The mayors from 10 major U.S. cities announced they will undertake a united effort to significantly boost energy efficiency in their buildings, a move that combined could cut as much climate change pollution as generated by 1 million to 1.5 million passenger vehicles every year, and lower energy bills by nearly $1 billion annually. The mayors will be participating in the new City Energy Project (CEP), an initiative from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation that is designed to create healthier, more prosperous American cities by targeting their largest source of energy use and climate pollution: buildings. The following 10 cities will be CEP’s first participants: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City.
The Spray Foam Coalition
(SFC) of the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) recently adopted a new SFC Code of Conduct to further demonstrate the member companies’ commitment to the continuous improvement in health, safety and product stewardship of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) products. This is the first commitment of its kind in the SPF industry. The SFC Code of Conduct includes commitments to leadership, communication, applicator training, education and research. The Code can be viewed here.
The European Commission has found that the four major producers of flexible polyurethane foam – Vita, Carpenter, Recticel and Eurofoam – participated in a cartel and has imposed fines totalling EUR 114,077,000. The cartel covered comfort foam and specific types of flexible foam. The companies colluded to coordinate the sales prices of various types of foam for nearly five years, from October 2005 until July 2010, in ten EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the UK).
The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for December 2013, and also calculated the yearly increase in building permits. Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 986,000. This is 3.0 percent below the revised November rate of 1,017,000, but is 4.6 percent above the December 2012 estimate of 943,000.
Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of 610,000; this is 4.8 percent below the revised November figure of 641,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 350,000 in December.
An estimated 974,700 housing units were authorized by building permits in 2013. This is 17.5 percent above the 2012 figure
SPF Article by Rick Duncan Appears in Roofing Contractor
SPFA Finishes Environmental Product Declaration for SPF
As a continuing step toward effective product and environmental stewardship, SPFA and Underwriters Laboratory Environment (ULe) conducted the necessary steps to complete an SPF Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), which further validates the 2012 release of the SPF Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). This Declaration, along with the LCA, are recognized by sustainability experts as additional verification of a product’s environmental performance. The EPD is maintained on the ULe website, available at www.sprayfoam.org/technical. The LCA is available there, as well.
SPFA Delivers New Website
In late 2013 SPFA released a newly redesigned website. The site offers even more useful information to members, the industry and the public on SPF benefits, performance and safety. It is much more user friendly and delivers resources to SPF professionals that will aid in increasing the success of their businesses. www.sprayfoam.org
SPFA Publishes Cold-Climate Hybrid Insulation Guidelines for Zones 4-7
In a continuing effort among the SPFA Building Envelope Committee (BEC) to issue guidance materials on hybrid insulation, additions to the previously published Hybrid Guidelines are soon available for download by members. The new content covers "cold-climate" Zones 4-7 and recently received approval from the SPFA Technical Oversight Committee (TOC). Members recognized that, while SPF is typically the insulation of choice, the marketplace practice of producing hybrid insulation systems is prevalent and would benefit from consideration of related issues. A Hybrid Insulation System is a combination of insulation types typically arranged so the SPF insulation acts as an air barrier and/or a vapor retarder, and the other insulation type contributes by adding R-value. The document will be available in the Member Only section of the website and a link will be sent to members as soon as the document is posted.
SPFA Completes New Worksite Safety SignsSPFA recently completed two new safety signs for restricted access to worksites (No Entry and No Hot Work). These safety signs, produced by the SPFA Safety Committee, will be offered to the membership in the Members Only section of the website, and samples will be provided in the convention bags at the 2014 SPFA SprayFoam Convention & Expo. Digital files will be available for companies to download and print for their use. These signs should be used on all worksites to aid in compliance with the OSHA NEP and Hazard Communication.
SPFA Committee Updates
Massachusetts SPF Workshop
In December 2013 SPFA participated with a broad segment of the industry in a Massachusetts state sponsored workshop. The workshop was attended by a variety of public and private organizations looking to promote health, safety and performance of SPF, as well as the SPFA PCP certification program throughout the state. Four more such workshops are being scheduled in the state for 2014. http://1.usa.gov/1eOMbKy
>>Building Envelope Committee (BEC) – Mark Fortney, Gaco-Western, chair
On October 2, the BEC met in-person in Tucson, Ariz. Ten members attended. The committee members present approved a new hybrid insulation guide for cold climates and a code-compliant installation certificate to include insulation and fire-protective coatings. These documents will be published by SPFA within the next several weeks. In addition, an industry-level Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for SPF is complete and will be available on the UL Environment website later this year. New BEC projects include developing a foam thickness measurement procedure, extending AY-140 to include interior basement wall application, and working with the metal building industry to update our metal buildings guidance document. A new research project to measure the compatibility of SPF with low voltage wiring will be started this year. The next BEC meeting will be by teleconference on January 13, 2014.
