The Spray Foam Coalition (SFC) of the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) has established a quarterly statistical data program
that provides historical data on spray polyurethane foam (SPF) sales. This program provides relevant, comprehensive and extensive business statistics for the industry.
In this program, participating Systems Houses manufacturing high-pressure SPF provide quarterly statistical data to a third party for compilation. The data provides a historical perspective and tracks the growth of the SPF market since 2008. The statistics include comprehensive information, including pounds of SPF sold per quarter, reported regionally within the United States and Canada.
The data, which is released quarterly and available with an annual subscription, can be used as a tool for analyzing and understanding the business climate. All statistics are electronic and provided in a spreadsheet. All annual report subscriptions are sold on a calendar year basis only, with no prorating.
Thank you for your consistent and unwavering support of SPFA, allowing us to do so many critical things for you and the industry. It’s your membership that makes it happen. It is our highest priority to serve you as our member, bring value to you and the industry, and represent the product and our members’ services accurately, positively, and completely.
I invite you to visit our SPFA YouTube page
to view a short commentary recapping some of the information shared below -- the highlights of 2012 and looking ahead to the higher priority items for 2013.
>> Completion and deployment of the SPF industry’s first ever, comprehensive, professional, ANSI/ISO Accredited Sprayfoam Professional Certification Program (PCP) for roofing and insulation. Rolled out at the SPFA Annual Convention, over 800 individual tests have been administered by March 2013. SPFA members get a major discount.
>> Completion and publishing of the SPF industry model Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), representing the first and only insulation/roofing industry LCA to be published. In many cases LEED credits require an LCA, and the third-party validated results prove the energy and environmental performance claims of SPF. Short and full-reports available for members for bid-package inclusion.
>> Record-setting attendance at the 2012 Annual Convention and Expo. The most exhibitors, most attendees ever, a robust speaker offering, Contractor Excellence Awards, and invaluable networking and business opportunities. Significant member discounts on exhibiting and attendance.
>> Advocated in a state that approved a bill effectively banning sprayfoam to obtain veto by the governor.
>> Participated in several meetings with EPA and other federal agencies to review certification and health and safety practices of the industry.
>> Created and published SPRAYFOAM Professional magazine, the quarterly publication of SPFA and the SPF industry.
2013 ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHT FORECAST:
>> Already in 2013 SPFA presented upon SPF health, safety, PCP certification and quality issues at the NAHB IBS show to national builders looking for consistent and credible information leading to comfort and adoption of the technology. We exhibited and presented upon the LCA and certification at the 2013 RESNET conference. These are just two examples of how SPFA is getting out the good word on sprayfoam to our industry partners and extending the reach and influence of SPF among our constituents and stakeholders. This will continue throughout 2013.
>> Already in 2013 the SPFA Annual Convention and Expo held in Jacksonville, Fl offered the most SPF breakout sessions ever for an SPFA show. Attendance broke all previous records for an east-coast convention, new winners were named in the annual Contractor Excellence Awards program, and the most exhibitors ever filled booths in the exhibit hall.
>> SPFA will be creating an SPF Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) which complements the LCA and is recognized as further environmental and energy efficiency validation among the design and construction trades.
>> SPFA will be further rolling out the PCP certification, increasing participation and delivery sources, and garnering support and recognition among our partners, the federal government, and all stakeholders. The PCP will also be developing an accredited status for contractor, distributor and manufacturing FIRMS.
>> SPFA will be engaging new committees, such as the SPFA Safety Committee, to continue putting in place the elements needed for growth and success in the industry.
>> SPFA will be updating SPF-related ASTM standards for both roofing and insulation.
>> Several states have efforts in place to pursue some type of licensing or certification requirements for SPF contractors.
SPFA will remain vigilant of these efforts and keep members informed. SPFA will also maintain our working relationship with the EPA and other federal agencies as they continue their efforts to produce sprayfoam-related materials that will affect your business. And SPFA will continue to monitor and inform you on issues of energy efficiency, tax incentives and other legislative and regulatory issues.
