Sustainable Roofing Doesn’t Just Benefit the Earth, It’s Good for Business

Energy efficiency has become a key focus in the roofing sector. This photo showcases solar panels on a spray foam roof, a combined solution that both creates and conserves energy in a structure. Photo: Huntsman Building Solutions

Not too long ago, sustainable roofing and building was simply a novel concept. Though achievable, it proved far from financially feasible for builders and developers who simply couldn’t command the pricing it then required, giving them little ability to offer it in any standardized way. However, the last two decades have been marked by substantial material advances as well as the dramatically increased adoption of those materials. Customer awareness and demand, in both the residential and commercial sides of the business, along with tax incentives, green building finance programs, corporate sustainability initiatives, certifications, and a dramatic shift in consumer awareness of environmental impacts and ways to reduce them, are all now contributing to improved ROI in earth-friendly roofing and structures.

Today, sustainable roofing and construction are far from unique. The financials have evolved and it’s now feasible from a budget perspective to build with materials that protect the environment. Not only that, it’s simply good for business in many ways. Here’s why.

Resilient Roofing Materials Are in Higher Demand

As storms and inclement weather conditions increase in both frequency and magnitude, demand for resilient roofing materials, for both re-roof and new construction applications, are growing dramatically.

The United States has experienced a series of formidable weather events the past few years. Notably, the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season will long be remembered as one of the most prolific and disastrous on record, with Hurricane Maria’s decimation of Puerto Rico; Maria and Irma’s extensive damage incurred in the Virgin Islands; Hurricane Harvey’s brute strength, rainfall and destruction as a cyclone over Texas, Louisiana and the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys; and others. The same year, California’s years-long drought and heat wave continued, culminating in prolific destructive wildfires. In September 2018, the Southeast was hit with Hurricane Florence, which caused catastrophic damage and deaths in the Florida panhandle and the Carolinas, primarily as a result of freshwater flooding. In 2019, the longest running drought in California since the U.S. Drought Monitor began and lasted well into the spring. Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas with record-breaking maximum sustained winds of 185 mph then reached a Category 5. In the third quarter of this year, California’s wildfires wreaked record damage in the state and extended north, bringing severe damage in Oregon and Washington.

Roofing materials designed to provide the customer with a much better shot at withstanding harsh weather events such as these offer longer lifespans — one important determinant of sustainability — than those that don’t. As the industry shifts towards focusing on manufacturing and installing products with resilience capabilities, it will better meet customer demand while simultaneously encouraging the longevity of roofing products.

Consumers and Businesses Want to Reduce Environmental Impacts

Like many other types of products, construction materials and technologies have advanced tremendously over the past decade and become more sustainable. In roofing specifically, the environmental focus has shifted toward energy efficiency. As product advancements and benefits have grown, manufacturers have ramped up marketing, highlighting innovation and sustainability benefits. Undoubtedly, consumers, businesses and investors are now all increasingly calling for a meaningful reduction in the environmental impacts of their homes and structures, with roofing being a key component of this. Whether a manufacturer, contractor or builder, this demand across key audiences cannot be ignored if you want to run a successful business today.

Efficient Buildings Contribute to Energy Independence

The roofing and construction industries’ collective move toward energy-efficient building has been occurring over the past several years with significant momentum. Improved indoor comfort, reduced environmental footprint and long-term energy savings are regularly touted as legitimate benefits of energy efficient roofing. Yet there’s another aspect of this story not often discussed — energy independence. The direct link between roofing materials that conserve large amounts of energy, and therefore dramatically reduce fossil fuel use, is real and can be measured. However, a gap still exists in the average consumer’s understanding of this link. At the same time, there’s a strong national desire for energy independence.

If the industry comes together to better educate customers on the direct relationship between high-performance roofing materials and reduced fossil fuel burning, we can encourage energy independence as a core advantage. This will benefit customers, business, and the Earth, while encouraging a stronger roofing industry and overall economy.

