Dow Plans to Construct Extruded Polystyrene Manufacturing Facility

The Dow Chemical Company announces its plans to construct a manufacturing facility to be located in Burley, Idaho. The facility will be operated by Dow Building Solution (DBS), a business unit within Dow, and produce STYROFOAM Brand Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Insulation – a thermal insulation solution facilitating sustainability and innovation in the building and construction industry since its discovery in 1941.

Building upon its 75 years of innovation, the STYROFOAM Brand Extruded Polystyrene Insulation facility will come on-line utilizing DOW BLUEDGE Polymeric Flame Retardant Technology – an invention that is transforming the market as the industry standard flame retardant for use in polystyrene foam insulation, as it meets the demands of global energy efficiency regulations and sustainable building design.

The construction of the XPS facility exemplifies Dow’s commitment to the DBS growth strategy and strengthens its ability to deliver sustainable insulation solutions to customers, especially in Western Canada and the United States. The facility also demonstrates Dow’s pledge to provide operations performance in natural resource efficiency, environment, health, and safety, as outlined in Dow’s 2025 Sustainability goals.

“The construction of this facility will allow us to respond to market demand and deliver sustainable building solutions to our customers,” said Tim Lacey, global business director for Dow Building Solutions. “The collaboration with the city of Burley has been critical to reach this agreement and we look forward to continue collaborating together into the future.”

“Dow’s decision to build in Burley speaks about the quality of our workforce, the business- friendliness of our state and communities, and the great diversity that we are developing in Idaho’s economy,” Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said. “It’s always great to welcome a corporate citizen to Idaho, and I’m excited about the opportunities for existing Idaho businesses to help meet the supply chain needs of this new enterprise.”

“We are thrilled to have a company such as Dow locating in Burley” said Director of Economic Development, Doug Manning. “They are a leader in business and innovation, and the immediate and future economic impact on this community will be exceptional. It’s a ‘win’ for the City of Burley to have a Fortune 50 Company locating here. This has been a collaborative effort from the State, the City, Burley Development Authority, Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization, and other local entities. We are excited to have Dow as a new community partner. They have been wonderful to work with to make this project happen,” he said.

Groundbreaking on the 60,000 square feet project is expected to occur in 2016 with project completion targeted for the latter portion of 2017. Manufacturing of STYROFOAM XPS Insulation is expected to begin in early 2018. Construction of the project will employ approximately 80 workers during peak construction and create 21 full-time manufacturing jobs at the height of operation.

Insulation Types, Application Methods and Physical Characteristics Must Be Reviewed, Understood and Selected to Ensure Roof System Performance

Designing and constructing roof systems (see my previous articles about roof decks, substrate boards and vapor barriers) continues with the thermal insulation layer. The governing building codes will dictate the minimum R-value required and, based on the R-value of the selected insulation, the thickness of required insulation can be determined. This plays into the design of the roof edge, which will be the subject of future articles. For now, let’s focus on insulation.

Photo 1: Polyisocyanurate (ISO) with organic facers

Photo 1: Polyisocyanurate
(ISO) with organic facers

Thermal insulation has multiple purposes, including to:

    ▪▪ Provide an appropriate surface on which the roof cover can be placed.
    ▪▪ Assist in providing interior user comfort.
    ▪▪ Assist in uplift performance of the roof system.
    ▪▪ Provide support for rooftop activities.
    ▪▪ Keep the cool air in during the summer and out during the winter, resulting in energy savings.

INSULATION OPTIONS

For the designer, there are numerous insulation material choices, each with its own positive and negative characteristics. Today’s insulation options are:

    ▪▪ Polyisocyanurate (ISO)

  • »» Varying densities
  • »» Organic facers (see photos 1 and 2)
  • »» Double-coated fiberglass facers (see photo 3)
  • ▪▪ Expanded polystyrene (XPS) (see photo 4)

  • »» Varying densities
  • ▪▪ Extruded polystyrene (EPS) (see photo 5)

  • »» Varying densities
  • ▪▪ Mineral wool (see photo 6)

  • »» Varying densities
  • ▪▪ Perlite
    ▪▪ High-density wood fiber

With today’s codes, the use of perlite and high-density wood fiber as primary roof insulation is very limited. The R-value per inch and overall cost is prohibitive.

Some attributes of the more commonly used insulation types are:
POLYISOCYANURATE

Photo 2: Polyisocyanurate (ISO) with organic facers

Photo 2: Polyisocyanurate
(ISO) with organic facers

    ▪▪ Predominate roof insulation in the market
    ▪▪ Organic and double-coated fiberglass facers (mold-resistant)
    ▪▪ Varying densities available: 18 to 25 psi, nominal and minimum, as well as 80 to 125 psi high-density cover boards
    ▪▪ Has an allowable dimensional change, per the ASTM standard, that needs to be understood and designed for
    ▪▪ Can be secured via mechanical fasteners or installed in hot asphalt and/or polyurethane foam adhesive: bead and full-coverage spray foam
    ▪▪ Has an R-value just under 6.0 per inch but has some downward drifting over time

EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE (EPS)

    ▪▪ Has good moisture resistance but can accumulate moisture
    ▪▪ Direct application to steel decks is often a concern with fire resistance
    ▪▪ Has varying densities: 1.0 to 3.0 pound per cubic foot
    ▪▪ Very difficult to install in hot asphalt; basically not appropriate
    ▪▪ Certain products can be secured with mechanical fasteners or lowrise foam adhesive
    ▪▪ Has stable R-values: 3.1 to 4.3 per inch based upon classification type

EXTRUDED POLYSTYRENE (XPS)

    ▪▪ Has good moisture resistance and is often used in protected roof membrane systems and plaza deck applications
    ▪▪ Direct application to steel decks is often a concern with fire resistance
    ▪▪ Has varying compressive strengths: 20 to 100 psi
    ▪▪ Not appropriate to be installed in hot asphalt
    ▪▪ Has stable R-values: 3.9 to 5 per inch based on classification type

MINERAL WOOL

    ▪▪ Outstanding fire resistance
    ▪▪ Stable thermal R-value: 4.0 per inch
    ▪▪ No dimensional change in thickness or width over time
    ▪▪ Available in differing densities
    ▪▪ May absorb and release moisture
    ▪▪ Can be installed in hot asphalt or mechanically attached

PHOTOS: HUTCHINSON DESIGN GROUP LTD.

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