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.  

NCFI Polyurethanes’ Spray Foam Products Use Honeywell’s Low Global-Warming Material

Honeywell has announced that NCFI Polyurethanes has transitioned to Honeywell’s low-global-warming material for roofing applications, with wall insulation systems to follow.

NCFI is offering closed-cell polyurethane spray foam formulated with Honeywell’s Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent (LBA) in roofing products. This offering marks another milestone as NCFI transitions its engineered building products line from hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blowing agents with high global-warming-potential (GWP) to low-GWP products. This includes converting much of its polyurethane product line to Solstice LBA encompassing integral skin and other applications in advance of environmental regulations calling for a phaseout of HFCs.

Solstice LBA, which is based on low GWP hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) technology, is an ingredient in closed-cell foam, allowing it to expand and enabling insulating performance. Solstice LBA has a low GWP of 1, which is 99.9 percent lower than HFCs and equal to carbon dioxide.

“A part of our low-GWP commitment is to introduce HFC-free spray foam products that meet our performance standards,” states Chip Holton, president, NCFI Polyurethanes. “Not only is our internal plan for conversions to a SmartSPF line ahead of the deadlines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we also believe these spray foam products give us a competitive advantage.”

The adoption of Solstice LBA is part of how NCFI is fulfilling its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that was first publicized during a 20-company roundtable discussion held by President Obama at the White House last October. At that event, NCFI was honored for plans to transition from HFCs to low-GWP products. Honeywell was also recognized at the event during which it presented projections on the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the adoption of the Solstice product suite. Worldwide adoption of Solstice products has resulted in the reduction of more than 31 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, equal to eliminating emissions from more than 6 million cars. 

“NCFI continues to make progress with the adoption of Solstice LBA,” says Laura Reinhard, global business manager for spray foam, Honeywell. “Not only is NCFI demonstrating environmental leadership by offering spray foam products with reduced climate impact, it is also seeing performance improvements.”

Compared to NCFI’s HFC-based insulation systems, the new systems featuring Solstice LBA deliver improvements in sprayability, consistency, and surface finish. The foam is strong and allows for walking on the roof to maintain equipment with less risk of damaging the foam.

Solstice LBA is nonflammable (ASTM E-681) and is not a volatile organic compound under applicable EPA air quality regulations. Solstice LBA is listed as an acceptable substitute for HFC blowing agents under the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program. Similarly, in Europe, Solstice LBA is regarded as non-global-warming and is not considered an F-Gas under the F-Gas regulations. It is registered under the European Union’s REACH program. Honeywell’s Solstice LBA manufacturing plant in Louisiana started up in May 2014.

ICP Adhesives & Sealants Inc. Adopts Honeywell’s Solstice GBA

Honeywell has announced that ICP Adhesives & Sealants Inc. will use Honeywell’s Solstice Gas Blowing Agent (GBA) in its Handi-Foam High Density roof repair kits.

“We are proud to be making a change that not only improves the performance of our products, but positively impacts the world,” says Stefan Gantenbein, president, ICP Adhesives & Sealants Inc. “In addition to these kits, we are transitioning to Solstice GBA in our one-component aerosol can products and will soon be introducing a low-pressure foam mining product.”

Solstice GBA is based on hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) technology. It is a near drop-in replacement for HFC blowing agents such as HFC-134a, delivering performance with a lower climate impact.
             
“ICP’s conversion to Solstice GBA is a milestone in the global adoption of Honeywell’s low-GWP product platform,” says Laura Reinhard, global business manager for spray foam, Honeywell. “The launch by ICP demonstrates Solstice GBA’s comparable advantages for low-pressure foam applications.”

Prior versions of the Handi-Foam repair kits used HFC-134a blowing agent. According to Mojee Cline, vice-president technology, ICP Adhesives, “The switch to Solstice GBA has allowed us to achieve a compressive strength in these repair kits that match typical foam densities on roofs. This provides the toughness needed to handle foot traffic and the durability that contractors require.”

Handi-Foam roof repair kits provide thermal performance, a smooth surface that can be coated, and a shelf life of at least 12 months. They offer contractors an alternative to high-pressure spray foam for repairing foam roofs. Another feature of the new kits is Handi-Gun II, the latest in ICP’s spray gun technology, offering a variable speed trigger among other features.