Recycling Can Fuel Manufacturing

The use of recycled materials in the manufacturing of roofing materials is on the uptick, as seen across different material categories. One of the newer developments in recycled materials is the diversion of plastic water bottle waste, otherwise destined for landfills and the oceans, into the manufacturing of spray polyurethane foam roofing materials. One key result is that less of the harmful plastic will negatively impact our treasured marine species and our food sources. However, another is positive bottom line impacts to business as the waste has become a consistent material source for manufacturing.

While everyone is likely to agree that environmentally conscious roofing is the responsible choice for the Earth and future generations, it’s become much more than that. It’s now what customers want and it opens the door for new ways to source materials. Understanding the full scope of opportunities is paramount to not only remaining relevant, but to growing your roofing business.

About the author: Dave Feitl is VP Global Roofing and Western USA SPF Sales of Huntsman Building Solutions, a global provider of high-performance spray polyurethane foam and coatings. For more information, visit www.huntsman.com.

Southern California Couple Keeps Cool With New Roof System

Temperatures in Southern California soar during summer months. Homeowners in the region typically rely on traditional air conditioning units along with electric fans for air circulation to moderate indoor temperatures and keep their residences comfortable. Though these techniques help, they obviously increase energy consumption and bills.

The Vus, a professional couple in Santa Ana, California, were one household beholden to these excessive energy costs. The couple purchased their single-story California ranch style abode in 2014. After a few years of occupancy, their consistently high electricity bills prompted an investigation to determine the cause. The couple discovered the primary culprit: excessive use of air conditioning.

The roof system features Boral’s MetalSeal self-adhering underlayment and above-sheathing ventilation. Photos: Boral Roofing LLC

The couple’s research also surprised them when they found a secondary cause for their soaring energy bills. After a thorough review, the Vus realized that the energy consumption they attributed to their air conditioner was also directly linked to a poorly performing roof. The existing, aged asphalt shingle direct deck roof was susceptible to reaching extremely hot temperatures in peak summer months, and its resistance to heat transfer was extremely poor.

The decision was then made to install a new roof system to combat the heat and exorbitant energy costs accrued during Southern California’s hotter months.

“Knowing that our energy bills weren’t going to resolve themselves, as well as the fact that we were nearing the expiration date of our asphalt roof anyhow, we made the decision to completely re-roof our home with a high-performance system,” says Christopher Vu.

A Lightweight Cool Roof

After researching their roofing options, the Vus sought a lightweight durable solution that would prevent heat transfer, offer a longer lifespan than asphalt and, of course, dramatically reduce their monthly electricity bill. After rigorous research, they selected the Boral Steel Cool Roof System, selecting Boral Steel PINE-CREST Shake, a stone coated steel material. The new roof was installed by Western Roofing Systems of Anaheim, California.

The cool roof system is comprised of a series of components that work in concert to keep the home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, reducing overall energy consumption. The result is optimized energy efficiency.

The roof was topped with Boral Steel PINE-CREST Shake, a stone coated steel material.

The lightweight stone coated steel roofing panel is manufactured from Galvalume steel and is coated with stone granules applied to the steel with an acrylic polymer adhesive. The material offers a cost-effective solution whose lighter weight poses no structural load issues. With an aesthetic that mimics traditional shake, the roof complements adjacent homes in the Vus’ neighborhood, many of which feature actual shake roofing.

“The product is steel, so it’s sturdy but also looks nice and fits right into the neighborhood aesthetic,” says Vu.

The Vus utilized an alternative solution to the 30-pound felt underlayment commonly utilized in Southern California, choosing Boral’s MetalSeal high-performance water barrier. A self-adhered product that virtually eliminates the need for nails, the underlayment is resistant to puncturing, allowing roofers to stack panels on it during installation, saving numerous time-consuming trips up and down to load product.