SPFA has worked extremely hard to address all of the areas of need for the industry throughout 2012 and we will continue to do so on your behalf throughout 2013. We are enacting our strategic plan as directed by the Board comprised of representatives from the full value chain – contractors, distributors, manufacturers and consultants.
It is admittedly difficult to squeeze a year end wrap up and a look ahead into a short summary. SPFA has done the things contained in this letter and so much more. The elements you see here are the progress related to major milestones. SPFA works hard every day to advance the interests of the SPF industry and represent you as well as we possibly can.
I know things have been tight for years. But they have also been tight for us. We have done so much with the resources we have because we are passionate about sprayfoam and your success. We recognize that every success we have must be a success that translates throughout the industry as a benefit to you in growing your business, increasing adoption of sprayfoam, combating misinformation from detractors and delivering consistent and reliable information to our industry’s stakeholders.
Your support is what makes that happen. We are here working for you, and look forward to another year of hard work and great successes.
Thank you again for your continued support. If you have any questions about the activities we engage in, about your membership or anything related to SPFA, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
SPFA’s 2013 Annual Convention and Expo was another record breaker. The show beat its last East Coast attendance record by 144 attendees. The energy and commitment demonstrated at the show were fantastic, and excitement carried back into the industry with almost 400 new SPFA Professional Certification Program tests being taken. The various breakout sessions were well attended and offered very valuable information for the SPF professional. To download your copy of those presentations, please click here
For details on any of the updates, contact Mark Ames, ASHRAE Senior Manager of Federal Government Affairs.
ASHRAE's Government Affairs Updates detail information on government affairs-related activities of interest to ASHRAE members and others interested in the built environment. Archives of previous updates are available from the Government Affairs website
Just In: The House approved legislation promoting hydropower development and limiting the National Labor Relations Board from taking certain actions. the Senate debated gun control legislation, President Obama’s nominee for EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, received a hearing, and Sally Jewell was confirmed to serve as Interior Department Secretary
Coming Up: The House plans to consider cyber-security legislation, and IAPMO testifies before House Committee, while the Senate will continue its work on gun control measures.
Too Big To Ignore. Too Big to Fail. Too Big to Prosecute. Too Big to Jail. Too Big to Succeed.
Call it what you want, but the obsession in Washington over the size of the nation’s biggest banks continues at a torrid pace. Every week, more House and Senate members say something or introduce legislation aimed at the concern they have that some banks are too large to operate efficiently, and it is increasingly becoming a bipartisan clamor. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently introduced the most extreme of these measures — a bill to require the Treasury to identify “too-big-too-fail” banks and then break them up in one year. This legislation is not going anywhere in either the House or Senate for now, but pressure is building to address the concern that many in Congress have with the size of the biggest banks. A hearing in a House subcommittee next week on the authority of the Federal Reserve Board to wind down large failing banks will add to this momentum.
Payday Lending Cap. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a bill this week to cap interest rates and/or fees for “payday” lending at 36% annual percentage rate (APR). The measure would apply to all consumer credit transactions, including mortgages, car loans, credit cards, overdraft loans, car title loans, refund anticipation loans and payday loans. As a practical matter, however, it would mostly impact car title, refund anticipation and payday loans. Earlier this year, Senators Durbin, Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced a bill to ban certain online payday lending practices. The Credit Union National Association supports both measures, touting the fact that their loans are generally limited to an APR of no more than 18%.
Corporate “Political” Activity. Various interest groups are urging new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Mary Jo White to advance a rule for the agency’s approval that would require public companies to publicly disclose their “political activities.” Many business groups worry that “political activities” may be broadly defined and include memberships with trade associations and other professional groups. Lobbying for such a rule will intensify in the months ahead, Proponents for this measure are appealing their case to the SEC since their efforts to have Congress enact such a law have not been successful.
