At a ceremony Jan. 24 to mark the re-opening of Knauf Insulation’s mothballed Chambers County plant, CEO Mark Andrews said relationships played a major role in the company’s decision to restart operations in Alabama rather than seek a new location.
"At every single stage of this, we really felt we were wanted in Alabama," Andrews said. "We felt we were welcome, which was very important to our decision-making process."
Andrews joined Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield and Chambers County leaders in Lanett at an event today to mark the re-opening of the 800,000-square-foot plant, which employs 120 people.
The Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing (Center) introduced the RoofPoint Registered Professional
(RRP) program and the first class of RRPs at the 2014 International Roofing Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. The RRP program is the first major initiative launched under RoofPoint since the program was publicly unveiled in October 2012.
The mission of the RRP program is to develop a group of experienced professionals representing all key roofing stakeholders who have demonstrated competency in the application of the RoofPointCM Guideline for Innovative Nonresidential Roofing to evaluate individual roofing projects.
BPI now accepting applications to become a BPI Rater
Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) announced the launch of a national rating program to provide customers with an affordable, easy to understand rating of their home that can be combined with a comprehensive home energy audit. The BPI Rating Program is now available in Florida, which last July recognized BPI as one of a select group of organizations authorized to provide a Building Energy-Efficiency Rating System (BERS) in the state. BPI's program begins in Florida and is expected to be fully operational nationwide by mid-2014.
BPI is pleased to announce that it has been accepted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a Home Energy Score Partner, and will use the Home Energy Score as BPI's rating tool. DOE developed the Home Energy Score to help improve the assessment of existing homes.
>>Job Task Analysis (JTA) Workshop
Building operations professionals convened for a Job Task Analysis (JTA) Workshop in Orlando, Florida, to discuss what should be the tasks for their job category. These will eventually become voluntary national guidelines to improve the quality and consistency of commercial building workforce credentials. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Building Sciences are working with industry stakeholders and providers to develop the guidelines to improve the quality and consistency of commercial building workforce credentials for five key energy-related jobs: Energy Manager, Building Energy Auditor, Building Operations Professional, Building Commissioning Professional, and government certificate program for Energy Performance and Sustainability in Government Facilities. This, the Building Operations Professionals Workshop, is the third of five JTA workshops underway. Learn more about the program
McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Cos., New York, has reported construction starts decreased 13 percent in January. Total construction starts in January were down 5 percent compared with January 2013.
"The year 2014 began slowly due to behavior specific to each of the three main construction sectors," says Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction. "Nonresidential building in 2013 advanced 7 percent, but the progress was occasionally hesitant, including sluggish activity at the end of last year that carried over into January. At the same time, the prospects for continued growth for nonresidential building during 2014 are generally positive, helped by receding vacancies for commercial properties and some improvement in the fiscal health of state governments. Residential building in 2013 climbed 24 percent, but toward the end of last year, growth began to decelerate as mortgage lending to first-time home buyers remained stringent.
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.
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 (email@example.com
) 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.
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 Contractor Company Accreditation
The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) is pleased to announce the launch of the SPFA PCP Contractor Company Accreditation
at the Spray Foam 2014 Convention. By definition, an SPFA PCP Accredited Contractor is a Company that has met criteria of the certification scheme for Accreditation.
At a glance, here are some of the criteria a company must meet in order to become Accredited. The Handbook outlines them in detail:
1.Proof of Business
2.Proof of Licensing
4.Code of Conduct
6.Company Experience Declaration
Companies that operate using good business practices can easily meet most of this criteria and just need to have the appropriate personnel become SPFA PCP Certified to meet the other criteria.
Please carefully review the Company Personnel and Jobsite Requirements section in the Handbook to help you know which and how many of your personnel need to be SPFA PCP Certified individuals to meet this criteria.
At a minimum**, a company must have:
>>SPFA PCP Certified Project Manager* AND
>>SPFA PCP Certified Installer or Master Installer*
* To accommodate our smaller contractors, the same person can hold both certifications.
** Note that this is the minimum amount. Personnel requirements vary depending on size of company and number of jobs occurring at the same time.
For complete details on the Contractor Company Accreditation, please read the handbook at this link
>>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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Institute President Addresses the Important Role the Private Sector Plays in U.S. Standards Development
The Nation’s buildings have never been safer. Fire deaths have declined significantly and new buildings incorporate lessons learned from previous hazard events to better protect their occupants. These improvements are largely the result of strong building codes and a regulatory system focused at the state and local level. And the majority of these codes and standards for constructing safe, efficient buildings are developed by private-sector organizations. Read this letter
from Institute President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA, to understand the private sector’s role in U.S. standards development.