“For many reasons, we were able to reduce the expense and safety risk of our installation with the use of this underlayment,” adds Vu. “It also provides great protection from wind and water.”

The Vus’ cool roof system takes advantage of above-sheathing ventilation. Elevated battens provide both a thermal barrier and ventilation. Hot air rises and creates a natural convection effect. This allows the heated air to be exhausted through ventilation, leading to continuous airflow across the roof deck. The result is a cooler attic and interiors.

“We are pleasantly surprised at how effective the system is in creating a cooler living space inside our home,” says Vu.

Curb appeal and energy efficiency aside, the cool roof system is also designed to offer protection from storms and severe climate events. The roof system offers Class-4 Hail Impact Resistance, a Hurricane Wind Performance Rating and a Class A Fire Rating. The above-sheathing ventilation also enables above-deck insulation and airflow that prevents ice dams (even though that condition is less likely to occur in Southern California).

The Vus have been pleased with their new cool roof system, not only because it increases their comfort and looks nice, but because the lower costs have been quite noticeable.

“On average, we are saving almost $60 per month on our energy bills,” Vu notes. “These savings make a real difference for us and we couldn’t be happier.”

About the author: Pete Croft is brand manager for Steel Roofing with Boral Roofing LLC.  For more information, visit Boral Roofing online at www.BoralRoof.com; contact Pete at Pete.Croft@boral.com.

Metal Roof Provides Durability, Energy Efficiency for Florida Preschool

The Goddard School in Ponte Vedra Beach was constructed from an existing building

The Goddard School in Ponte Vedra Beach was constructed from an existing building that was entirely gutted and remodeled. It features a standing seam metal roof manufactured by Metal Sales and installed by Ford Roofing Systems. Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

“Almost everything we do is kind of odd, weird and unique,” says Jay Maust, president and owner of Ford Roofing Systems Inc. in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The company excels in high-end commercial and residential projects featuring metal, tile, slate and asphalt shingle roofing.

A recent metal roof installation in Ponte Vedra Beach was more straightforward than many of the company’s projects, notes Maust, but it has the aesthetics and architectural flair the company is known for. The project came to the company like all of the rest of the company’s jobs do: as a referral from an existing customer.

When the relative of a previous residential roof customer decided to completely gut, renovate and expand a building to put up a teaching preschool known as the Goddard School, Maust was called in to consult on the project, come up with a roof design and install it. The result was a standing seam metal roof that provides the durability and energy efficiency the school requires.

The existing shingle roof was torn down to the trusses, and any damaged trusses were replaced. After new wings were added, the building envelope was insulated with spray foam. New plywood decking was installed, and after the deck passed the county inspection, Maust dried the building in with Boral Tile Seal self-adhering underlayment. “It has great thermal properties to it,” he says. “In my opinion, it is the best peel and stick on the market.”

The next step was to install painted metal perimeter wall flashings for the metal roof system that would also serve as stops for the HardiePlank and stucco siding. “It not only provides waterproofing protection but creates a tie-in for our system,” says Maust. “We call it a receiver flashing. It provides a nice, straight line where the siding or stucco ends. There is typically blue plastic that covers the metal, and after the siding is installed, you just peel the plastic sheeting off, and any paint or residue that might have gotten on the metal is peeled off with the plastic. And the end you have a beautiful piece of metal that enhances the look of the building—and it’s a water barrier.”

The standing seam roof was manufactured by Metal Sales Inc. On jobs such as this one, the project superintendent typically measures the roof by hand and prepares a cut list for the manufacturer. Metal Sales shipped the finished panels to the site, including 24-gauge galvalume panels painted in Kynar Silver Metallic, drip edge, hip and ridge panels, and headwall flashing.

Precise Execution

Since the front entryway was still under construction, roofing crews began at the back of the building and worked their way forward. One hurdle was formed by the addition of a back wing, which had a primary support beam that intruded on a designed valley. Since the support could not be moved, Maust decided to change the slope of valley to avoid the potential eyesore.

Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

Architectural details included shed dormers over the doorways and windows, as well as gable dormers with false louvers.

Proper placement of penetrations on metal roofs is critical, notes Maust, and the company takes pains to ensure that penetrations are kept to a minimum and are properly designed and executed. Crews make sure plumbing stacks are in the center of a panel and don’t interfere with the ribs. When plumbers rough in the stacks, roofing crews make sure the last section of pipe can be rotated to ensure it is in the center of a panel before the final cuts are made. “We make them go through this extra step,” Maust says. “If they won’t do it or can’t do it, we’ll do it for them.”

Coordinating work with representatives of other trades on the project was difficult, but it is necessary part of the process, according to Maust. Ford Roofing workers made sure to be on hand to assist framers, as well as contractors installing siding, stucco, fascia and HVAC equipment. “That is our roof, and we don’t want anyone else walking on it, period,” Maust says. “We’ll install weather vanes, cupolas—whatever’s going up there.”

The standing seam metal roof was installed after the building envelope

The standing seam metal roof was installed after the building envelope was insulated with spray foam. The result is a durable roof system that helps ensure energy efficiency for the building. Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

The company built a curb for one of the HVAC fan units, and flashed in another that had a factory-installed curb to ensure they looked identical. “We went up there and sealed it in and flashed it,” Maust notes. “We made it look like it was part of the roof.”

For those forced to walk on the panels, rituals include knocking boots on the ladder and wiping the soles with a towel to ensure no sand or grit could possibly mar the finish. “We use foam tubes on our ladders so we don’t scratch the paint,” Maust explains. “It’s a learned process, and we’ve learned a lot of things over the years.”

Safety is always the top priority on every project. “On steep–slope jobs like this one, everyone wears harnesses and is tied off to their own bracket, which is properly attached to a truss,” Maust notes. “We are always checking on each other. Sometimes it’s hard to see if someone is tied off when they are on the top of the roof, so we developed this little motion where someone on the ground will make a hand gesture, and the person on the roof will pull up his safety line to demonstrate they are tied off.”

The installation on this project went like clockwork, according to Maust. “I’ve been doing this since I was 14,” he says. “The key is logistics. Is there stress sometimes? Absolutely. You just have to pace yourself.”

Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

Maust is detail-driven, but he realizes it’s people who must execute the error-free, eye-catching projects that generate referrals. “Success comes from having guys in the field that care,” he says. “They understand very clearly that if they do a good job, this job is going to lead to another job. They get that. I also get that.”

The key is to not only build strong roofs but strong relationships. “I’m a very social person when it comes to my homeowners and my contractors,” Maust says. “If I’m working for a contractor, I want to meet the homeowner and help them select their tile. I want my reps, my builders, my homeowners to embrace a project together. I want everybody to know everybody. You develop these friendships and relationships, and that’s where great projects and great referrals come from.”

“That’s how I get my work,” Maust concluded. “All of my projects come to us through word of mouth. I’ve never placed an ad.”

TEAM

Architect: Dig Architecture, Jacksonville, Fla., Dig-architecture.com
General Contractor: Benchmark Commercial Group, Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Benchmarkcommercialgroup.com
Roofing Contractor: Ford Roofing Systems Inc., Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Fordroofingsystems.com
Metal Roof System Manufacturer: Metal Sales Inc., Metalsales.us.com
Underlayment Manufacturer: Boral Roofing, Boralamerica.com/roofing

Innovative Roofing Insulation Appeals to Owners, Architects

Because Rich-E-Board roofing insulation is light and easy to install, it lowers the cost of delivery and handling and can reduce labor costs by more than half.

Because Rich-E-Board roofing insulation is light and easy to install, it lowers the cost of delivery and handling and can reduce labor costs by more than half.