Debt Limit. On May 19, the nation’s debt limit will automatically increase by the amount which has been borrowed over the past few months (about $400 billion). This is the result of a bill Congress passed in January to postpone a fight over the debt limit so soon after the fiscal cliff battle. On May 19, the Treasury Department will begin taking certain measures to forestall an actual breach in the debt limit which is currently projected for sometime in August. This is the next fiscal showdown facing Washington, and the stakes are always high when the credit of the U.S. is in question. Regarding those stakes, a House subcommittee this week held a hearing on different proposals to prioritize federal payments in the event of a breach in the ceiling and a limit on borrowing. Many Republicans support legislation that would require Treasury to make principal and interest payments first; others would also prioritize Social Security, Medicare and military pay as well. Look for the House to consider and pass legislation that prioritizes federal payments in the event that the debt ceiling is not raised. In reality, however, the Senate will not approve a prioritization and the debt limit will likely not be breached. However, negotiations in July and August over the debt ceiling could be as disruptive as they were in 2011, the last time there was a showdown on the debt limit.
The President’s Budget. The Administration presented its fiscal year 2014 budget to Congress this week. While it will have no direct impact on the Congressional budget process, it lays out the President’s priorities and highlights issues that will be in play during negotiations on reducing the deficit. Most notably, the President’s budget offers to limit the future growth of Social Security benefits in exchange for further tax increases on higher-income taxpayers. The offer on entitlement spending has piqued the interest of some Republicans and could be the basis for a larger deficit reduction deal and debt ceiling increase. As for the tax proposals targeted toward higher-income earners, some are simply being reoffered from previous years, such as limiting the tax value of deductions and exemptions (including on municipal bond interest), a reduction in estate and gift tax exemptions, and a minimum effective tax rate of 30% phased-in for those earning over $1 million. Some notable proposals that are new in this year’s budget are listed below.
New Retirement Plan Cap. The White House is proposing to prohibit tax-free contributions to retirement accounts once the balance of those accounts reaches a certain level. The level would be based on the amount needed to provide for the maximum annuity permitted for qualified defined benefit plans (currently $205,000) and works out to $3.4 million but could change each year.
Derivatives. Taking a cue from a House Republican effort on tax reform, the budget contains a requirement that all derivative contracts be marked-to-market with the gain or loss being treated as ordinary income each year.
Inherited IRAs. A new proposal for the President, but one that first surfaced last year in the Senate, would require non-spouse beneficiaries of inherited IRAs to take distributions within five years, rather than over their expected lifetime.
New Bonds and Incentives to Invest. The budget proposes new taxable America Fast Forward Bonds similar to Build America Bonds but with a 28% direct payment to State and local issuers. To further incentivize investment in the U.S., the budget also proposes to exempt foreign pension funds from U.S. tax on the sale of real property.
Water Moving. A Senate committee this week approved the “Water Resources Development Act” (WRDA), which addresses the nation’s aging navigational system of inland waterways, coastal harbors and ports, locks and dams, and flood control protections. To use the Mississippi River basin as an example, 60 percent of all grain exported from the U.S. is shipped on the Mississippi River through the Port of New Orleans and the Port of South Louisiana. This large industry uses locks and dams still made of wood and also suffered during the recent drought. President Obama and a majority in Congress support upgraded infrastructure, and while disagreement over its cost and how to pay for it is preventing a more comprehensive agreement on infrastructure improvements, WRDA is an issue that both sides may eventually reach a compromise on. WRDA is scheduled to come to the Senate floor soon and will likely pass.
Cutting Congressional Pay. As federal workforce furloughs loom, some lawmakers are feeling the heat to possibly reduce their own pay in response. One senator has urged his colleagues to reduce their salaries by 20% as long as furloughs are in effect. Nearly half of the House and Senate membership (535 total members) are millionaires, so the reduction may not be a big deal to some. A few members are indeed cutting their salaries, but most are pledging instead to cut their office budgets or continue their charitable giving in this time of belt tightening. One Senator — Tennessee’s Bob Corker — has never taken a salary at all since being elected in 2006 and donates it to a local charity.
Updates courtesy of Dain M. Hansen, Director, Government Relations, IAPMO.
