Architects, Builders and Contractors

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is a perfect insulation choice for architects because it provides maximum thermal performance, serves an air barrier, and enables complete design flexibility. SPF will allow you to incorporate sustainable practices to satisfy your clients increasing demand for healthier, quieter, and more energy efficient structures.

SPF serves as both a thermal insulator and continuous air barrier which seals the building envelope for increased energy efficiency and total thermal comfort. Its air sealing capabilities ensure that outdoor polluted air stays out and mechanically-ventilated fresh air stays in, improving indoor air quality so that occupants can breath easier.

Since it is applied as a liquid and expands to fill every cavity, crevice and gap, Spray insulation enables complete design flexibility. Unusual shapes doe not impede the performance of its insulation and air barrier characteristics. Therefore, the architect is free to focusing on satisfying the needs of his clients without worrying about the limitations of the insulation.
Please refer to other these sections for more information:

Features and Benefits

What are the benefits of SPF?

SPF is environmentally friendly, contains no formaldehyde or ozone depleting chemicals, saves energy* and reduces the use of fossil fuels, thereby reducing global warming gases. It also assists in providing good indoor air quality, requires less energy to produce than the leading insulation, and reduces the amount of energy required to transport and install it. SPF is durable, maintains physical properties over time, contributes little to the waste stream, and in a single product (depending on the formula and project) can take the place of three-four other products, including insulation, air barriers, sealants, vapor retarders, and weather barriers.

*SPF reduces energy use in the following ways:

  • Has high R-value per inch (open-cell 3.5 per inch and closed-cell 6.0 per inch)
  • Eliminates air infiltration
  • Helps control moisture and condensation
  • Reduces convective currents in walls and attics
  • Eliminates wind washing
  • Effective at low and high temperatures
  • Provides the correct environment so that the ventilation system performs more efficiently

 

This video will show spray foam applied to a new construction home with high ceilings and odd shapes. In this scenario conventional insulation would more difficult and much less effective than using a spray foam application. In all videos the manufactures of spray foam and thickness of materials applied may vary based on their regions and application.

 

Architectural Advantages of Foam Insulation

For nearly half a century, architects have specified sprayed polyurethane foam insulation for very specific structural benefits:

Improves Structural Strength

Testing conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB's) research center shows spray foam insulation between wood- and steel-stud wall panels increases rack and shear by a factor of 2 to 3 when sprayed onto gypsum wallboard and vinyl siding, and increases racking strength by 50% when sprayed onto oriented strand board (OSB). Spray foam also can add structural strength to buildings. NAHB Research demonstrated SPF filled walls could add from 75% to 200% racking strength to walls of OSB, plywood, light gauge metal, vinyl siding or gypsum board.

Enhances Overall Building Stability

Spray foam is a seamless and monolithic foam sprayed into the walls. It fully adheres to both the exterior sheathing and the studs, reinforcing both. With this added rigidity, there will be less wall movement due to wind, vibration, and occupant activity. Additionally walls have greater than code required resistance to "racking events" such as hurricanes or other strong wind situations.

Increases Resistance to "Shearing Force"

Spray foam increases resistance to strong winds and storm gusts that impose wall distorting lateral forces. It also reduces creaking and shaking during high winds.

Reduces Structural Damage Caused by Moisture Infiltration

Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. Spray foam insulation is the key.

R-values Do Not Deteriorate Over Time

The compaction of loose cellulose fill reduces the volume of air spaces and its insulation value. Some types of foam insulation, are blown with heavy gases that, over time, diffuse out of the foam and are replaced by air, thus reducing the effective R-value of the product.
Spray foam does not change significantly with aging because it is blown with water and twenty-year tests have shown no shrinkage or reduction in insulating value.

Deadens Sound Travel and Noise

Spray foam reduces airborne sound making the structure acoustically tighter and more private from room to room. This is especially important in live-in institutions such as dormitories, hospitals, facilities for the aged and other multiple dwellings.

Prevents Ice Dams

In cold climates, attics and roofs with inadequate insulation, can allow heat to transfer from the living space or generated from recessed light fixtures, air ducts, furnaces and other appliances located in the attic to raise the roof temperature above the freezing point, causing the snow and ice on the roof to melt and flow downward. Once the melted snow, or water, meets back up with the colder part of the roof (overhang) that hangs over and outside of the interior walls (just above the soffit vent area), it begins to freeze again, expand and back up. This dam that forms is called an "ice dam". Spray foam provides the insulation necessary to prevent ice dams.

Aesthetic Flexibility

Spray foam insulation can be trimmed, sanded and painted

 

Green Building LEED

 Why Build Green?

In the United States, buildings account for:

  • 39 % of total energy use
  • 12 % of the total water consumption
  • 68 % of total electricity consumption
  • 38 % of the carbon dioxide emissions

 

The built environment has a vast impact on the natural environment, human health, and the economy. By adopting green building strategies, we can maximize both economic and environmental performance. Green construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and deconstruction. However, the most significant benefits can be obtained if the design and construction team takes an integrated approach from the earliest stages of a building project. Potential benefits of green building can include:

Environmental benefits

  • Enhance and protect biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Improve air and water quality
  • Reduce waste streams
  • Conserve and restore natural resources

Economic benefits

  • Reduce operating costs
  • Create, expand, and shape markets for green product and services
  • Improve occupant productivity
  • Optimize life-cycle economic performance

Social benefits

  • Enhance occupant comfort and health
  • Heighten aesthetic qualities
  • Minimize strain on local infrastructure
  • Improve overall quality of life

 

 

The links below will provide some helpful information:

Doing Your Own Energy Audit

The Best Way to Insulate Your Attic