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Energy Conservation Lives!

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Friday, August 16, 2019
Updated: Friday, August 16, 2019
A recent Trump Administration document “encourages communities to adopt and enforce up-to-date building codes.” This important policy recommendation, contained in the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)’s National Mitigation Investment Strategy (NMIS), is expected to further catalyze code adoption and pave the way toward enforcement of these critical building standards.

The NMIS Recommendation 3.1 further states:
“Building codes regulate the design, construction, and occupancy of buildings and structures by providing minimum requirements to safeguard public safety, health and general welfare. Architects, engineers, builders, and regulators should use the latest building codes for the most up-to-date requirements for structural integrity, mechanical integrity, fire prevention and energy conservation. Using up-to-date building codes helps communities survive, remain resilient, and continue to provide essential services after a disaster occurs.”
 
This recommendation, combined with increased code adoption at the local level will be a powerful market signal. Further information and an explanation of the document is available here.

Tags:  building  building codes  buildings  construction  Disaster Preparedness  energy codes  energy efficiency  resiliency 

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New Wisconsin High School Uses Polyiso CI System

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Voters in Verona, WI passed a referendum in 2017 to build a brand-new high school. Once the new school is ready, the existing campus will be renovated to become a middle school and then the existing middle school will be converted for use as a new elementary school. The ambitious plan was undertaken to invest in long-term solutions for the school district’s needs and as a result care was taken in designing a new high school that would perform well over the long haul.

Construction is now underway on the new high school, designed in a collaborative process with staff, students, and project team members to provide an adaptable and vibrant modern learning environment in a safe place to support the physical and emotional wellbeing of students. Responsive to the natural environment, the new high school maximizes views and daylighting and offers outdoor learning spaces. At the heart of the building is a three-story atrium to encourage socialization and collaboration. The 585,000-square-foot building is scheduled for completion in preparation for the 2020-2021 school year.

To keep the building comfortable throughout the changing seasons and to minimize its energy needs, the design team selected products for the walls that would provide maximum insulation with minimal maintenance. More than 100,000 square feet of Johns Manville 2 ½ inch foil-faced Polyiso CI boards are being used on the project. They offer a reflective foil facer on one side and a non-reflective facer on the other to provide exceptional heat, moisture and air control. When installed correctly the Polyiso CI system provides a layer of continuous insulation that eliminates the thermal bridges that cause heat loss.

Learn more about the project here.

Tags:  buildings  continuous insulation  energy efficiency  insulation  Polyiso 

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Insulation Fly-In: Building Relationships for Better Buildings

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Thursday, May 30, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019

In this age of instant connectivity, virtual encounters allow communication and cooperation with unprecedented speed and ease. But there’s something about a face-to-face meeting that really helps people reach common ground. In May, 110 contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers from the insulation industry representing the majority of states met on Capitol Hill with lawmakers to discuss issues and ideas for harnessing the resources of the insulation industry to tackle some of our country’s most pressing problems. And they were serious about building those face-to-face relationships—and packed in 101 meetings on Capitol Hill, 23 of them with members of Congress.

With the constant stream of news stories highlighting the human costs and economic consequences of a changing environment, momentum is growing behind solutions that can address these environmental challenges in ways that strengthen U.S. economic productivity and competitiveness. To that end, PIMA members are working to build enthusiasm for federal action on policies that optimize the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings. Raising standards for new residential, commercial, and industrial buildings and retrofitting older ones can lead to long-term savings through better building performance.

Increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings is a practical way to help the environment, create jobs, and save money. Boosting energy efficiency alone can provide 40% of the necessary greenhouse gas emissions reductions to meet global targets and the work to implement these standards will lead to jobs in manufacturing, distribution, and installation. These improvements will save consumers billions of dollars in energy costs annually – money that can be invested back into the U.S. economy.

But these policies would do more than save energy; they’d also provide buildings and the people who use them with added protection from severe weather events. In 2017 alone, there were $317 billion in losses from US natural disasters, jump-starting discussions on creating more resilient buildings and communities. Optimizing insulation for an energy efficient building envelope improves performance post-disaster or during prolonged events like heat waves or extreme cold. And the investment would pay off – it’s estimated that designing buildings to the 2018 I-Codes would deliver a national benefit of $11 for every $1 invested.  

Some legislative tools to promote these improvements include:

  • Strengthening oversight of new rules for disaster preparedness and response.
  • Supporting investments in building science research.
  • Recognizing buildings as infrastructure, including critical structures such as hospitals and schools.

Improving the energy efficiency and resilience of our built environment is a proactive approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while boosting economic growth, improving energy security, and advancing U.S. global competitiveness. PIMA members are working together to promote policies that support these goals through events like Insulation Industry National Policy Conference.