>>Roofing Committee (RC) – Roger Morrison, Deer Ridge Consulting, chair
The RC met by teleconference on October 22. Included in the agenda was an update from the RICOWI and RoofPoint programs, an update on the new SPF Environmental Product Declaration. The Roofing Committee members present also selected three AY documents to update during the next year including AY-102, AY-127 and AY-110. Potential new projects discussed included developing a guidance document for SPF Roofing used with Photo-Voltaic installations and a guideline for SPF Roofing and Transition Membranes. The next meeting of the Roofing Committee will be an in-person meeting on February 25, 2014, one day before the International Roofing Exposition in Las Vegas.
>>Safety Committee (SC) – Joe Bolduc, Masco Contractor Services, chair
The SC met by teleconference on November 7. The primary goal of this meeting was to develop a comprehensive contractor safety program package free for SPFA members. This package will include templates for a Written Safety Program, a Respiratory Protection program, safety training and accident recording, among other items. The SC also discussed ways to help member contractors prepare for OSHA’s new National Emphasis Program (NEP) for isocyanates, and made plans to finalize the new SPFA jobsite safety signs.
If you are interested in participating on any of the SPFA technical committees, please contact Rick Duncan, SPFA Technical Director (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or any of the committee chairs listed above.
SPFA Commits Resources on Sprayfoam to Homebuilders
The SPFA Board announced a commitment to complete a builder’s checklist on SPF to improve SPF contractor – builder communication. The checklist, expected to be surpassed over time with more materials oriented toward the builders and customers, will offer useful information on installation quality, health and safety, typical planning considerations for a worksite, and highlight information about SPFA’s Professional Certification Program (PCP) to inform and empower builders on the topics that are most relevant to them.
"One of the most important things we can do as an industry to maintain a high level of quality, safety and OSHA compliance on the worksite is to coordinate with those other stakeholder industries that typically share the worksite with us," said Kurt Riesenberg, Executive Director of SPFA. "The relationship and communication between builder and sprayfoam contractor in the field is essential for success, and that is reflected in SPFA working with the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) to facilitate similar conversations across our industries," he continued.
>>2014 SprayFoam Conference & Expo Attendance
The attendance at the 2014 SprayFoam Conference & Expo was fantastic. As the rest of the country built igloos and bundled up, attendees enjoyed 80-degree, sunny skies in beautiful Palm Springs. The conference was the highest-attended West Coast show, and had a record number of booths (92) as well as a record number of large booths: (7) 20x20s and (1) 20x40.
As can be seen here at the packed General Session, there were a lot of contractors, manufacturers and applicators interested in what's new in the SPF industry. They were not disappointed in what the expo offered, as far as training, updates on new products, networking, learning and testing.
Bill Meehan of the Building Performance Institute, who was an exhibitor at the expo, said it quite clearly: "It's been great. I've been here three years and every year it gets better. There has been a lot of traffic. It's been a transformation, with SPFA's PCP and their embracing the whole-house-as-a-system approach."
Tim Rosadiuk of Cozifoam, who took some of the PCP exams, gave similar feedback as far as the training classes and exams were concerned. "The instructors were very good and had lots of experience in the field. They were not just book guys... and gave lots of practical tips."
During SprayFoam 2014, the winners of the SPFA National Industry Excellence Awards were announced. More details on the winners and their projects will be covered in upcoming issues of SPRAYFOAM Professional, but here are the results:
Commercial Wall Foam Winner: Domestic Insulation
Commercial Wall Foam Runner-Up: Biofoam Inc.
Residential Wall Foam Winner: PROFOAM of Tennessee
Residential Wall Foam Runner-Up: Jag Construction Inc.
Roof Foam Less Than 40,000 sq. ft. Winner: PROFOAM of Tennessee
Roof Foam Less Than 40,000 sq. ft. Runner-Up: Honeywell Building Envelope Solutions
Roof Foam Greater Than 40,000 sq. ft. Winner: Arizona Foam & Spray
Roof Foam Greater Than 40,000 sq. ft. Runner-Up: West Roofing Systems, Inc.
Specialty Applications Winner: West Roofing Systems, Inc.
