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.

Spray Polyurethane Foam and Photovoltaic Roofing Systems

Spray polyurethane foam and photovoltaic systems are increasingly utilized together as
a joint solution for energy savings. With the continued push toward sustainability and growing
movements, like net-zero-energy construction, SPF and PV systems are a logical combined solution for the generation of renewable energy, the conservation of heating and cooling energy, and the elimination of the structure’s dependence on fossil-fuel-consuming electricity sources. Regardless of whether net-zero energy is the end goal, SPF and PV combined in roofing can be quite effective for many structures. Here are some considerations when looking to join these two powerful systems on the roof of a building.

ROOFTOP PV INSTALLATION TYPES FOR USE WITH SPF

Installation of PV systems on SPF roofing will inevitably create additional foot traffic. It is important to protect heavily trafficked areas with additional coating and granules or walk pads.

Installation of PV systems on SPF roofing will inevitably create additional foot traffic. It is important to protect heavily trafficked areas with additional coating and granules or walk pads.


Rooftop PV systems can vary significantly in size. Large-footprint buildings can employ PV systems rated from 50 kilowatts to 1,000 kW or larger while residential rooftop PV systems are commonly 3 kW to 5 kW.

Rooftop PV systems may be installed on racks or adhered directly to the roof surface. When looking to combine PV with SPF, it is generally not advised to adhere or place the PV panels directly onto the roof surface. Solar heat and water can accumulate between the PV and roof coating which could negatively impact coating performance. Moreover, panels applied directly to a low-slope roof will not be properly aligned with the sun to achieve optimal performance.

Non-penetrating rack systems may be placed directly on a rooftop and held in place with ballast. Racks may also be installed with penetrating supports that require flashings. Each type provides advantages and disadvantages. For example, ballasted racks may block water flow and affect drainage while penetrations require leak- and maintenance-prone flashings. SPF is unique in that it easily self-flashes around penetrating supports.

PV EXPLANATION

PV cells are the basic unit used to convert light to electricity. Many PV cells are bundled together to make a PV panel, or module. PV panels are grouped electrically to create a PV string. Depending on the system size, two or more strings are combined to create a PV array.

The dominant type of PV panel used with SPF roofing is cSi, or crystalline silicon. cSi is a typically rigid panel with a glass and metal frame and may be applied, unlike other dominant PV panel types, via rack installation methods.

A PV system includes many components in addition to the panels. Components include racks, rails, rooftop attachment devices, grounding systems, wiring and wiring harnesses, combiner boxes, inverter(s) and connection to the main electrical panel. Components may also include control modules and storage batteries for off-grid PV system installations.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Photovoltaic panels must be handled and maintained with caution. Electricity is produced when a single panel is exposed to light; however, because a panel is not part of a circuit, that electricity will not flow until the circuit is complete. A worker may complete the circuit by connecting the two wires from the backside of a PV panel.

When maintaining a PV system, it may become necessary at some point to disconnect or remove an individual panel from a string or an array. The whole system must be shutdown properly as a precautionary measure to prevent shocks from occurring to workers and arcing between electrical connections. This “shutdown” procedure must be followed with precision as part of a lock-out/tag-out program. This procedure is provided by the inverter manufacturer. Under no circumstances should SPF contractors ever disconnect or decommission a PV panel or system unless they are trained and qualified to do so.

HEAT BUILDUP

Photovoltaic panels convert approximately 15 to 20 percent of light to electricity, leaving the remaining unconverted energy to be released as heat. Additionally, PV panels are more effective when their temperature drops. It is for these reasons that the majority of rooftop PV systems are installed to encourage airflow under panels, which reduces the temperature of the panels, improves conversion efficiency and releases heat effectively. Photovoltaic panels installed 4 to 5 inches above the roof will not change the temperature of the roof and, instead, provide shade to the surface of that roof. This additional shade may extend the life of SPF roof coatings.

LOAD

PV panels add weight to a rooftop and this must be factored into the design and installation. Existing structures should be analyzed by a structural engineer to determine if the additional weight of the PV system is acceptable.

Rack-mounted arrays with penetrating attachments are fairly lightweight at 2 to 3 pounds per square foot, and ballasted arrays add 4 to 6 pounds per square foot. However, with the latter, more ballast is utilized at the perimeters and corners of a PV array. Thus, localized loading from ballast may reach as high as 12 to 17 pounds per square foot, which must be considered. Most SPF roofing systems have a compressive strength of 40 to 60 psi.

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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: A Key Component to Any Net Zero Solution

SPF has the ability to insulate, air and water seal, as well as control moisture throughout the structure, acting as a single-source solution, reducing the need for multiple products.

SPF has the ability to insulate, air and water seal, as well as control moisture throughout the structure, acting as a single-source solution, reducing the need for multiple products.

In July 2014, California initiated the revision process to the 2016 version of Title 24, California’s building energy efficiency codes, which are designed to move the state’s residential and commercial buildings toward zero net energy (ZNE). All new residential construction is to be ZNE by 2020, and all new commercial buildings are to achieve ZNE by 2030. While aggressive, these goals are achievable with the right design implementation and accessibility to proper building materials.

As one of the world’s most influential economies, the state of California has demonstrated its power in leading the other 49 states in the implementation of progressive initiatives. California traditionally takes an environmental stance with a history of enforcing regulations designed to protect the physical environment and health of the state’s residents. These efforts often result in national trending with other states and municipalities following suit with similar regulations. It is widely anticipated a similar phenomenon will occur with ZNE goals.

