone, senior director of CPI. "All of this year’s submissions represented the best of the best in our industry, and CPI congratulates Dow Chemical, Honeywell and Novomer on their selection as finalists."  

>Dow Chemical’s VORASTAR™ 7000 spray elastomer
>Honeywell’s Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent (LBA)
>Novomer’s Converge® Polyol RF-x polyisocyanurate rigid (PIR) foams 

The winner will be announced at the 2015 Polyurethanes Technical Conference in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 5-7.

Source: ornl.gov
On Sept. 23–24, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will host an inaugural Industry Day event, sponsored by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), to foster relationships and encourage dialog among researchers, industry representatives, and DOE representatives. This event is designed to introduce new energy-efficient innovations in buildings, transportation, and advanced manufacturing and to facilitate public–private partnerships and collaborations that will enable these technologies to enter the market.
Email IndustryDay@ornl.gov and express your interest in attending, along with a brief summary of what you hope to gain from joining this event. Participants will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation cost. Registration is free. 
Source: osha.org
On May 4, 2015, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new standard for construction work in confined spaces, which became effective starting August 3, 2015. However, OSHA announced recently that they will postpone full enforcement of the new standard for 60 days from the effective date of August 3, 2015 to October 2, 2015. During this 60-day period, OSHA will not issue citations to an employer making good faith efforts to comply with the new standard, as long as the employer is in compliance with either the training requirements of the new standard.
Confined spaces can present physical and atmospheric hazards that can be avoided if they are recognized and addressed prior to entering these spaces to perform work. The new standard, Subpart AA of 29 CFR 1926 will help prevent construction workers from being hurt or killed by eliminating and isolating hazards in confined spaces at construction sites similar to the way workers in other industries are already protected. 
More Information: 
Frequently asked questions about the new standard are addressed on OSHA's website.
SPFA's Richard Duncan sheds some light on the topic in the Health & Safety section of this newsletter. 
NAHB.org posts a summary of the new standard.
Dean McKenzie, deputy director of OSHA's Directorate of Construction, discusses the new standard at the 2015 Remodeling Leadership Conference.
ForResidentialPros.com provides a short summary of the new standard.
BPI.org provides some guidance on being compliant. 
For compliance assistance regarding application of the final rule contact: Directorate of Construction, Room N3468, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210; (202)-693-2020.  

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