It’s exceptionally thin and easy to install. It delivers an R-value of 50 to commercial, industrial and government buildings. Now, Rich-E-Board, the innovative new roofing insulation, is enjoying a groundswell of interest from building
owners, contractors and architects seeking to drive down construction costs and boost energy efficiency.

Rich-E-Board recently received a patent for its proprietary Vacuum Insulated Panel—two polymeric foam cover boards that sandwich the panel—and the adhesive ribbons that bind the boards and panel together. This ultra-thin insulation offers a certified alternative to a huge commercial roofing market—billions of square feet in construction every year—challenged with
meeting stringent standards for energy efficiency.

While conventional insulation requires a thickness of 15 inches to reach an R-value of 50, Rich-E-Board achieves the same result at just 1.5 inches thick. Rich-E-Board can be installed on most roof deck types, including ballasted roof systems, and can support all conventional low-slope roof systems.

Rich-E-Board’s design delivers significant advantages:

  • Lower energy bills: Achieving an R-value of 50 can cut a building’s heating and cooling costs by 8 to 10 percent, according to the GSA.
  • Simpler retrofits: Rich-E-Board enables retrofitted structures to achieve required R-values in less time, with fewer materials, and without costly and destructive building modifications.
  • Reduced construction costs: Because Rich-E-Board is light and easy to install, it lowers the cost of delivery and handling and can reduce labor costs by more than half.
  • Design flexibility: With its slim profile— especially compared with multi-layer insulation— Rich-E-Board saves space, expanding the design options for architects.

Rich-E-Board is also fireproof and water and mold resistant, notes Joanne Collins, president and CEO of R-50 Systems, maker of Rich-EBoard. “Our team focused on creating a game-changing alternative,” Collins says. “Rich-E-Board fills a significant
void in the marketplace by providing an insulation system capable of meeting today’s tougher energy standards.”

Success in the Field

Rich-E-Board has made a successful transition from the drawing board to the marketplace. Owners and architects have taken advantage of the insulation’s slim profile and high R-value on several building projects.

At a government building in Chicago, for example, owners chose to install 3,600 square-feet of Rich-E-Board as part of a roof retrofit aimed at lowering lifetime energy costs. Rich-E-Board’s slim profile also cut construction costs by more than $20,000 by streamlining design and installation.

At the Cohen Courthouse in Camden, N.J., Rich-E-Board was selected for the roof retrofit, eliminating the need for expensive building modifications that would have been required for conventional insulation. The decision lowered the project cost by $200,000.

Earlier this year, Rich-E-Board was awarded a patent for its design. More recently, the insulation earned its first LEED 4 designation.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in Rich-E-Board as the roofing market learns more about the benefits it brings to the commercial roofing,” Collins says. “This product fills a significant void by providing an insulation system capable
of meeting today’s tougher energy standards.”

Collins notes that, in addition to the $5 billion annual market for commercial roofing, Rich-E-Board can be used in walls and other building applications. Rich-E-Board is 99 percent recyclable and made entirely in the U.S.

PHOTOS: R-50 SYSTEMS

TPO System Delivers Energy Efficiency for Company Headquarters

TurnKey Corrections constructed a new 115,000-square-foot in facility in River Falls, Wis.

TurnKey Corrections constructed a new 115,000-square-foot in facility in River Falls, Wis.

If you want it done right, do it yourself. Company owners Todd Westby and Tim Westby take a hands-on approach to running TurnKey Corrections, the River Falls, Wisconsin-based company that provides commissary and jail management services to county corrections facilities nationwide. The Westby brothers also take pride in the fact that TurnKey manufactures the kiosks it provides to its clients and develops and owns the proprietary software used to run them.

So, it’s perhaps not surprising that, when building the company’s new headquarters, Todd Westby, the company’s CEO, founder and general manager, served as the general contractor. Or that he had definite ideas regarding the roofing system that would be installed. Or that he was more than willing to get his hands dirty during the installation process.

