SPFA Speaks Out Against California DTSC Decision on Spray Polyurethane Foam

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), the educational and technical voice of the spray polyurethane foam (SPF) industry, released a statement opposing the recent proposal by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to designate spray polyurethane foam products containing unreacted methylene diphenyl diisocyanates (MDI) as a listed Priority Product under the department’s controversial Safer Consumer Products Program.
 
“We are extremely disappointed with this decision to progress to the next stage of this regulatory debacle,” said Kurt Riesenberg, executive director of the SPFA. ““We know the DTSC’s spotlight on our product has been problematic from the start. The department initially based its position on numerous, unsubstantiated inaccuracies about the product without consulting or verifying those details with our industry’s leaders and through verifiable and adequate research. That resulted in a protracted, multi-year process marred by DTSC inconsistency, confusion, errors, faulty research and false application of interpretations gleaned from other technologies then applied to SPF. DTSC has failed to satisfy its own published regulatory requirements for listing under the SCP program, and failed at every stage to progress per published timelines, stretching this experimental process out years beyond their original vision.”
 
“Furthermore,” Riesenberg continued “MDI use in SPF has already been reviewed thoroughly by federal agencies that specifically address worker and public health including OSHA, NIOSH and EPA. We ultimately believe this product assessment and listing process is not only riddled with problems, but is redundant and misusing critical taxpayer dollars that are approaching a dangerous shortfall as demonstrated by the California state budget.”
 
The SPFA has long opposed the DTSC’s targeting of spray polyurethane foam. The DTSC initially identified the product in early 2014 as an initial Priority Product listing without notifying and consulting leaders within the industry for fact gathering and collaboration. This led to inaccurate information about the product being published, damaging the industry’s reputation, the SPF market in California and nationally, and threatening years of coordination and progress between industry and the California Energy Commission (CEC) Title 24 energy efficiency provisions. The DTSC, in September 2014, made corrections to many of those published inaccuracies, but continued with its product assessment process knowing that the agencies whose mission is to ensure the safety of the public and workers had already properly assessed and handled questions about methylene diphenyl diisocyanates (MDI).
 
According to the SPFA, spray polyurethane foam is a high-performance insulation material providing the highest energy efficiency performance available in the construction marketplace today. When installed in a home or commercial structure, it can reduce the energy demands of that building up to, or more than, 40 percent, which in turn dramatically decreases dependence on the use of fossil fuels for electricity (i.e. for heating and cooling homes and structures). This energy efficiency performance directly contributes to Spray Polyurethane Foam’s wide-recognition as an ideal product for use in Net Zero Energy construction and buildings. 
 
“The energy benefits of spray polyurethane foam are far reaching, positively influencing the environment and energy cost savings, while generating un-exportable highly skilled US jobs and stimulating the economy within the state of California,” added Riesenberg. “Not only that, but the state is aiming for all new residential structures to be Net Zero Energy by 2020, and all new commercial structures to be Net Zero Energy by 2030. The ability of the state to achieve these aggressive energy goals is highly dependent on builders’ access to high performing energy efficient building materials such as Spray Polyurethane Foam. Thus, the DTSC’s listing of a common component of the material as a Priority Product, directly undermines the state’s ability to achieve its own sustainability goals.”
 
“SPFA stands ready to continue discussions with DTSC and other California state agencies around productive topics of product stewardship, health, safety, performance, installer certification or other topics beneficial to California and its constituents,” said Riesenberg. “But instead we are faced with an advancing failed regulatory process, very significant associated costs to be forced upon the industry to support a long ill-defined alternative assessment process, and continued confusion throughout the state government agencies extending to customers that are relying upon the product’s performance to hit California energy and climate targets.”
 
“If the DTSC had done its homework in 2013 and 2014 instead of being unduly influenced in the background by special interest groups and SPF industry detractors that have no true interest or concern in California’s energy, climate, economic and employment landscape, I do not believe we would be having any of these conversations,” concluded Riesenberg. “Instead we could be working together to find productive ways to make California stronger, more energy efficient, and more economically robust, while keeping consumers more comfortable in higher-performing homes and buildings with lower energy bills. I still fail to see how DTSC has any option other than to accept their lessons-learned throughout this new regulatory guinea-pig process, drop the proposed listing of SPF, and begin focusing instead upon other actually-documented, high-profile, ubiquitous chemical-product combinations well-known to cause widespread adverse health impacts.”

Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance Announces Excellence Award Winners

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) has announced the winners of the 12th Annual SPFA National Industry Excellence Awards. Winners of the industry awards program represent stand out contractors and projects in the Spray Polyurethane Foam sector in both roofing and insulation, as well as in specialty applications. Awards were announced at the awards luncheon held at the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.
 
“Each year the Industry Excellence Awards allow us to recognize our industry’s contractors and projects,” says Kurt Riesenberg, executive director of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA). “This year’s entries set the bar in best practices with the contractors showcased helping to set a tone of excellence in the application of spray polyurethane foam.”
 
The awards program recognizes projects in five categories including: Residential Wall; Commercial Wall; SPF Roof Under 40,000 Square Feet; SPF Roof Over 40,000 Square Feet; Specialty Applications, a category formerly known as Tanks & Vessels & Others.
 
The winners and runners up of the 12th Annual SPFA National Industry Excellence Awards include:

  • Elite Insulation & PolyPro LLC for the Blakemore Estate with supplier Lapolla Industries Inc. (WINNER – Residential Wall Foam)
  • Polyseal and the Mertarvik Sled House with supplier SWD Urethane (Runner up – Residential Wall Foam)
  • West Roofing Systems Inc. for the HyCAL Gibraltar Facility Rehabilitation with supplier Premium Spray Products, an Accella brand (WINNER – Commercial Wall Foam)
  • Tri-County Insulation dba Boss Insulation for the Zinke Dairy Inc. with supplier Lapolla Industries Inc. (Runner up – Commercial Wall Foam)
  • Wedge Roofing for The Mission Church with supplier Premium Spray Products, an Accella brand (WINNER – SPF Roof Under 40,000 Square Feet)
  • West Roofing Systems Inc. for The Leader Building with supplier Accella and Progressive Materials (Runner up – SPF Roof Under 40,000 Square Feet)
  • Puff Inc. for JFK High School with supplier Covestro (WINNER – SPF Roof Over 40,000 Square Feet)
  • Insulation Solutions for Food Processing and Cold Storage Building with supplier Covestro (Runner up – SPF Roof Over 40,000 Square Feet)
  • Elite Insulation & PolyPro LLC for West Main Street Bridge with supplier Lapolla Industries Inc. (WINNER – Specialty Applications)
  • Divine Energy Solutions for Turtle Back Zoo Giraffe House Exhibit with supplier Lapolla Industries Inc. (Runner up – Specialty Applications)

 
“This year’s award entries brought in a number of innovative projects and applications,” says John Achille, president of the SPFA. “While we are limited in the number of awards we are able to bestow, this year saw no shortage of projects and work completed by contractors.”
 
The prestigious awards ceremony is one of many offerings at the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo. This year’s agenda included onsite exams and training for the SPFA’s Professional Certification Program; a keynote address by author and Emmy Award winner Steve Thomas of PBS’ “This Old House” fame, who is also a current spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity; a 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall showcasing booth displays from over 80 industry organizations, manufacturers, contractors, equipment providers, and many others; a three-day educational program including more than 30 break-out sessions; a general session with Sam Rashkin, chief architect, Building Technologies Office highlighting the Department of Energy’s Net Zero Initiatives; SPFA Annual Member Awards, honoring members who have demonstrated dedication to the betterment of the organization and industry at-large; the Annual Golf Tournament; VIP events; member and contractor-only events; an entertainment filled Close-Out Reception and Networking Party.
 
Attendance for the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo exceeded 1,200 individuals representing the complete Spray Polyurethane Foam industry and value chain, as well as the general public.
 
To inquire about event sponsorship for the 2018 event, please contact Michele Riesenberg at Michele@sprayfoam.org. Additional event information is available here.

Sprayfoam Event Features Steve Thomas as Keynote Speaker

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) has announced that author and Emmy Award-winning television personality Steve Thomas, from PBS’s This Old House, will be the keynote speaker for the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention and Expo. Being held now through Feb. 1, in Palm Springs, Calif., the official national convention of the Spray Polyurethane Foam industry features three days of educational sessions, an 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall, an industry awards ceremony, professional certification programs, an annual golf tournament, and other special events and features.
 