Spray Polyurethane Foam Design Guidance: Insulation and Air Barrier Requirements of the 2012 I-CodesSource: americanchemistry.com
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 email@example.com.
Sample alerts recently posted:
Alert Status: On February 10, the Arizona Senate referred SB 1227
to the Senate Rules Committee. SB 1227 would prohibit local jurisdictions from adopting any mandatory building code that is related to energy efficiency, energy conservation, or green construction. Codes already adopted would be grandfathered in.
Alert Status: The Nevada State Office of Energy has proposed
a statewide update to the 2012 IECC. Workshops for Reno
and Las Vegas
were held January 9 and 15, with another in Northern Nevada in March. The state appears likely to move forward with the move at its March 26 meeting.
>>U.S. Electricity Use Is Declining and Energy Efficiency May Be a Significant Factor
U.S. electricity sales peaked in 2007 and have been declining modestly since then. Sales in 2012 were 1.9% lower than 2007 sales, and sales in the first ten months of 2013 are below the same period in 2012. While the economic recession is an obvious explanation for the decline in sales in 2008 and 2009, it is much less clear why sales have continued to decline since then, even as the economy began to recover. While some observers have attributed this stalled growth to the ongoing effects of the "Great Recession," other observers suggest other factors may have played a role, such as erosion of manufacturing, more efficient buildings, lighting and appliances and increased use of on-site generation.
ACEEE has just completed an analysis on electricity-use trends since 1993 and we looked at changes in sales over the 2007-2012 period in particular. We found that no single factor can explain the change in electricity use over the 1993-2012 period. The factors that appear most significant were energy efficiency programs and policies, warmer weather, changes in gross domestic product (GDP), changes in electricity prices, and long-term trends...
To continue reading the blog post, click here.
To read the white paper, click here
>>RESNET Calls for Comments on Proposed CAZ Testing Standards Removal
Deadline: March 12, 2014
BPI encourages all industry stakeholders to provide their valuable input on these important standards revisions
RESNET is calling for public comments on its revisions of the RESNET CO and CAZ Depressurization Testing Standard. If adopted RESNET would amend its standard to remove CO testing and CAZ depressurization testing protocols. Instead RESNET proposes to point to ANSI/ACCA 12 QH, Appendix A, which is currently undergoing an ANSI public comment process.
If the amendment is adopted, RESNET will supply ACCA with Sections 807 and 808 of Addendum 2 as a proposed amendment to their ANSI Standard Protocols for CO Testing and Depressurization Test of the Combustion Appliance Zone. That document, together with the proposal from the CAZ Working Group comprised of ACCA, American Gas Association, and other stakeholders, would provide ACCA with input into their ANSI Standard.
While ACCA's Standard 12 does point to BPI standards with respect to CO and CAZ depressurization testing, RESNET's press release states that RESNET will continue to require the CAZ and Work Scope academic exam and the CAZ simulator exam for certification for all Rating Field Inspectors, Raters, Trainers, and Quality Assurance Designees.
Please note that the RESNET academic exam cited above is a simulation based exam that has proven to be very good as a diagnostic reasoning exam; however, it does not require the skills and abilities competency field exam with the diagnostic equipment that is required under BPI certification.
Public comments on the proposed amendment will be accepted until Wednesday, March 12, 2014.
After the comment period, the RESNET Standards Development Committee will consider and document each of the comments submitted and make appropriate changes. The revised proposed amendments then will be submitted to the RESNET Board for adoption.
>>Comments on OMB Proposed Update of Circular A-119 Are Due May 12
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued a proposed updated version of OMB Circular A-119, "Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities," for public inspection and comment. The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), of which NIBS is a member, strongly encourage representatives of standards developing organizations (SDOs), industry, academia, government agencies and other relevant stakeholders to review the proposed draft, which is expected to have a significant impact on future U.S. government use of privately developed voluntary consensus standards.
The current version of Circular A-119, which was last revised by the OMB in 1998, and the associated National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
(NTTAA) of 1995 jointly serve to direct U.S. federal agencies to consider the use of private-sector-developed standards in lieu of government-unique standards whenever possible. The proposed changes focus on numerous topics, including the use of voluntary consensus standards in federal regulations, incorporation by reference and intellectual property rights, and government participation in standards development activities, among many other issues. Comments are due May 12. Read the ANSI release
. View the Federal Register