Founded in 1998, TurnKey Corrections helps corrections facilities streamline and lower the cost of delivering a variety services to inmates, including commissary, email and email-to-text communication, video visitation, law library access, and paperless intra-facility communication and documentation. Following several years of robust growth, the company had outgrown its three existing buildings. So, it constructed a new 115,000-square-foot facility to bring all operations, including 50,000 square feet of office space and a 65,000 square-foot warehouse where commissary items are stored prior to shipment to corrections facilities, under a single roof and accommodate future success.

“We wanted to be involved in the project from beginning to end so we knew what we were getting and how it was built,” Todd Westby says of the decision to keep construction management in-house. “We wanted to know about anything and everything that was being built for the company in this building.”

In planning the project, Westby initially set two key criteria for the roofing system: that the building would be made watertight as quickly as possible so concrete slab pours and other interior work could be completed, and that the roof would be covered by a warranty of at least 20 years. The design-build firm’s initial plans called for a ballasted EPDM roofing system, but Rex Greenwald, president of roofing contractor TEREX Roofing & Sheet Metal LLC of Minneapolis, suggested a white TPO system, noting that it would meet the quick installation and warranty goals while also enhancing the building’s energy efficiency. Westby was intrigued and, after some research, agreed to the recommendation. In addition to helping reduce cooling costs during summer months, the reflective surface would allow a blanket of snow to remain on the roof during winter months to provide additional insulation.

The TPO roofing system was constructed over a 22-gauge metal fabricated roof deck.

The TPO roofing system was constructed over a 22-gauge metal fabricated roof deck.

The Roof System

The TPO roofing system included a 22-gauge metal fabricated roof deck; two 2.5-inch-thick layers of Poly ISO insulation from Mule-Hide Products Co., with tapered insulation saddles and crickets to aid drainage; and 811 squares of 60-mil white TPO membrane from Mule-Hide Products Co. The insulation and membrane were mechanically attached using the RhinoBond System from OMG Roofing Products. Cast iron roof drains, designed and installed by a plumber, were used rather than scuppers and downspouts—a practice that the TEREX team strongly recommends to prevent freezing during the cold Upper Midwest winters. Walkways lead to the mechanical units, protecting the membrane from damage when maintenance personnel need to access the equipment.

The TEREX team finds the RhinoBond System to be the most efficient and economical attachment method for TPO systems. Specially coated metal plates are used to fasten the insulation to the roof deck and then an electromagnetic welder is used to attach the membrane to the plates. The membrane is not penetrated, eliminating a potential entry point for moisture. And while other mechanical attachment methods require the crew to seam as they go, the RhinoBond System allows them to lay the entire membrane (a task which must be completed in good weather conditions) at once and go back later to induction weld the seams and plates, which can be done when Mother Nature is slightly less cooperative.

Greenwald estimates that the switch from the originally specified ballasted EPDM system to the TPO roofing system and RhinoBond System shaved at least 10 percent off the installation time and reduced the roof weight by 10 pounds per square foot.

Having Westby on-site as the general contractor also sped up the project considerably, Greenwald notes. “He was a huge asset to all of the subcontractors,” he explains. “We could get construction questions answered quickly and could talk through issues and procedures on a timely basis.”

And the most memorable moment in the project for Greenwald was seeing Westby working side-by-side with his crew. “One day we had a delivery truck show up, and Todd jumped on the forklift and helped us unload the truck.”

As sought from the project’s outset, the roofing system is backed by a 20-year, no-dollar-limit labor and material warranty.

With one winter of use in the rearview mirror, the roofing system has exceeded Westby’s expectations. Warehouse space was doubled, but heating costs have been cut in half. The 10-unit heating system also is able to keep the warehouse a uniform temperature, without the cold spots that were common in the old building.

“It really is a beautiful, very efficient and organized-looking roof,” Greenwald says.