Solstice GBA has low GWP of less than 1, more than 99.9 percent lower than HFCs and also lower than carbon dioxide. It is nonflammable (ASTM E-681 and EU A11) and is not a volatile organic compound per the Environmental Protection Agency. Solstice LBA is listed under the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program. In Europe, it is not listed in the Annex I of F-Gas regulation and thus not considered an F-Gas. Solstice GBA is registered under the European Union’s REACH program. Honeywell’s Solstice GBA manufacturing plant in Louisiana started up in May 2014.

Lapolla Industries Inc. Supports Amendment to 1989 Montreal Protocol

Lapolla Industries Inc. has announced the company’s support of an amendment to the 1989 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Joining forces with more than 500 national and international companies and organizations, as well as hundreds of sub-national governments, the company is calling for world leaders to pass the Montreal Protocol hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phasedown amendment, which will be voted on in October during a meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, amongst signatories to the original Montreal Protocol.
 
“Getting this amendment passed lies in its ability to help deliver on the goals set forth by the December 2015 Paris Agreement,” said Doug Kramer, president and CEO of Lapolla Industries. “In essence, the amendment will allow us to further reduce the use of HFCs and, in doing so, avoid up to 0.5C of global climate warming by the end of the century. The importance of this to the health of the global environment, economy and our nation cannot be overstated.”
 
If world leaders adopt the amendment, it will enact a first reduction step in HFC use for Article 2 countries and a freeze date for Article 5 countries. The amendment represents global action toward reducing the use and emissions of global-warming potential HFCs as well as a transition over time to more sustainable alternatives that enhance energy efficiency.
 
Lapolla Industries is a Houston-based manufacturer and global supplier of building products including spray polyurethane foam for insulation and roofing applications, reflective roof coatings and equipment. In 2014, Lapolla Industries eliminated ozone depletion potential (ODP) and reduced global warming potential (GWP) in its product line. The company accomplished these initiatives through re-engineering of its product chemistry. 
 
Development of Lapolla’s product line innovation commenced approximately four years ago. CEO Doug Kramer was subsequently invited to participate in the President’s Climate Action Plan roundtable at the White House alongside the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and some of the nation’s recognized business leaders.
 
“Lapolla’s foremost commitment across all of its products is to maximize energy conservation in the building environment,” added Kramer. “We pushed to deliver a spray foam line that protected the ozone and the climate as well. This effort has fared well for both the environment and for our business.”
 
The innovation in Lapolla Industries’ fourth generation spray polyurethane foam product line produces additional product yield, resulting in lower installation cost and increased ROI and savings to the consumer. 
 
Lapolla’s fourth generation spray polyurethane foam products include: FOAM-LOKä 2000-4G Spray Foam Insulation, FOAM-LOKä, and FOAM-LOKä 2800-4G Spray Foam for Roofing and all other closed cell spray foam systems. While applications for each vary, all provide performance in energy efficiency by reducing the energy consumption of a home or commercial building up to 45 percent.
 
“Not only are we protecting the ozone and climate, but our next generation spray foam line also reduces fossil fuel use for heating and cooling,” said Kramer.
 

Icynene Europe Assumes Control of Distribution within Benelux

Icynene Europe S.P.R.L., the European arm of global spray foam insulation manufacturer, Icynene, has announced that it will now assume control of distribution within Benelux.

The announcement comes as the spray foam insulation manufacturer moves to realign its business operations and focus within the Benelux market to better service its local dealer network and grow business within the region. The launch of a new website complements the renewed focus within Benelux and specifically within Belgium and the Netherlands.

“Since formally establishing a European presence and opening our first European office here in Brussels in early 2013, Icynene Europe has seen tremendous growth and entry into new markets across Europe. As one of our more well-established markets, Benelux is an important and growing market for Icynene,” says Bertrand Lauret, the contracted director of Icynene for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

“Our focus on the region means that we are able to allocate more resources to addressing the needs of our customers, as well as providing the additional support they need to respond to market demand. Plus, the new website means that architects, builders and homeowners can gain a better insight into the immediate and long-term performance advantages of Icynene spray foam insulation,” says Lauret.