Since SPFA completed development of the SPF Professional Certification Program (PCP) and publicly rolled it out at its annual convention and expo in February, already almost 800 tests have been administered. SPFA members and partners, including Gaco Western, Premium Spray Systems, Demilec, Bayer Material Science, and the ABAA Conference have all hosted testing sessions. More sessions are scheduled over the next several weeks at locations including CertainTeed, Sprayfoam Nation, Conklin, Premium Spray Systems, Quadrant Urethanes, and NCFI, with more getting scheduled all the time. SPFA is working presently on the development of a Contractor, Distributor and Manufacturer Firm Accreditation program to complement the new certification program. To find out more about the program, enroll, register for a test, or get set up for one of the upcoming testing locations, please contact email@example.com
or (866) 222-5000 and simply state what you want to do. They will either process you or get you with the right people.
The Building Codes Assistance Project releases regular updates on building energy codes through its quarterly BCAP Newsletter and weekly Code Alert Bulletin.
BCAP Newsletters are quarterly summaries of what's been happening at the Building Codes Assistance Project and building energy code progress around the nation. To access the full archive, click here.
BCAP Code Alert Bulletins are released weekly by the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) and its website, the Online Code Environment & Advocacy Network (OCEAN). Code Alert Bulletins are designed to share information and support timely participation in state and local activities related to the adoption and implementation of building energy codes. The bulletins highlight immediate opportunities to influence state and local policy outcomes, indicate code status, and recommend contacts for action. If you know of activity that should be on this bulletin or would like to sign up for this bujlletin, contact Matt Kerns at (202) 530-2252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The newly formed Energy Efficient Foam Coalition
(EEFC) announced its opposition to two building code proposals that would side-step the current code requirement for a long-standing fire safety test known as the E-84 Steiner Tunnel Test. These proposals would allow the use of foam insulation that relies on a thermal barrier as the only means of defense in establishing fire safety in a majority of building applications.
The Coalition believes that the use of flame retardants in foam insulation is essential to protect occupants and workers from fire-related death and injury, and owners and occupants from property loss. Side-stepping the Steiner Tunnel Test would effectively permit the use of non-flame retardant-treated foam insulation in residential applications.
“We have more than 35 years of real-world evidence that the current fire testing requirements in the International Residential Code (IRC) for foam insulation are indispensable,” said Coalition spokesman Leonard Greenberger. “Existing building code fire safety provisions are based on years of careful analysis, extensive testing and a robust development process, yet the proposals pending before next week’s International Code Council’s Committee Action Hearings are based largely on a single, flawed report. The Coalition urges the IRC Building Committee to reject these proposals.”
The new Coalition, which is part of the American Chemistry Council, was established to educate the building community on the benefits of foam insulation as a sustainable building material that can significantly reduce a building’s energy use and help control indoor temperature. It not only helps to reduce a building’s energy costs, but also helps meet high consumer expectations about building performance and comfort. The Coalition’s current members are:
To learn more about the Coalition, please click here
With the 2013 version of the ASHRAE/IES energy standard scheduled for publication later this year, many changes are being proposed to strengthen its requirements.
As such, 26 proposed addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, are open for public comment.
“As we move toward publication of the 2013 standard, the 90.1 committee is considering many changes to reduce building energy use and cost,” Steve Skalko, chair, said. “The proposed addenda reflect a variety of changes to the standard, many of which are the result of earlier public review comments. These changes contribute to our goal of making the standard 40 to 50 percent more stringent than the 2004 standard.”
The energy cost goals for the 2013 standard are:
• Regulated Loads only – 50 percent target includes only regulated energy end use loads as included in the Standard 90.1-2004 baseline.
• Whole building – 40 percent target, which includes all energy end uses
• aa mandates direct digital control (DDC) for certain applications in both new buildings and retrofits where cost effective and defines the minimum capability of mandated DDC systems.
• bo adds requirements for use of gas condensing service water heaters in newly constructed buildings.
• bs reduces the occupancy threshold for demand controlled ventilation from greater than 40 people per 1000 square feet, with exemptions for certain occupancies, to equal to or greater than 25 people per 1000 square feet, expanding the occupancies where demand controlled ventilation is required.
• co corrects the calculation of hotel and motel type guestroom spaces based on an error in applying the room geometry of the space type, which then changes the associated whole building lighting power densities (LPDs) for hotel and motel.
• cr modifies the designation for the types of facilities eligible for the higher LPDs based on use of space for those needing additional lighting for age and other related eye issues.