ASTM Test Method Prevents Air Leakage, Supports Liquid-applied Polymers

A new ASTM International test method aims to prevent air leakage in and around roofs, helping improve energy efficiency, reduce moisture problems and prevent pollutants from entering a building.

“It is critical that each assembly of the building envelope be investigated for air-leakage performance with appropriate standards,” says ASTM Member Sudhakar Molleti. “What cannot be captured in the material and full envelope air leakage testing—the structural strength and continuity of the air barrier assembly—can be quantified in the assembly testing. To achieve energy efficiency of building and to adapt for climate change, comprehensive data of material, assembly, and full envelope air leakage testing are needed. By quantifying air leakage in roof assemblies, this new standard can serve as a platform for supporting code compliance and for constructing energy-efficient and sustainable roof assemblies.”

Molleti, a research officer with more than 10 years of roof assembly testing at the National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, notes roofing membranes are air impermeable but can be compromised by factors, such as lack of continuity of the membrane seams, improper detailing around rooftop preparations, improper selection of flashing materials and improper connection of roof membranes to the exterior wall barrier.

Specifically, this new test method is a laboratory technique to determine air leakage in low-slope membrane roof assemblies and accounts for the wind fatigue expected during the life span of a roof by simulating negative air-pressure differences.

The new standard (soon to be published as D8052/D0852M, “Test Method for Quantification of Air Leakage in Low Sloped Membrane Roof Assemblies”) was developed by ASTM’s committee on roofing and waterproofing (D08).

In other news, a set of proposed ASTM International test methods will help support the growing number of roofing projects that use liquid-applied polymers. The proposed standard (WK40123, “Test Methods for Sampling and Testing Liquid Applied Polymeric Roofing and Waterproofing Membranes that Are Directly Exposed to Weather”) will help manufacturers; testing labs; and the construction industry as they sample, test and compare products. It is being developed by ASTM’s committee on roofing and waterproofing (D08).

The proposed standard includes ways to test liquid-applied polymeric materials that are cured to form roofing and waterproofing membranes that are directly exposed to all kinds of weather. By their nature, these materials are seamless. They are also useful when working with complex surfaces and custom-fit projects.

ASTM Member Philip Moser notes these membranes have been traditionally used for waterproofing of elevated parking decks, but their use for applications like roofing is quickly rising. Moser, a senior project manager specializing in building technology at Boston-based Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., says, “Delivery to the exact point of application in relatively small containers makes these products particularly attractive for small rooftop terraces, congested urban areas and roofs that are not accessible by crane where delivery of larger containers would create logistical problems.”

The test methods would be used by manufacturers and testing labs, as well as the people who write specifications that indicate which test methods should be used to evaluate physical properties.

To purchase standards, visit ASTM. org and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Customer Relations at (877) 909-ASTM or Sales@ASTM.org. ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at ASTM. org/JOIN.

AIA Supports Legislation for Energy Efficiency Tax Incentive

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has voiced its support of bipartisan legislation that makes designers of hospitals, schools, tribal community facilities and other non-profits eligible for an energy efficiency tax incentive that is already saving tax-payers money across the country.

H.R. 6376, introduced by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and co-sponsored by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), also modifies Section 179D of the tax code, the Energy-Efficient Commercial Building Deduction, to make small to midsized architect firms organized as subchapter S corporations eligible for the deduction.

“H.R. 6376 gives non-profits the ability to allocate this energy savings tax incentive to designers,” said AIA President Russell Davidson, FAIA. “It also provides an opportunity for schools and hospitals to save money when architects deploy technologies that make buildings more energy efficient.” 

The section 179D tax deduction was originally passed by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 in direct response to broader energy usage and independence concerns. According to data released by the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings are responsible for 73 percent of all electricity consumption in the U.S., with about half of that coming from commercial buildings.

In an effort to curb this trend and encourage broader energy efficiency, section 179D allows qualifying building owners and businesses to receive an up to $1.80 per square foot tax deduction for their energy efficient buildings placed into service during all open tax years.