The design of a ZNE building focuses on the reduction of energy consumption and on the generation of the structure’s own renewable energy (such as via solar panel solutions). Long-term ZNE begins with a quality building enclosure. High-performance attics and wall systems are a key focus of 2016 Title 24 as they make a significant impact in the reduction of peak cooling demand in structures.

SPF may be installed in a continuous layer, eliminating thermal bypasses, and boasts one of the highest R-values of all insulation options.

SPF may be installed in a continuous layer, eliminating thermal bypasses, and boasts one of the highest R-values of all insulation options.

Because of spray polyurethane foam’s unique attributes, the material is widely recognized as an optimal solution for unvented attics, as well as for roofing, walls and ceilings. SPF has the ability to insulate, air and water seal, as well as control moisture throughout the structure, acting as a single-source solution, reducing the need for multiple products.

Energy loss may occur at various points throughout the roof, walls and ceiling via air leakage. Thus the air-sealing ability of SPF is extremely beneficial when trying to improve energy efficiency.

In roofing, SPF acts as a protective roofing solution and as an insulator.

In roofing, SPF acts as a protective roofing solution and as an insulator.

As a thermal insulator, SPF forms in place and fully adheres, almost completely eliminating the cracks and gaps that allow escape of conditioned air. It may be installed in a continuous layer, eliminating thermal bypasses typically found with cavity insulations and boasts one of the highest R-values of all insulation options.

In roofing, SPF acts as a protective roofing solution and as an insulator. The effectiveness of insulation is measured through moisture control, air leakage, health, safety, durability, comfort and energy efficiency factors, and SPF scores exceptional marks in all.

These combined characteristics are integral to SPF’s ability to contribute to total ZNE solutions—solutions, which will become increasingly necessary as the net zero revolution takes hold across the U.S.

Spray Polyurethane Foam Has Structure-strengthening and Energy-efficiency Capabilities

A high-performance building material, spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is widely used as an effective, lasting roofing solution. With positive benefits, including versatility, thermal insulation, resistance to inclement weather cycling and storms, strengthening of the building envelope, long life span and durability, spray foam has enjoyed increased use among builders and roofing contractors alike.

A roof’s primary purpose is to protect the structure underneath it. As a roofing material, closed-cell SPF acts as a protective roofing mechanism and a thermal insulator. The lightweight material is ideal as a roofing solution when:

 As a roofing material, closed-cell SPF acts as a protective roofing mechanism and a thermal insulator.

As a roofing material, closed-cell SPF acts as a protective roofing mechanism and a thermal insulator.

  • the roof substrate has many penetrations.
  • the roof deck is an unusual shape or configuration.
  • the roof is being applied to a structure located in a severe-weather environment.
  • a lightweight option is needed.
  • a slope application is preferred to provide extra drainage capabilities.
  • keeping the existing roof cover is desired.

STRENGTH AND DURABILITY

SPF is considered a highly durable building material. The physical properties of the foam change little with time, accounting for a life span up to 30 years with regular care and maintenance. SPF roofing systems also strengthen the roof in multiple ways. Roofing spray foams possess a compressive strength of 40 to more than 60 pounds per inch. Spray foam’s adhesion strengthening capabilities are key, especially in locations where severe weather cycling, storms, wind, hail and other conditions are prevalent and commonly cause structure damage. Coastal and hurricane-prone regions are prime examples.

When applied to the interior side of a roof, closed-cell SPF can increase a building’s resistance to wind uplift during severe storms. When SPF is applied to built-up roofing and metal substrates, it increases resistance to wind uplift even further. A study conducted by the University of Florida, Gainesville, in 2007 found that applying closed-cell spray foam under a roof deck provides up to three times the resistance to wind uplift for wood roof sheathing panels when compared to a conventionally fastened roof.

Spray foam is a good solution for unusual configurations and areas with many penetrations.

Spray foam is a good solution for unusual configurations and areas with many penetrations.

Spray foam also is resistant to progressive peeling failure. Caused by wind, peeling happens at the roof’s edges when wind pulls flashings and copings away from their installed positions. Peeling looks like a tin can after it has been cut around the perimeter. When this happens, a chain reaction may occur and lead to catastrophic building failure. After the roof membrane, panels or tiles pull away, the board-stock insulation is exposed, often with less resistance to the lateral and uplift wind forces. Then the sheathing below and the substructure are subject to movement and wind or water damage, potentially leaving the entire building interior underneath open and vulnerable. SPF roofing is continuous, so it provides a water-resistant layer that is well adhered to the substrate.

When the Gaithersburg, Md.-based National Institute of Standards and Technology examined roofs following Hurricane Katrina, it found buildings with spray-foam roofs performed rather well without blow-off of the SPF or damage to flashings. The 2006 “Performance of Physical Structures in Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita: A Reconnaissance Report” found that only one of the examined SPF roofs incurred notable damage, and that damage was confined to only 1 percent of the total roof system. The report concluded spray foam kept the roofs intact, prevented moisture from entering the buildings, and protected the structures from hail and debris.

Hurricane Katrina played a significant role in one of the largest reroofing projects ever on one of the largest metal-framed domed structures in the world: the Superdome in New Orleans. Katrina destroyed the dome’s second roof; the structure’s original roof was constructed with polyisocyanurate foam covered with a fluid-applied elastomeric coating but was replaced in 1989 with a single-ply EPDM roofing system. After the damages suffered during Katrina, the EPDM roof system was replaced with a spray foam roof system.

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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.