For a deeper dive into the policy topics that were highlighted during the industry fly-in, please download the policy briefs:

Tags:  Congress  Efficiency  energy efficiency  insulation  jobs  manufacturing  Polyiso  resiliency  roofing 

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The Overarching Impact of the Insulation Industry

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Insulation can be found in buildings, refrigeration and a multitude of other end use products, and is used for floatation and transportation. From an environmental standpoint, when insulation products such as Polyiso are used in building and construction, the purpose of the insulation is to stop the flow of air (hot or cold) through the exterior walls and roofs of a building. Reducing the air transfer reduces the amount of energy required to regulate a building’s heating and cooling system. As a result, the insulation has a direct impact on the cost and use of energy to run that building.

Beyond its sustainability and environmental attributes, a new report, “The Contributions Insulation to the U.S. Economy in 2018,” produced by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), shows that the insulation industry contributes significantly to the U.S. economy. In fact, the industry generates more than 550,000 jobs and $33 billion a year in payrolls. For extended details on the economic contributions, insulation industry segments, and more view the full study here.

 Attached Files:

Tags:  buildings  construction  continuous insulation  energy efficiency  insulation  manufacturing  Polyiso 

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2018 Insulation Manufacturing Facts

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019
The report, “The Contributions of Insulation to the U.S. Economy in 2018,” produced by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) shows that the insulation manufacturing sector contributes significantly to the U.S. economy as illustrated in the infographic below. To learn more about the manufacturing aspects of the insulation industry, view the full study here.

 Attached Files:

Tags:  energy efficiency  insulation  jobs  manufacturing  Polyiso 

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Polyiso Roof & Wall Insulation: Helping New International Concourse at LAX Meet the Codes

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Friday, May 3, 2019
Updated: Friday, May 3, 2019
The ongoing overhaul of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the nation’s third busiest airport, is a complex web of projects. One of its major components is the new Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) North, a five-level, 750,000 square-foot expansion accessible via a spacious 1,200 ft. long tunnel corridor with moving walkways from the Tom Bradley terminal. As with any major construction undertaking, the project is designed to meet a wide array of building codes, including the California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) mandatory sustainability related requirements, and its Tier 1 voluntary sustainability measures that each jurisdiction has the option to enforce.  

CALGreen is the first-in-the-nation mandatory state green building standards code. Developed in 2007, it targets the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) from buildings, while promoting environmentally responsible, cost-effective, healthier places to live and work. In order for the new MSC to meet the exacting CALGreen Tier 1 specifications, the thermal insulation used in the project had to meet key requirements that measured volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions. Designers worked to find a continuous insulation capable of reaching those goals and providing the durability and protection required for the high-demand building conditions.

Additionally, since the new concourse is designed to complement the ocean wave theme of the airport, the architects envisaged a stunning curvilinear roof. This unique design element demanded some additional roof and wall configuration requirements. The team needed insulation materials that could be custom fit to meet custom curvature and design needs.

The design and construction team began searching for an insulation solution that would meet or exceed all code and environmental requirements and provide the flexibility and ease of installation that would make it a viable option for such a large project. Atlas polyiso roof and wall insulation products were continually recommended by industry experts due to their low VOC emissions and optimal performance. Atlas polyiso roof and wall insulation products have passed the vigorous testing requirements for GREENGUARD Gold certification.

The size and scale of the project is significant. More than 500,000 square feet of polyiso are required on the roof and more than 215,000 square feet will be used in the walls to ensure top building performance by providing a high R-value, durability and water resistive barrier attributes available.

To find out more, click here for the full case study.

Tags:  building envelope  buildings  continuous insulation  energy efficiency  insulation  Polyiso  roofing 

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Justin Koscher on 2019 National Energy Codes Conference Panel

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 2, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 2, 2019

The 2019 National Energy Codes Conference is being held in Denver, May 29 and 30, 2019. This year it will feature an engaging set of topics, educational sessions, and networking opportunities.

PIMA President Justin Koscher will be a panelist on the Building Resilience: A Community Perspective on Energy Codes panel. He will be joined by:

  • Cammy Peterson – Director of Clean Energy, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)
  • Amy Schmidt – Advocacy Manager, DowDuPont
  • Brad Smith – Energy Code Compliance Specialist, City of Fort Collins, CO
  • John Balfe (moderator) – Senior Buildings and Communities Solutions Associate, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP)

On Thursday, May 30 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, Justin and his fellow panelists will discuss:
Resiliency, safety, and savings – these terms appeal to community leaders and are important co-benefits of advanced energy codes. But how do communities realize these benefits? Policies, resources, and innovative strategies have been developed to harmonize energy efficiency and resiliency to make for a more well-equipped community building stock in the face of both manmade and natural disasters. Join this session to understand why energy codes are life safety codes.

