A Case for Spray Polyurethane Foams Contributing to Points in the LEED System

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certasprayccappsmall409x237We are seeing an increase in the use of spray foam insulation in both commercial and residential construction both by itself and in combination with other insulations because it adds a new dimension to improving the energy efficiency of buildings especially when applying for LEED certification.

The proper use of spray foam will change your performance when you do energy modeling of your building with ASHRAE 90.1. It contributes in many ways in addition to good thermal resistance. It also has the potential for reducing whole building air leakage when installed where buildings leak air. The effect will show up in the energy modeling results.

There has been recent good news with regard to the spray polyurethane foams and LEED. The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance has completed Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for both open and closed cell spray foams among its members. This is aggregated data across the members of the Alliance giving you the documentation for use with LEED v4. These EPDs are available from the members who participate.

I strongly urge all of you who haven’t yet to build a library of transparency documents for the products you like to use. There is no single source repository of this documentation across manufacturers and service providers so you’ll have to do much of the seeking yourself. Once you have created your own library, make sure someone gets the task of maintaining it to ensure all the documents you are curating are up to date and accurate.

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Lucas Hamilton is Manager, Building Science Applications for CertainTeed Corporation

1 Comment

  1. I wanted to add that our company has recently launched “The EPD Registry” (www.theepdregistry.com), an online database designed exclusively to house Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Until now, there has been no central repository of EPDs and our growing database is intended to fill this information gap in the market … thereby easing the EPD search process for AEC professionals and others.

    Thank you for the update. Good progress.

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