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National Insulation Fly-In Day a Success

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Thursday, May 31, 2018

More than 130 insulation industry professionals recently gathered in Washington, DC for the second-annual Insulation Industry National Policy Forum. They met with 82 Congressional offices and Members of Congress – including Senator Rob Portman (Ohio) who has introduced a bill that would strengthen the nation’s commitment to energy efficiency – S. 385 The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. In addition, leaders from the Department of Energy, White House and U.S. Congress addressed the industry – including Representative Adam Kinzinger (IL), a leader on energy efficiency issues in Congress.  This year’s event included nearly 50 percent more attendees when compared to 2017 attendance numbers.

PIMA was a lead organizer of the fly-in event and some of the key points the association and it members made to lawmakers included:

  • The insulation industry employs more than 529,000 people and creates over $30 billion in annual payrolls.
  • The insulation manufacturing sector employs 37,000 Americans in 42 states with the largest number of manufacturing jobs located in Ohio.
  • Building energy codes – a driver for the use of insulation – are projected to save the US economy $126 billion in energy cost savings between 2010 and 2040.
  • Federal investments to resilient buildings provides a positive ROI for taxpayer dollars – a recent study demonstrates that exceeding the 2015 International Building Codes can save the nation $4 for every $1 spent. The insulation industry produces technology that contributes toward the value of these mitigation efforts.

The fly-in, and events like it, provide opportunities to ensure elected officials hear from and understand the importance of both the roofing and insulation industries to the overall U.S. economy. During our meetings on Capitol Hill with key lawmakers we also discussed workforce issues, funding for Department of Energy programs that support building energy efficiency, and buildings as key components of a resilient national infrastructure.

To view images from the fly-in, click here!

Tags:  Adam Kinzinger  building codes  buildings  Congress  Efficiency  energy codes  energy efficiency  fire performance  insulation  jobs  manufacturing  Polyiso 

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Plastics Are Critical To Creating a Sustainable Built Environment

Posted By Alex Wellman, Friday, February 5, 2016
Updated: Thursday, February 11, 2016

Last week at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas, Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), which bills itself as the trade association for the plastics industry, announced a new report titled Plastics Market Watch: Building and Construction. The report is the fourth in a series from SPI that looks at the consumer uses of plastics, of which the construction industry is the second largest behind only packaging materials.

Speaking to industry publication Plastics Technology, SPI President and CEO William Carteaux said,

“From floors to roofs, inside and outside of walls, plastics are a go-to product on construction sites, innovation in the plastics industry to improve and diversify products is matched by the building and construction sector’s pace to find, and use, new solutions to address fundamental issues like structural integrity, energy savings, recycling, and cost saving.”

The report highlights the many applications of plastic based materials in construction including insulation, roofing, plumbing, wall coverings, windows, composite lumber, house wrap, and many more. In the section discussing insulation, the report says, “whether its spray polyurethane foam (SPF) in the attic or rigid foam polyiso board in the walls, polyurethane based systems offer durability, energy savings and moisture control. When used for retrofit, situations they also help reduce the amount of building waste sent to landfills. In walls, behind walls and under floors, the use of polystyrene foams can provide significant energy efficiency.”

SPI is not the only one extolling the benefits of plastic building materials to improve the comfort and efficiency of the built environment. Last year, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) built an energy efficient tiny house as part of its Plastics Make it Possible campaign. The tiny house was built almost exclusively using plastic materials including vinyl windows, solar shingles, and polyiso insulation in the walls. Discussing the use of polyiso in the tiny hose, ACC said “this stiff plastic foam board (polyiso) was applied to the outside of the tiny house walls (under the siding) to help prevent untreated air from even touching the wall materials/framing. Rmax’s Thermasheath-3 insulates the house and can reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling.”

Despite the obvious energy efficient and green benefits of plastic based materials, not everyone is on board with their expanded market share.  Some in the green building industry feel the petrochemical nature of plastic materials automatically lends them dubious environmental qualities. While there are concerns with the recyclability and disposal of plastic building materials, overall they have contributed a net positive benefit to the goal of making our homes and businesses more efficient and sustainable.  In fact, the environmental benefits of Polyiso have been well documented in PIMA’s Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) published last year.  According to the EPD,“the energy savings potential of polyiso roof and wall insulation over a typical 60-year building life span is equal to up to 47 times the initial energy required to produce, transport, install, maintain, and eventually remove and dispose of the insulation.”

It is obvious that we are only on the cusp of what is possible to create a sustainable and environmentally friendly built environment and to achieve this goal, architects and specifiers will need to use both plastic and traditional construction materials to design high performance buildings. 

Tags:  Efficiency  EPD  Plastics  Polyiso  SPI 

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