If you are interested in attending this DOE event there is still time to sign up here.
Conference Dates: May 29 -30, 2019
Location: Denver, Colorado – Hilton Denver City Center

Tags:  energy codes  energy efficiency  resiliency  roofing 

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Nothing But the Best for the Big Ten: Terra Cotta Rainscreen Wall System With Continuous Insulation on New Headquarters Provides Style and Performance

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Since its inception in 1895, the Big Ten Conference has pioneered standards of excellence for intercollegiate sports. It should be no surprise then that the design of its headquarters building in Rosemont, Illinois features the construction industry’s highest performing products. In the Midwest, where temperatures can swing 100 degrees between winter and summer, the effectiveness of a building’s envelope, in particular, is a major factor on interior comfort, energy efficiency, and building durability.

Echoing the red brick buildings on the college campuses the Big Ten represents, designers chose a terra cotta rainscreen wall system that creates a striking façade for the 50,000-square-foot building. The tiles themselves are 12 x 48-inch panels with a bright red-orange color and a smooth finish. Their distinctive color is created using a single-clay composition, but there is a range of natural variations that enhance visual interest. The panels weren’t chosen just for their looks though. Each piece incorporates self-supporting extruded clay cleats that eliminate the need for metal support clips during the installation process—reducing costs and install time.

The terra cotta tiles are only the most exterior of the layers that wrap the Big Ten headquarters’ building envelope. These layers, called an open-joint rainscreen system, allow pressure to be equalized in the space between two exterior wall components so weather elements don’t reach the inner wall (rainscreen), which contains the moisture barrier and other critical components. This makes the building mold and mildew resistant—a huge bonus in an area known for its summer humidity. The panels are attached to exterior cold-formed metal framing, which supports the rainscreen system to resist the wind and snow loads for the Chicago area.

Behind the framing is the workhorse of the wall assembly, a commercial-grade insulation from Portland, ME-based Hunter Panels. The continuous insulation system used was manufactured at the local Hunter plant in Chicago. Continuous insulation, as its name suggests, covers the entire wall surface, with the obvious exception of windows, doors, and fasteners, minimizing heat loss and thermal bridging that is inevitable in systems that only insulate between the studs. Hunter’s Polyiso foam-board insulation with foil facers on both sides offers R-values from 6.3 to 19.5 in a single layer—a marked improvement over other insulation options. Since the insulation panels incorporate the moisture barrier required to protect the building, they also eliminate a step from the installation process.

Even though the construction team was unfamiliar with some of the wall system’s elements before this job, they were able to quickly master the installation techniques. The entire exterior took only six months to install and the Big Ten will be reaping benefits of such a maintenance-free and energy-efficient system for decades to come.


 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  building  continuous insulation  energy efficiency  insulation  Polyiso  rainscreen 

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Newest Shiloh House in Colorado Uses Polyiso Wall Boards for Superior Thermal and Weather Barrier

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 7, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

When Colorado architects from the Davis Partnership were designing a new building for the non-profit Shiloh House, they were thrilled to find a product that would protect the building envelope from exposure to fire, water, and wind while integrating a continuous insulation system that would provide long-term thermal efficiency. The polyiso wall insulation solution from Rmax gave them flexibility to use a variety of external claddings for visual interest without compromising on protection from the elements and energy savings. Even better, with the help of Rmax’s in-house architect and field team, they were able to design a wall system with smooth, on-time installation that meet the rigorous NFPA 285 requirements.

Shiloh House has five locations across Colorado that offer nurturing, therapeutic and educational services aimed to help youth and families to overcome the impact of abuse, neglect and trauma. They helped over 1,000 youth last year alone.

This new facility in Centennial is situated on a 1.54-acre property and includes on-site parking, outdoor courtyards, and the spaces and amenities that support the group’s programming to promote family stability and help families achieve their goals, while ensuring continued access to community resources once Shiloh House services have been successfully completed.

For an organization with such lofty goals, every dollar saved in building operations is another resource that can be used to serve its mission. The Rmax polyiso wall boards provide continuous insulation—eliminating heat lost that could occur through the studs when insulating with traditional products that are installed only in the wall cavities—and have reinforced aluminum foil facers that offer enhanced durability, dimensional stability and greater radiant heat protection. They make it easier and less expensive to keep the building comfortable, no matter the weather conditions outside.

“When we’re designing a building, we try to meet the highest standards because we care about protecting the environment and saving our client money over the whole life of their building by maximizing energy efficiency,” the architects explained. “With a reliable weather barrier and superior insulative properties, the polyiso continuous insulation system really gives your building the best protection while actually saving time and hassle on installation since it includes multiple protective layers in a single product.”

And the finished product speaks for itself:

Aerial views: www.rmax.com/aerial-videos

Project Gallery: www.rmax.com/shiloh-house-project-gallery

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  energy efficiency  insulation  NFPA 285  Polyiso  thermal efficiency  wall 

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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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