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance Recognizes CertainTeed Insulation Products

Thanks to an accreditation awarded by the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance Professional Certification Program (SPFA PCP), contractors can be confident that CertainTeed operates using the industry’s best practices for world-class spray foam insulation products, technical knowledge and training. CertainTeed is one of the first supplier companies in the spray polyurethane foam (SPF) industry to meet the rigorous demands of the respected professional organization’s certification program.

“We believe excellence in manufacturing the highest quality spray polyurethane foam products is just part of the equation,” says Ken Forsythe, manager of product marketing for CertainTeed Insulation. “Education and proper installation of building materials have always been top priorities with CertainTeed. SPF insulation is one of the more technical products to master, and our SPFA PCP supplier accreditation shows our dedication to partnering with building professionals well after the product leaves the factory.”

The SPFA PCP is an internationally recognized program built for those involved in the installation of spray polyurethane foam. Covering roofing and insulation applications, the program advocates industry best practices and safety. The new SPF Supplier Company Accreditation category is designed to increase the scope of the program, to include additional organizations and individuals which are key to the SPF supply chain, and to provide further distinction for those companies that invest in their people and customers.

The standards-driven program is ISO 17024 compliant and was developed by committees of industry stakeholders in collaboration with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in addition to other federal agencies and external stakeholders. It is offered both domestically and internationally.

“This prestigious achievement signifies CertainTeed’s adherence and commitment to the SPF industry’s best practices,” says Kelly Cook Marcavage, certification director for SPFA PCP. “It is an honor to work with such a dedicated company who shares our demand for the highest of standards and utmost professionalism.”

As part of the accreditation process, select CertainTeed personnel were required to become certified as SPF Insulation Supplier Representatives through the SPFA PCP. Criteria also included supplier offered training programs for contractors and best practices/risk management program verification.

Wind-damaged Roof Systems

Wind damage to roof systems is often catastrophic, placing the building users at a life-safety risk, resulting in interior and furnishing damage and suspension of interior operations, loss of revenues, legal ramifications and great costs to repair. Because of my 30 years of experience in the design of roof systems and forensic investigation, I’m often called upon as an expert witness after wind events. In this article, I’ll review a couple wind-event roof failures, the causes of the failures and how they could have been prevented. I’ll also provide recommendations for failure prevention in the design process for new roof systems, as well as for existing roof systems.

1. The concrete roof deck panels deflected more than 3/4 inch, which the design architect should have accounted for if a thorough field investigation was undertaken.

1. The concrete roof deck panels deflected more than 3/4 inch, which the design architect should have accounted for if a thorough field investigation
was undertaken.

The Perfect Storm

How can it be that when roof systems are to be designed for code-required wind-uplift resistance that so many fail in winds well below the design parameters and/or warranty coverage? The answer could be design-related, material or installation; typically, it involves all three.

Architects and some roof system designers are often not as knowledgeable about roof systems as they should be, have little empirical evidence in how all the components work together as a system, and move beyond their abilities (a violation of their standard of care) when designing roofs where specific detailing is required. In addition, manufacturers are all too often
bringing new products to the marketplace that have not been properly vetted in the field and their long-term performance is truly unknown. Unfortunately, the roofing contractor cannot escape any of this. The lack of proper specification and contract document review; failure to review product data, including installation guidelines for new products; poor project oversight and management; and pressure from general contractors often result in installations that are subpar. The result is a “perfect storm” of design, materials and installation that fail under stress.

Consider the following case studies that I have been involved in as a forensic or “expert” witness when litigation was involved.

Coastal Facility

A large aged warehouse along the eastern seaboard was in need of a new roof system. Because the interior was not conditioned, thermal insulation was not required. The existing roof was an asphalt built-up with aggregate surfacing on high-density fiberboard on precast concrete panels 24-inches wide on a steel structure. The northern portion of the building had overhead doors that were seldom closed. On the interior, an aedicule structure (a building within a building) was constructed approximately 65-feet south of the overhead door, which had a ceiling level 5-feet below the roof deck.

2. The thin, flexible 1/2-inchthick high-density board was found to have little, if any, contact with the full-coverage spray-foam adhesive, making uplift extremely easy.