Steve Thomas will deliver the official Sprayfoam 2017 keynote address on January 31st at 9 a.m. He is currently spokesman for Habitat for Humanity International, with an emphasis on Builders Blitz and the ReStore. Steve Thomas completed three seasons hosting Planet Green’s Renovation Nation, a sustainable building show. During his 14 years as the host of a home improvement series, This Old House, he became known as a home enthusiast and helped catapult the show to the top of PBS’s most-watched ongoing series list. He also contributed to the debut of Ask This Old House, the series in which viewer questions are addressed on-air, as host during its first year. Steve was honored with a 1997 – 1998 Daytime Emmy Award and a total of nine nominations for Outstanding Service Show Host. He is a speaker, video producer, blogger, photographer, renovator and branding consultant. He also consults on sustainable building and renovation for clients across the U.S. and is currently writing a book.
 
“As a longtime sustainable building and renovation expert, Steve Thomas is a major coup for our annual event,” says Kurt Riesenberg, executive director of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), the official organizer of the show. “His enthusiasm for quality craftsmanship in the built environment, as demonstrated in his hosting This Old House, and his high profile role with Habitat for Humanity, align with the Sprayfoam Convention & Expo’s goal of providing education and business insight to the industry.”
 
During his keynote, Steve Thomas will likely speak about his various experiences working with spray foam, both personally and professionally, as well as his current renovation efforts, while providing attendees a great perspective on the business that they will be able to bring back to their customers. He will utilize any remaining time to answer audience questions about his life-long passion for building, his time spent on This Old House and his upcoming book.
 
Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo’s event agenda includes a 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall showcasing booth displays from over 80 industry organizations, manufacturers, contractors, equipment providers, and many others; a three-day educational program including more than 30 break-out sessions; a general session with Sam Rashkin, Chief Architect, Building Technologies Office highlighting the Department of Energy’s Net Zero Initiatives; the 12th Annual Industry Excellence Awards Ceremony highlighting innovation, best practices and excellence in SPF projects; SPFA Annual Member Awards, honoring members who have demonstrated dedication to the betterment of the organization and industry at-large; the Annual Golf Tournament; VIP events; member and contractor-only events; a entertaining Close-Out Reception and Networking Party.
 
The SPFA offers Professional Certification Program testing onsite. Testing is administered to individuals active in the installation of SPF in roofing and insulation, as well as to contractor and supplier companies, with the ability to gain professional accreditation on-site. Testing is offered as part of the internationally recognized program built to advocate best practices and safety in the installation of SPF. The standards-driven program is ISO 17024 compliant, was developed by committees of industry stakeholders in collaboration with OSHA, NIOSH and the EPA. Due to an abundance of PCP scholarship sponsors the Field Exams needed to obtain the Master Installer certification will be offered for free to candidates at the show for the second year in a row.
 
“Sprayfoam 2017 is the spray foam event of the year,” says John Achille, president of the SPFA. “As an annual event serving our industry with education, onsite certification, networking opportunities and more, it is the place to be if you are part of the spray polyurethane foam marketplace.”
 
Attendance for the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo is expected to exceed 1,200 individuals representing the complete Spray Polyurethane Foam industry and value chain, as well as the general public.
 
Premier sponsors of Sprayfoam 2017 include: Accella Polyurethane Systems, CertainTeed, Chemours, Covestro, Gaco Western, Honeywell, Icynene, Lapolla, NCFI Polyurethanes, and Polyurethane Machinery Corp. Premier Media Sponsors include “Sprayfoam Professional” (the official publication of the Sprayfoam 2017 event), “Building Enclosure”, “Roofing Contractor”, and “Walls & Ceilings” magazines.  

Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance Announces Board of Directors

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) announces its newly elected board of directors. Representing senior leaders from both the contractor and manufacturer sectors, the fifteen member board includes an executive committee and twelve additional voting members.
 
“Our Board of Directors represents top leaders in the spray polyurethane foam industry,” said Kurt Riesenberg, executive director of SPFA. “With contractors and manufacturers each represented, as well as both insulation and roofing, the SPFA is equipped to take the best course of action for our members and industry.”
 
The SPFA executive committee includes: John Achille, president of SPFA and vice president of Coastal Insulation Corp.; Tiffiny Flaim, vice president of SPFA and president of Biofoam; Richard Spiess, treasurer of SPFA and president of Innovative Insulation Solutions Ltd.
 
