Case Studies - Spray Foam Insulation

Test Study with Habitat for Humanity

Side by side comparison of two identical floor plans, one insulated with foam and one with fiberglass and solar board

Denton County, Texas
Year Built: 2007
Foundation: Slab on grade
Floor Plan: Identical but reversed
Square footage: 1,288, 4 Bedrooms
Orientation: Northwest (both homes)

Home #1 Spray foam insulation
Exterior Wall: 3.5 inch open cell R-Value 13
Roof Deck: 5.5 inch open cell R-Value 21
14 SEER A/C, Standard Lighting

NOTE: Insulating the attics roof deck created a closed attic assembly placing the air handler and ductwork within the thermal envelope.
NOTE: The closed attic system does not allow conditioned air to leak outside of the thermal envelope.
This results in significantly reduced thermal load on the HVAC system and allows the use of a smaller HVAC unit.

Home #2 Fiberglass Insulated
Exterior Wall: Fiberglass R-Value 13
Attic Floor: Fiberglass R-Value 38
Roof Deck: Solar Board
19 SEER A/C, 60% Fluorescent Lighting

Case study monitored both homes from 2-15 thru 7-16 (five billing cycles)
Total difference in electrical cost $547.56 higher cost with Fiberglass/ Solar Board house
Home leak teat results from blower door.
Foam House 129 CFM (Cubic Feet per minute)
Fiberglass/ Solar Board 1,884 CFM (Cubic Feet per minute)

Results provided by Habitat for Humanity and Demilec

In a period of five billing cycles the home owner has already saved $547.56. With less air infiltration the homeowner has enjoyed a more stable temperature and better air quality. The HVAC unit has experienced less thermal load. The estimated annual savings for the home insulated with spray foam is $1314.14.


Case Study 1

SPF Insulation Reduces Homeowners' Energy Consumption.

When John and Anne Bowling retired to the Roanoke, Virginia, area in 1997, they specified SPF insulation for their new, 2,240 SF ranch-style home. The Bowlings heated their home with liquid propane gas, and between August 2000 and July 2001, the propane company delivered 321 gallons of propane. Over the same period, ten similar homes in the area received an average of 769 gallons of propane. In other words, the Bowlings are using 58% less fuel than their neighbors.

(Full case study)


Case Study 2

Amherst College Installs SPF Air Barrier System.

When Amherst College decided to rebuild two 36,000 SF residence halls, they needed the job done quickly, they needed to control costs, and they needed energy efficient buildings. Energy efficiency is particularly important in New England, which experiences dramatic temperature swings throughout the year. The architecture firm, Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott of Boston, recommended an SPF air barrier and insulation system that satisfied all three criteria.

(Full case study)


Case Study 3

Texas A&M Specifies SPF for Sustainability.

The main campus of Texas A&M University boasts more than 7 million SF of SPF roofing, spread over 27 buildings. In 1974, the University became dissatisfied with its traditional tar and gravel built-up roofing (BUR), which had started to leak after an average of five years of service. The University decided to switch to SPF. The advantage of SPF was that it could be applied directly over the existing substrate, which resulted in zero tear-off costs and no materials being taken to landfills. The University determined that improved energy efficiency paid for the new roofing system in 4 1/2 years, and with little or no maintenance, the SPF roofing remains leak free and energy efficient after more than 30 years.

(Full case study)


Case Study 4

Dallas Independent School District Chooses SPF.

The Dallas Independent School District manages 275 school buildings with more than 500,000 SF of roofing. Their existing coal tar pitch, two-ply membrane and SPF roofing had exceeded its life expectancy and needing replacing. Facing severe budgetary constraints, DISD chose SPF roofing systems because SPF was affordable, easy to apply over existing roofing structures, energy efficient, and long lasting with a minimum of maintenance. Dallas is also in a severe hail-storm area, so SPF's strong resistance to hail was an added benefit.


Case Study 5

Westlake Performing Arts Center Design Includes SPF Roofing.

The Westlake (Ohio) Schools Performing Arts Center has seven roof areas and elevations spread out over 40,000 square feet, with difficult sloping and drainage patterns. From the earliest design phase, the architectural firm Westlake, Reed, Leskosky Architects of Cleveland worked with West Roofing Systems to find a way the unique architectural details they had designed could be installed in the field and perform in the long term. The solution was an SPF roofing system that conformed to irregular shapes and provided drainage by including varying thicknesses of foam.


Case Study 6

Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital Gets High Performance from SPF Roofing System.

The Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital at Fort Polk, Louisiana, is a full-service hospital that serves a population of more than 130,000. Its aging 125,000 SF roof, made of built-up roofing (BUR) over concrete, had many fresh air intakes that had to be diligently protected from the odors and fumes of construction. The roof also had 3 x 12-foot concrete footings supporting damaged and unusable solar collection units. A new SPF roofing system, applied over the existing substrate, caused minimal disruption during installation and seamlessly covered the uneven roof surface left behind after the concrete footings were removed.

(Full case study)


Case Study 7

Mississippi Coast Coliseum survives Hurricane Katrina.

On August 28, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall at the Gulf States. On August 30, 2005, the Mississippi Coast Coliseum rose out of the rubble on the beachfront of Biloxi, Mississippi. Intact. Hurricane Katrina, a deadly Category 4 storm, is now known to be the most devastating natural catastrophe in American history to date. Private insurer losses are estimated between $40 and $60 billion. Total economic losses to infrastructure, property and flood damage are estimated to be above $200 billion. How, then, did the Mississippi Coast Coliseum survive almost unscathed?

(Full case study)


Case Study 8

Palm Harbor Homes Plant City, FL

In February 2008 Palm Harbor Homes was awarded the nation's first EnergySmart label for building a home that meets the U.S. Department of Energy's Builders Challenge criteria for energy efficiency. DOE Secretary Samuel W. Bodman placed the EnergySmart Home Scale (E-Scale) label on the home's electrical panel at the International Builder's Show in Orlando, Florida

(Full case study)