PIMA Sponsors Appalachian State Solar Decathlon Europe Entry

The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) announced that it has signed on as a Kilowatt Level sponsor of Appalachian State University‘s entry to the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014.

Appalachian State University (Appalachian) is one of only three U.S. universities selected to participate in the prestigious Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, an international competition inspired by the U.S. Solar Decathlon that challenges student teams to design and build an energy-independent solar house. Twenty projects were selected for the competition out of a total of 44 candidacies from 23 countries.

“Using effective and accessible products in Maison Reciprocity such as polyiso, allows our team to dramatically improve upon the beloved row house typology without radically changing the norm in terms of products and systems,” says Appalachian State University Graduate Construction Manager, Scott Hopkins. “With a continuous layer of polyiso wrapping the building envelope, we can let more natural daylight into a traditionally long, narrow row house without sacrificing thermal performance.”

Appalachian is partnering with the University of Angers in Angers, France. The collaboration, dubbed Team Réciprocité, will present their energy plus house design, Maison Reciprocity, in Versailles from June 27 through July 14, 2014.

Team Réciprocité is committed to utilizing affordable solutions and practical, technological alternatives, such as polyiso insulation, to ensure that Maison Reciprocity remains highly sustainable throughout its life cycle. Using cross-laminated timber (CLT) as its primary structural system, Maison Reciprocity will be designed in modular, panelized components that may be flat-packed for easy transport and shipping.

“Maison Reciprocity will feature the latest in building systems technology as well as incorporate one of the most energy efficient insulation products available today, polyiso,” says Jared O. Blum, president of PIMA. “With the highest R-value per inch of any insulation product, and the only on that is third party certified, polyiso will be a critical component in this Solar Decathlon Europe entry.

“Our sponsorship underscores the polyiso industry’s commitment to net zero energy buildings – where the future of construction lies,” adds Blum.

Maison Reciprocity will be scalable to fit the needs of different sites, communities and owners while remaining energy independent. The final product will be a re-imagined row house, consisting of multiple stories and units.

“Using effective and accessible products in Maison Reciprocity such as polyiso, allows our team to dramatically improve upon the beloved row house typology without radically changing the norm in terms of products and systems,” says Scott Hopkins, graduate construction manager for Maison Reciprocity. “With a continuous layer of polyiso wrapping the building envelope, we can let in more natural daylight into a traditionally long, narrow row house without sacrificing thermal performance.”

PIMA member Atlas Roofing Company is also a sponsor of Team Réciprocité’s entry, Maison Reciprocity. Atlas Rboard is the main insulation throughout the house with four inches of Atlas Rboard polyiso being used as continuous insulation over CLT and stick frame walls.

The Solar Decathlon Europe will be will take place in France, neighboring the spectacular Château de Versailles June 27 to July 14, 2014.

National Building Code of Canada Adopts Updated Standard for Measuring LTTR of Polyiso Products

On Oct. 31, 2013, the National Building Code (NBC) of Canada adopted the most recent version of CAN/ULC-S704-11, the standard specification for polyiso in Canada, which references the test method CAN/ULC-S770-09 for determining the long-term thermal resistance (LTTR) of polyiso foam insulation. This adoption brings consistency to the test methods used for measuring LTTR in Canada and the U.S.

In the U.S., polyiso manufacturers use the ASTM C1289 standard (ASTM C1289 Standard Specification for Faced Rigid Cellular Polyisocyanurate Thermal Insulation Board) to predict the long-term thermal resistance R-value for a variety of polyiso insulation boards. ASTM C1289 includes the CAN/ULC-S770-09 and ASTM C1303-12, another test method used for LTTR.

“Since our members make and ship product in the United States and Canada, it is critical that polyiso insulation be subjected to the same criteria for measuring LTTR in both countries,” says Jared Blum, president PIMA. “We are pleased that the NBC in Canada has adopted CAN/ULC-S704-11 and CAN/ULC-S770-09 and that it is in harmony with ASTM C1289. Together these standards provide more data for predicting the long-term thermal performance of polyiso insulation and further enhances the validity of PIMA’s QualityMark program.”

The PIMA QualityMark program, the only third-party program for the certification of the thermal value of polyiso insulation, allows polyiso manufacturers to obtain independent, third-party certification for the LTTR values of their polyiso insulation products. Polyiso is the only insulation to be certified by this unique program for its LTTR value. The program was developed by PIMA and is administered by FM Global.

To participate in PIMA’s QualityMark certification program, a Class 1 roof is suggested to have a design R-value of 5.7 per inch. PIMA member manufacturers will publish updated R-values for their polyiso products later this year. Polyiso is unique in that the R-value increases with the thickness of the foam, so three inches of polyiso has a higher R-value per inch than two inches.

Energy Code: New Language for Roof Repair, Recover and Replacement

When existing roofs (that are part of the building’s thermal envelope) are removed and replaced and when the roof assembly includes above-deck insulation, the energy code now requires that the insulation levels comply with the requirements for new construction, according to a proposal approved by International Code Council at public comment hearings held in October 2013.

As a result of this proposal approval, the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) includes new language that provides unambiguous direction on how the energy code provisions apply to roof repair, roof recover and roof replacement.