Incoming voting members of the SPFA Board of Directors include: Larry Ash, vice president of United Thermal Systems; Teri England, vice president of SmartChoice Insulation & Roofing; Tyler Fiske, spray foam manager of Anchor Insulation; Bryan Heldreth, vice president of RPC Industries; Bonnie Strickler, president and owner of PUFF Inc.; Ron Winkle, president of Roof Asset Management; Mitch Clifton, director of sales and marketing of NCFI Polyurethanes; Doug Kramer, president and CEO of Lapolla Industries Inc.; Nick Pagano, business development manager of Graco; Thomas Sojak, vice president of sales, GacoWallFoam Division of Gaco Western; Joe Stockdale, industry relations manager and commercial manager of Covestro; Ridge Stockdale, national accounts manager of Accella Performance Materials.
 
“This is an exciting time for our industry as we are faced with a multitude of opportunities and challenges,” said incoming SPFA President, John Achille. “Marketshare is growing and demand for the SPF product is up. But we still face difficulties in our sector. I am confident that our new board is more than qualified to lead our organization during this vibrant phase in our industry.”

The current SPFA Board of Directors will be active for the 2016-2018 duration.

Sprayfoam 2016 Convention and Expo Keynote Speaker Announced

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), the educational and technical resource to the spray polyurethane foam (SPF) industry, announced that motor mastermind and host of Discovery Channel’s Fast N’ Loud Richard Rawlings has been secured as the keynote speaker for the Sprayfoam 2016 Convention and Expo. To be held Feb. 8-11 in Orlando, the official national convention of the Spray Polyurethane Foam industry will feature four days of educational sessions, a 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall, awards, professional certification programs, annual golf tournament, and many other special events and features.

As co-host of Fast N’ Loud, Richard Rawlings searches Texas and the surrounding states for forgotten and derelict classic cars to purchase and restore at his famous Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas. Rawlings developed a passion for cars at an early age buying his first, a green 1974 Mercury Comet, when he was just 14. He has held several jobs—firefighter, police officer and paramedic—all before the age of 21, and eventually started his own business, building a printing and advertising company from the ground up. He later sold this company to fund his current Gas Monkey Garage venture—a world-renowned hot rod shop producing and shipping cars for people worldwide, a restaurant business and even a tequila brand. A veteran of transcontinental road rallies, Rawlings won the Gumball 3000 and Bullron—twice. He is the current world record holder in the Cannonball Run.

Richard Rawlings will deliver the Sprayfoam 2016 official keynote on Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. “We really are excited about Richard speaking with our group,” says Kurt Riesenberg, executive director of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance. “Quite simply the guy has one of the coolest jobs going. He’s hustled his whole life and built these great businesses, deals with all the same challenges of any small business and he does it with a camera in his face all year. He’s an inspiring business story and a fascinating character that I believe will connect with our group in ways that will surprise them.”

During his keynote, Rawlings will likely speak about his businesses, challenges, opportunities, taking risks and pursuing one’s dreams with the discipline and persistence that is required for success. Rawlings will utilize any remaining time to answer audience questions about his life, the show, his business or even the building of hot rods.

“As a successful American entrepreneur, expert motor enthusiast and TV personality, Richard Rawlings is a huge draw for the attendees of Sprayfoam 2016,” says Denny Vanderwater, chairman of the SPFA and president of Sadler Coating Systems in Eagle Grove, Iowa. “We are expecting him to pack the house and for this to be our biggest convention to date.”

Sprayfoam 2016 will be held at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. With an expected attendance surpassing 1,200 individuals active in all aspects of the Spray Polyurethane Foam value chain and the public, the Sprayfoam 2016 event agenda will feature: a sold-out exhibit hall showcasing booth displays from more than 90 industry organizations, manufacturers, contractors, equipment providers, and many others; the full suite of SPFA Professional Certification Program classes and testing; a multi-day educational program, including more than 30 breakout industry expert panel sessions; the 11th Annual Industry Excellence Awards and Ceremony, highlighting true innovation and excellence in the nation’s best SPF projects; SPFA Annual Member Awards, honoring members who have demonstrated significant dedication to the betterment of the organization and the industry at-large; the Annual Golf Tournament; the Women’s Leadership in Spray Foam Networking Reception; VIP events; member and contractor-only events, and an entertainment-filled Close-Out Event Reception and Networking Party.