Specialty Applications Runner-Up: Polyseal Insulation LLC
If you were not able to attend SPFA's 2014 SprayFoam Convention & Expo, be sure to stay tuned. Speakers at the highest-attended break-out sessions will be summarizing some of their material in upcoming issues of SPRAYFOAM Professional
. Also, many of the slides from the presentations are available here
The first 1,100 attendees of the 2014 SPFA Convention & Expo received in their convention bags a valuable, unique commemorative "challenge coin" for attending the show. The coin represents the start of a new tradition with each annual convention having its own coin. Attendees were able to use the coins around town at select restaurants for giveaways or discounts, and each coin was numbered so SPFA could use them in place of tickets for the giveaways (TVs, iPad, Galaxy Tab) at the closing reception. The following were lucky winners:
Flat Screen TV:
One Year Contractor Membership:
Western Pacific Roofing
SPFA PCP Certification Test:
Sig Hall – Western Pacific Roofing
John Nassivera – Coating & Foam Solutions
Peter Hedger - MVP
>>SPFA PCP Updates
To see updates on the SPFA Professional Certification Programs from SprayFoam 2014, visit the SPFA Training & Certification section in the newsletter.
>>SPFA Publishes Membership Brochure
Available on the SPFA website
, the brochure highlights some of the various benefits of membership and activities of the organization as it pursues its mission to represent SPF professionals in areas of technical and environmental leadership, government advocacy, professional certification, industry promotion and outreach, and delivery of a world-class convention and expo. Please check out the brochure if you have been considering joining SPFA and support our mission to serve you.
For more information or to access the application to join, please click here.
>>SPFA Membership Directory and Buyers' Guide
Members in good standing are listed in this publication, which was mailed to members in September. This directory is also available in a digital format here
. The convenient digital format allows users to navigate and access the directory's content quickly and easily, on the road or in the office. Use the information provided to contact fellow SPFA members and industry partners throughout the year to share ideas, ask questions, or just stay in touch.
>>SPFA Member Benefits
SPFA knows there are lots of organizations out there that would like to have you in their membership. But if you are in, or getting into, the sprayfoam business, we are the place for you. We work hard to represent you well and give you value back for your support. Click here
to find out more.
Source: ashrae.org / Joseph W. Lstiburek, Ph.D., P.Eng., Fellow ASHRAE
We live at the bottom of an ocean of air. Each of us is carrying around 14.7 pounds per square inch when at the beach in Miami. We are powerful creatures indeed. Imagine carrying around 101,000 Pascals on that beach. Or 1,010 millibars. As elevation increases, the weight of the air we are carrying around decreases. This decrease in weight with elevation is called the lapse rate. Read more here.
©2014 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 56, no. 2, February 2014.
>>SPFA PCP Updates from SprayFoam 2014
1) Contractor Company Accreditation
2) Supplier Company Accreditation
3) Supplier Representative Certification
In addition to the launch of Phase II, the work of the first phase continued with the completion of 235 exams at the 2014 SprayFoam Convention & Expo. This brings the grand total to 1,324 PCP exams taken to date and the program hasn’t even marked it first anniversary yet! Currently, 197 SPFA PCP Certifications have been issued and the number continues to grow!
A total of 31 Field Examinations were conducted in Roofing and Insulation, hosted by Western Pacific Roofing. Ron Winkle of Western Pacific Roofing is a big supporter of the SPFA and the Professional Certification Program. "It confirms applicators' safety and quality installations." This three-day event served three purposes:
1) Candidates for Master Installer Certification were able to fulfill the Field Exam requirement.
2) Field Examiners in Training were able to see how Field Exams were conducted and to fulfill their obligation to observe and/or be mentored prior to conducting Field Exams on their own.
3) Observers were able to view the Field Exam process and over 120 people chose to do so. These observers represented governmental agencies, sponsors, suppliers who will be hosting in the future, international attendees and Field Examiners in training.
The PCP also conducted eight Examination Preparatory Classes at SprayFoam 2014. To help candidates meet other criteria, the Center for Polyurethanes Institute (CPI) sponsored online course availability by setting up a computer lab where SPFA attendees could take the CPI Chemical Health and Safety course, which is required for all PCP Certifications. We also offered CPR/First Aid Training on site at the Convention Center to help PCP participants meet this criteria.
The only complaint we heard was there was so much to do and so little time! To help alleviate this concern, please remember that suppliers are now making Exam Prep Courses, Written Exams and Field Exams available on a regular basis. Check the website at www.sprayfoam.org
for current listing of upcoming PCP events.
To find out more about the program, enroll, register for a test, or get set up for one of the upcoming testing locations, email email@example.com or call (866) 222-5000 and simply state what you want to do.
>>SPFA PCP Exam Preparatory Course, Written Examinations and Field Examinations
>>SFC Supports New SPFA Professional Certification Program
The Spray Foam Coalition (SFC) of the American Chemistry Council recently released a document outlining the benefits of SPFA's Professional Certification Program (PCP). The Coalition strongly supports this program that will continue to expand the ongoing efforts of the spray polyurethane foam (SPF) industry to create the highest standards of quality and professionalism for its customers.