Each year about 2.5 billion square feet of roof coverings are installed on existing buildings. The opportunity to upgrade the insulation levels on these roof systems occurs once every several decades when the roof is replaced or even longer when existing roofs are “recovered”. Until recently this requirement was prescribed using vague and confusing language.

“There has been a great deal of confusion given the various terms used to describe roofing projects on existing buildings in both the International Building Code and the International Energy Conservation Code, such as reroofing, roof repair, roof recover and roof replacement,” says Jared O. Blum, president, Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA).

Moving forward the IECC will use the same definitions found in the International Building code:

  • Reroofing. The process of recovering or replacing an existing roof covering. See “Roof recover” and “Roof replacement.”
  • Roof Recover. The process of installing an additional roof covering over a prepared existing roof covering without removing the existing roof covering.
  • Roof Replacement. The process of removing the existing roof covering, repairing any damaged substrate and installing a new roof covering.
  • Roof Repair. Reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing roof for the purposes of its maintenance.

“A survey of building departments in many states and regions in the United States found that online roofing permit application forms rarely included any information on the energy code and required insulation levels,” Blum adds. “With the changes to the 2015 IECC, it will be easier for building departments to correlate the building- and energy-code requirements for roof replacements.”

The clarification to the 2015 IECC makes the code easier to interpret and enforce. Along the way, it will help ensure the opportunity to save energy when replacing roofs.

“Numerous studies have demonstrated the energy-savings provided by a well-insulated roofing system,” Blum says. “It is critical to minimize energy losses and upgrade insulation levels when roofs are replaced to comply with code requirements for new construction.”

Another benefit of this update is that the exemption for roof repair is now clearly defined, making it easier for building owners and roofing contractors to perform routine maintenance without triggering energy efficiency upgrades, which would add costs.

Whitton Assumes PIMA Chairmanship

The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) has announced that Jim Whitton, vice president of Sales and Marketing at Hunter Panels LLC, has assumed the chairmanship of the organization as of Jan. 1, 2014. He succeeds Dr. Chris Griffin of Johns Manville Roofing Systems, who has served as the PIMA chairman for the last two years.

“Given his extensive roofing industry expertise, his deep understanding of the polyiso insulation industry and his experience working with the Association on numerous task groups and initiatives, Jim is the perfect choice to lead PIMA,” says Jared Blum, PIMA president. “We look forward to his leadership as code and standard setting bodies continue to embrace and reiterate the value of building thermal performance.”

Whitton, a 28-year veteran of the roofing industry, has worked at Hunter Panels since its founding. He graduated from DePaul University with degrees in both accounting and education. Prior to joining Hunter Panels, Whitton served as the Regional Tapered Manager and Marketing Manager for NRG Barriers. He is also a current member of PIMA’s Board of Directors as well as the Roof Consultants Institute.

“This is an auspicious time to lead the polyiso industry,” Whitton says. “In the last few months ASHRAE has published increased R-value requirements in the 90.1 standard, the International Code Council has clarified insulation requirements for reroofing projects and PIMA has updated its the QualityMark program in accordance with ASTM C1298-13. All these initiative further reflect the polyiso industry’s long-term commitment to cost effective, sustainable and energy-efficient construction.”

PIMA QualityMark Will Begin Reporting ASTM C1289-11 LTTR Values

The ASTM C1289 Standard Specification for Faced Rigid Cellular Polyisocyanurate Thermal Insulation Board (ASTM C1289-11) has been updated and features important improvements regarding the prediction of long-term thermal resistance value for a variety of polyiso insulation boards. The PIMA QualityMark program, the only third-party program for the certification of the thermal value of polyiso insulation, will begin reporting Long Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) values in accordance with ASTM C1289-11 on Jan. 1, 2014.

The PIMA QualityMark certification program is a voluntary program that allows polyiso manufacturers to obtain independent, third-party certification for the LTTR values of their polyiso insulation products. Polyiso is the only insulation to be certified by this program for its LTTR value. The program was developed by Washington, D.C.-based PIMA and is administered by FM Global, Johnston, R.I.

To participate in PIMA’s QualityMark certification program, a Class 1 roof is suggested to have a design R-value of 5.7 per inch. PIMA member manufacturers will publish updated R-values for their polyiso products later this year. Polyiso is unique in that the R-value increases with the thickness of the foam, so 3 inches of polyiso has a higher R-value per inch than 2 inches.

“Since its founding, PIMA has been very active in the harmonization of relevant standards, including ASTM and CAN/ ULC, in an effort to provide greater continuity in the reporting of polyiso roof insulation thermal values throughout North America. That is why the association implemented the industry-wide Quality-Mark certified R-value program for rigid polyiso roof insulation in 2004,” says Jared Blum, president, PIMA. “The update to this standard provides more data to aid in the prediction of long-term thermal performance of polyiso insulation.”

To provide a comprehensive approach to predicting long-term R-value throughout North America, the updated ASTM C1289-11 standard now incorporates two test methods, ASTM C1303-11 and CAN/ULC-S770-09, which offer a similar approach to predicting the long-term thermal performance for foam insulation materials that exhibit air and blowing agent diffusion or aging over time. Both test methods employ a technique called “slicing and scaling” to accelerate this aging process and provide an accurate and consistent prediction of product R-value after five years, which is equivalent to a time-weighted thermal design R-value for 15 years. The update to ASTM C1289-11 in no way impacts polyiso’s physical properties.