Architects can also qualify for 179D under a special rule for public property, if they’ve enhanced the energy efficiency of a new government-owned building or made energy-saving renovations and retrofits to existing government-owned buildings. As government entities do not traditionally pay tax, the owners of these buildings can allocate the accrued tax savings to architects who have designed the energy-saving improvements.

DBS Produces Flame Retardant XPS Insulation

Dow Building Solutions (DBS), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co., has announced it is producing all STYROFOAM Brand Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Insulation sold in Canada with BLUEDGE Polymeric Flame Retardant Technology, a next-generation sustainable flame retardant solution.
 
“Building on 75 years of innovation, our researchers continue to innovate STYROFOAM Brand Insulation to offer architects and builders solutions to meet the demands of global energy efficiency regulations and sustainable building design,” says Tim Lacey, global business director for Dow Building Solutions.
 
DBS has already converted its STYROFOAM Brand XPS foam plants in Japan in 2014 and Europe in 2015 to BLUEDGE. The business will globally convert the remaining STYROFOAM Brand XPS foam plants as soon as it is practically and commercially feasible. This phased approach allows for a controlled conversion process that meets the business’s quality requirements in every region and, at the same time, ensures product availability meeting market demands across regions.
 
BLUEDGE Polymeric Flame Retardant Technology was invented by Dow in 2004 as a challenge to find a more sustainable flame retardant solution for polystyrene foam. It is a drop-in technology to replace hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) a common flame retardant with a less favorable environmental profile. Today, BLUEDGE technology is incorporated in Emerald Innovation 3000 marketed by the Chemtura Corp., FR-122P marketed by ICL and GreenCrest marketed by the Albemarle Corp. These next-generation sustainable flame retardant alternatives are available to other extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation manufacturers transitioning away from HBCD-based flame retardants through these licensees.

XPSA Supports Montreal Protocol Amendment Accelerating HFC Phase-Out

The Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association (XPSA) , whose members include the major extruded polystyrene foam (XPS) insulation manufacturers in North America, has announced its support for the Montreal Protocol amendment hastening the global phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to protect the stratospheric ozone and mitigate the effects of climate change.
 
XPSA has expressed support for both the Montreal Protocol and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program, under which XPS manufacturers are transitioning out of using HFC-134a. XPS manufacturers have met or exceeded the timelines set forth and will continue to do so based on science and environmental stewardship. XPSA’s members are committed to eliminating HFCs from their products by the EPA SNAP deadline of January 1, 2021.
 
“The phase-out of HFCs will be a milestone within the XPS industry’s stewardship and sustainability objectives and a progression of our ongoing search for technology improvements to better serve our customers and protect our environment,” said John Ferraro, executive director of XPSA.
 
Replacing HFC-134a requires a reconsideration of the entire chemical makeup of XPS insulation products. The EPA understands that XPS manufacturers need time to identify alternatives to HFC-134a; assess and address risks of alternative components; analyze capabilities and make modifications to equipment, facilities, manufacturing processes, and worker safety and training programs; work with suppliers on equipment and component needs; build and engage in pilot- and plant-scale trials; obtain permits, approvals, and financing; and address commercialization issues such as ensuring production capacity to meet global market demand.
 
XPS’s properties heighten a structure’s energy efficiency, which both the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and EPA acknowledge to be one of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies. In fact, ASHREA and XPS industry estimates indicate that homes using XPS insulation sheathing save enough energy in the first year to heat over 500,000 homes in the U.S. XPS reduces GHG emissions by lowering the energy consumption of a structure, which diminishes the amount of energy spent in the distribution of energy, the delivery of which requires 3.34 units of energy to send 1 unit to a building for user consumption. Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) data shows that the reduced energy consumption due to XPS foam pays back the embedded CO2 multiple times over the life of a building.

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.