• ct corrects an error for the addition of HVAC systems to heated only storage areas in Appendix G. The single zone systems would be assigned to a single thermal zone vs. being grouped with the multiple zone systems.
• cw uses the new SS-EN ISO 25745-1:2012 to add a movement energy efficiency requirement for elevators.
• cy revises the requirements for the use of exhaust air energy recovery as defined in 188.8.131.52. In 2012, addendum bt expanded down the range for the use of exhaust air energy recovery to 10 percent ventilation rates. In addition, energy recovery was removed for climate zones 3B, 3C, 4B, 4C, and 5B for >70 percent outside air. These changes were based on the latest performance and economics analysis,
• cz ensures revisions to a table and new footnotes are consistent with Section 303 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007), which increased the federal minimum efficiency standards for residential-sized boilers. Section 303 increased the minimum annual fuel utilization efficiency for gas and oil-fired boilers, and established design requirements for certain types of new boilers manufactured or imported for use in the United States. All of the efficiency and design requirements took effect for equipment built on or after Sept. 1, 2012.
• da provides two compliance paths for high speed doors within the Mandatory Air Leakage requirements. It also clarifies which test glazed overhead doors are to follow.
• db addresses an error in addendum bb contained within Table 5.5-3, under the category “Floors, Steel Joist” and in the cells assigned to the “residential” occupancy.
• dc clarifies that rooms within suites should be handled individually when one becomes empty.
• dd clarifies the exception to re-roofing and roof re-covering.
• de revises the design point for waterside economizers in computer room applications.
• df replaces current minimum performance requirements for packaged Computer Room Air Conditioners shown in Table 6.8.1k with a new table based on Standard 127-2012. The standard had referenced the 2007 version of Standard 127, Method of Testing for Rating Computer and Data Processing Room Unitary Air Conditioners. AHRI and member companies have agreed to test their equipment under the new standard. The test configurations were increased and the performance values updated accordingly.
• dg changes the reference to the 2012 ANSI/CRRC Standard from the 2010 version.
• di prohibits use of fossil fuels and electricity for humidification above 30 percent RH and dehumidification to 60 percent RH, except in special circumstances. Where control is required within the 30-60 percent region, a deadband is required. Where even tighter control is mandated, the system is exempted.
• dj offers an increase in electrical/mechanical rooms in cases where the current proposed allowance of 0.42 W/sqft is not considered sufficient to provide needed vertical and horizontal illuminance given the varied configuration of electrical/mechanical rooms. The additional allowance would have to have separate control and could not be traded off to other spaces in the building.
• dk eliminates the exemption for wattage used in spaces where lighting is specifically designed for those with age related or other medical condition related eye issues where special lighting or light levels might be needed.
• dl corrects the calculation of hotel and motel type guestroom spaces based on an error in applying the room geometry of the space type and combines them into a single value since the calculated value are determined to be the same for code purposes.
• dn revises the requirements for the use of hot gas bypass as defined in section 6.5.9 and table 6.5.9.
• do is updating referenced standards in various provisions covering mechanical systems in 90.1-2010.
In addition, three addenda under review that received public comments in earlier reviews have been revised and are open for public comment from March 22-May 6, 2013. They are:
• ac provides for two compliance paths with regard to utilizing air spaces in conjunction with reflective surfaces.
• bm makes the baseline building in Appendix G equivalent to 90.1-2004 for interior lighting design.
• cl modifies IEER requirements for the air cooled air conditioners =65,000 Btu/hr and < 135,000 Bu/hr to increase the IEER from 12.8 to 12.9 for electric resistance heating units and 12.6 to 12.7 for gas fired units. It also revises air cooled heat pumps =65,000 Btu/hr and < 135,000 Bu/hr for electric resistance heating units from 12.0 to 12.2 and from 11.8 to 12.0 for gas fired units.
In addition, one addendum opens for public review on March 29, closing April 28.
• Addendum cv develops baseline energy use guidance for public assembly spaces toward assessing energy performance achievement of a proposed building. Public assembly spaces are typically designed and operated differently than surrounding spaces.