2. The thin, flexible 1/2-inch-thick high-density board was found to have little, if any, contact with the full-coverage spray-foam adhesive, making uplift extremely easy.

The architect who designed the replacement roof system called for the existing BUR roof to be removed down to the precast concrete roof panels. Then a new 1/2-inch 4- by 8-foot high-density wood fiberboard was set in full-coverage spray polyurethane foam adhesive with a 60-mil EPDM membrane fully adhered to the high-density wood fiberboard.

Additionally, the architectural drawings called for rooftop relief vents to be removed and capped over.

Around June 2008, a Nor’easter (an intense rainstorm), coming in from the east off the ocean, swept into the city. This resulted in the new roof system being lifted off the roof deck. Mode of failure was the fiberboard detaching from the precast concrete roof deck.

Investigation revealed several acts and conditions that contributed to the wind damage.

PHOTOS: Hutchinson Design Group Ltd.

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American WeatherStar Redesigns Website

American WeatherStar has redesigned its website.

The six-month project was an effort to improve navigation and drive more building owners and managers to the site. American WeatherStar believes the new site design will accomplish the goals with a more intuitive presentation based on presenting its three core product divisions—Coatings, Spray Foam and Single-Ply—within a clean, easy-to-use and search-engine friendly environment.

The site has also been relocated to a new server, which may require frequent site visitors to clear their browser’s cache and history before the new site is visible. Be sure to update your bookmarks, too.

As a work in progress, American WeatherStar constantly strives to improve upon how the organization is presented. The company requests you share suggestions about its site, services and products.

SPFA Professional Certification Program Enjoys Strong Participation in 2013

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), the educational and technical resource to the spray polyurethane foam industry, has announced that it saw more than 1,080 exams administered in its flagship Professional Certification Program during 2013, the first year of the program. An internationally recognized program for the professional certification of those active in the installation of spray foam for roofing and insulation applications, the program encourages best industry practices and safety in the installation of spray foam. With industry demand and first year adoption of the program strong, the SPFA projects a doubling of these numbers to occur during the 2014 calendar year.

“The SPFA Professional Certification Program is the only of its kind offered in our industry,” says Bob Duke, president of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance. “We have witnessed widespread interest and participation in this program during its first year and believe we are on course for it to become the industry’s standard installation certification.”

A certification offered domestically and internationally, the Professional Certification Program is a thorough, standards-driven program developed by the industry in collaboration with OSHA and NIOSH, EPA and other federal agencies, along with other external stakeholders. Designed to be accessible and affordable, the program aims to raise the bar of professionalism and safety in the installation of spray foam and is ISO 17024 compliant.

The 1,000th test of the program, a notable milestone, was administered to Roy Murphy, a professional spray foam installer from Cambridge, Mass. Spray Foam Nation, a national provider of spray foam training, spray foam rigs, equipment sales and service, and an online spray foam store, provided the test as a third-party testing administrator on behalf of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance.

“This is an important milestone, not only for the program, but for our industry at-large,” says Peter Cantone, of Spray Foam Nation. “In bringing this certification program offering to installers of spray foam, the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance has moved the industry further forward on a path to professionalism and we are excited to be part of it.”

Still in its inaugural year, the Professional Certification Program has drawn significant attention and participation. “We created this program because we understood it was time for our industry to have expectations established for professional standards in the installation of spray foam,” says Bonnie Strickler, chair of the SPFA Professional Certification Program. “While we expected it to be well received, we did not anticipate the current level of demand and are extremely pleased at the success and adoption of the program in our industry.”

The Professional Certification Program offers various levels of certification for the roofing and insulation categories. To become certified, participants must pass the exam and meet the criteria for the level and category of certification desired. The program is progressive, with each level obtained only after the candidate completes the requirements for the previous level and subsequently completes the requirements for the current level. All certified installers receive professional credentials to demonstrate their program completion and industry expertise.

Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent

Honeywell's Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent in a spray foam roofing systemHoneywell’s spray foam roofing system formulated with Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent has received a severe hail rating from FM Global. The roofing system, which was developed by West Development Group, may reduce insurance premiums for building owners. Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent is a next-generation blowing agent with a global-warming potential of 1. It is nonflammable, has received EPA approval under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program and is not a volatile organic compound.

www.honeywell-blowingagents.com