The SPFA will offer Professional Certification Program testing onsite at Sprayfoam 2016 on Feb. 8 and 9. Testing will be administered to individuals active in the installation of SPF in roofing and insulation, as well as to contractor and supplier companies, with the ability to gain professional accreditation on-site. Testing is offered as part of the internationally recognized, only-one-of-its-kind program built to advocate best practices and safety in the installation of SPF. The standards-driven program is ISO 17024 compliant and was developed by committees of industry stakeholders, in collaboration with OSHA, NIOSH and the EPA.

“It is becoming clear that certification is of paramount importance as our industry increases in sophistication,” says Vandewater. “With customers increasingly likely to request credentials when vetting installers, contractors and suppliers, the importance in having those credentials is also increasing. We will offer testing onsite at Sprayfoam 2016 to accommodate this growing demand.”

Premier sponsors of Sprayfoam 2016 include CertainTeed, Gaco Western, Graco, Honeywell, Lapolla, NCFI Polyurethanes, Spray Foam Polymers, and Sprayfoam.com. Premier Media Sponsors include Sprayfoam Professional (the official publication of the Sprayfoam 2016 event), Walls & Ceilings, Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing/Walls & Ceilings Architect, and Roofing Contractor magazines.

MCA Begins Research Projects

The Chicago-based Metal Construction Association is taking on three new research projects, which were topics at the association’s summer meeting. The results of the three studies, which will take place over several years, are expected to make a significant impact in the industry.

Air permeability research is being conducted at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and will evaluate and characterize the performance of discontinuous metal panels, such as modular metal roof panels and snap-together standing-seam roofing. The project goal is to develop a new test method that will more realistically reflect the wind up-lift these systems can withstand. The main test utilized for the work will be UL 1897 in the static and dynamic mode. Wind-tunnel testing and variations to existing industry test methods will also be used.

Research on cool walls is being funded by a grant awarded to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif. This study is important for California cities to reduce building energy usage and help address the urban heat-island effect. The project will evaluate the types of wall material snow in the marketplace and in the three climate zones in California. In addition to energy usage, the study will evaluate the dirt-shedding capability and durability of these wall materials. New technologies for ultra-cool pigmentation are also being investigated as part of this research.

Research on the use of spray polyurethane foam insulation on metal panels is also being conducted for wall and roof assemblies. The goal of this research project is to evaluate the effects of spray foam on metal. This project was proposed in conjunction with the Fairfax, Va.-based Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) and the Cleveland-based Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA). A few of the main concerns that led to this project are oil canning and potential damage to paint films caused by the exothermic curing of the foam and associated elevated temperatures. As a collaboration among MCA, MBMA and SPFA, preliminary research has already been completed to evaluate exothermic curing on metal. The next phase will include the use of full-size wall and roof assemblies with foam sprayed using different application methods. Based on the project findings, a best practices guideline for using spray-foam insulation with metal wall and roof assemblies will be generated.

MCA’s commitment to these projects is part of the association’s goal to further the growth and promote the environmental benefits of metal products in the construction industry.

Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance Completes ISO-compliant Life Cycle Assessments

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), the educational and technical resource to the spray polyurethane foam industry, has announced the completion of an ISO-compliant Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for three generic formulations that include open-cell, closed-cell and roofing foams. The Life Cycle Assessment is published and available as a free download from the SPFA website. Using the results of the LCA, the SPFA has collaborated with UL Environments to develop an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), which allows spray polyurethane foam contractors to assist sustainable building designers in obtaining proper credit among leading sustainable building programs for spray foam insulation and roofing materials use.

An EPD is a third-party reviewed document that summarizes the results of the more detailed LCA. EPDs are required by design professionals to satisfy requirements of many sustainable building programs, such as the US Green Building Council’s LEED v4 program, the International Green Construction Code and GreenGlobes, to name a few. For example, the current LEED v4 program enables a building design to earn 1/4 point for using products that have an LCA; 1/2 point for products with a generic EPD (such as the one from SPFA), and 1 point for products using a product-specific EPD from a material supplier.

SPF contractors may now provide copies of the generic SPFA EPD to sustainable building designers to assure proper credit for SPF insulation and roofing materials. The EPD can also be used as general supporting information for customers wanting to use ‘green’ products. The SPFA EPD and related Transparency Briefs for each foam class are now available at no charge from the UL Environments website.