"The SPF industry has for many years and will continue to support the safe and appropriate use of SPF," said SFC Senior Director Lee Salamone. "SPFA has created a first-rate certification program to continually raise the bar on safety, performance, quality and professionalism among SPF industry professionals and help give building owners confidence when choosing an SPF applicator."
SPFA launched its new Professional Certification Program at the 2013 SprayFoam Convention & Expo. The program was developed in compliance with the ANSI/ISO 17024 standard.
>>OSHA NEP Letter to SPFA
October 2013 SPFA received a letter from OSHA Director Dr. Michaels referencing
the 2013-released OSHA National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Isocyanates, which is
available on the SPFA website: http://bit.ly/1iUOmBA. In the letter Dr.
Michaels requested that SPFA work to inform the SPF industry and SPFA members
of the tenets contained in the NEP. After four focused years of involvement,
SPFA continues to work on the members’ behalf with federal representatives to
develop and deliver practical, meaningful guidance leading to increased
contractor and customer safety, high performing installations, and compliance
with regulations. For more information on the NEP visit SPFA’s website under Health & Safety or attend the 2014 Convention session.
CPI released an updated Guidance for Developing a Written Respiratory Protection Program
. This document provides regulatory background and a model respiratory program that addresses OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Program Standard (29 CFR §1910.134) which applies to all respirator use in general industry and construction workplaces. The program provides guidance on appropriate respirators, respirator use, storage, fit and evaluation.
7 Home Performance Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2014
Source: bpi.org / Peter Troast
As the New Year begins, we're dedicating a little time to reflecting on 2013 and looking forward to 2014. We recently published a post looking back at the top Energy Circle blog posts of 2013. We’re following that up with this look forward at the major home performance marketing trends that will have a significant impact on how home performance and home energy related businesses will need to market themselves to drive the industry forward in 2014.
Whirlpool Corporation announced it has implemented the use of Honeywell's Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent (LBA), into its environmentally responsible and energy efficient insulation used in U.S.-made refrigerators and freezers. The global warming potential (GWP) of the new foam blowing agent is 99.9% lower than 245fa the most common foam blowing agent widely used within the U.S. industry, resulting in a more environmentally-responsible household refrigerator. The conversion of all U.S. manufacturing centers is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.
The Energy Productivity Innovation Challenge Can Do Better By Codes
Source: energycodesocean.org / Cosimina Panetti
In this blog, author Cosimina Panetti shares information related to codes and energy efficiency. "Effective energy efficiency policies provide benefits to consumers and businesses alike, making federal energy policy a vital component of enhancing the future of U.S. energy productivity. According to the Alliance to Save Energy, "federal energy efficiency policies have proven time and time again to save taxpayers money, create jobs, increase U.S. competitiveness, stimulate technological innovation, and moderate demand for energy and the need for imports" (Alliance to Save Energy, 2013). Improved energy efficiency can enhance national security, reduce air pollution, protect natural resources, and strengthen the economy." Read more here
Revisions to Climate Data Standard from ASHRAE Include New Climate Zone, Climatic Data
The newly updated Standard 169, Climatic Data for Building Design Standards
, serves as a comprehensive source of climate data for those involved in building design, and provides a variety of climatic information for designing, planning and sizing building energy systems and equipment.
"Using the results from ASHRAE Research Project 1453 ‘Updating the ASHRAE Climatic Data for Design and Standards,’ the data and tables in the standard were completely replaced," Dru Crawley, chair of the committee writing the standard, said.
Spray Polyurethane Foam Design Guidance: Insulation and Air Barrier Requirements of the 2012 I-Codes
provides building designers with easy-to-use information about spray polyurethane foam (SPF) for use as wall and roof insulation and as an air barrier. Air barrier information and R-value requirements for commercial and residential buildings complying with the 2012 IECC and 2012 IgCC are provided. (booklet version)
>>The Building Codes Assistance Project Updates on Building Energy Codes
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. Here are some of the recent alerts from the BCAP Code Alerts released 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 bulletin, contact Matt Kerns at (202) 530-2252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report: Energy Productivity Central to Clean Energy Economy
Significant Progress on Energy Efficiency in 2013 — And 2014 Could Be Even Better
Doubling America’s energy productivity by 2030—a goal adopted by the President and first articulated by the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy in Energy 2030— once again has emerged as a central focus in a new and important national clean energy action plan released this week. Powering Forward: Presidential and Executive Agency Actions to Drive Clean Energy in America
, a report from the New Energy Economy (CNEE), founded and led by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, offers 200 ideas for presidential action to curb climate change and advance a clean energy economy. In it, energy efficiency is recognized as Job No. 1, and the "quickest, cheapest and among the most effective ways to achieve a clean economy."