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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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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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High-Performance Building Envelope for East Point Elementary

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Monday, April 22, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2019

As the easternmost of Canada’s provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador sit on the edge of the North Atlantic. Composed of the island of Newfoundland and the large mainland section Labrador to its northwest, the province has a geography shaped by its exposure over millions of years to extreme weather conditions. The construction of a new elementary school in the Virginia Park area of its capital, St. John’s, required a rugged building envelope that would withstand most anything nature could throw its way.

The new $8 million K-6 East Point Elementary School includes 17 classrooms, a gymnasium, a stage, a lunch/multipurpose room with a commercial kitchen, a learning resource center, a music room and a family resource room. The school currently has 160 students enrolled and can accommodate approximately 340.

For protection from the elements, this school building required outstanding thermal performance for both the roof and wall systems. IKO polyiso insulation and high-density polyiso cover board were used on the roof. In addition, the masonry cavity wall features four inches of foil-faced polyiso insulation. Polyiso's unique benefits, strength and versatility allow it to adapt to a variety of applications. It’s outstanding thermal performance and high R-value per inch make it a smart choice for the most demanding environments.

Learn more about this project here.

Tags:  insulation  Polyiso  roofing  r-value 

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Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 18, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The late Israel Asper, a philanthropist and founder of CanWest Global Communications Corporation, had a vision for a museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration, and future of human rights. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), the first museum of its kind in the world, is a fulfillment of that dream, with the intention of building not only a national hub for human rights learning and discovery, but to promote a new era of global human rights leadership.

The pioneering facility, located in downtown Winnipeg, aims to engage Canadians and international visitors in an immersive, interactive experience and to create inspiring encounters with the foundational principles of human rights, offering both the inspiration and tools to help visitors make a difference in the lives of others. Museum patrons are welcomed as partners on a journey to erase barriers and initiate meaningful, lasting change.

The project was a joint venture of Canadian municipal, provincial, and national governments as well as The Asper Foundation, who spearheaded the initiative and obtained generous private funding. Founded by the Canadian Parliament through amendments to the country’s Museums Act on March 13, 2008, the CMHR was established as a center of learning where Canadians and people from around the world can engage in discussion and commit to take action against hate and oppression.

This unique museum project also had unusual building requirements. Its roof is comprised of three sections:

  • a base with green roofing;
  • the “Cloud,” a wrapped section, which includes the glass tower; and 
  • the “Mountain.”

Winnipeg-based Oakwood Roofing was the contracting firm responsible for sections two and three of the roof. After receiving plans from the building’s design team, Oakwood did a careful assessment of the unique building and recommended some changes that would result in a better roofing system with easier installation. A roof system combining products from IKO was devised to meet the building’s particular needs. Two of its key components were polyiso roof insulation and a layer of high-density polyiso cover board which was added to provide durability to the roof surface and increase valuable insulative R-value to improve building energy performance.

Learn more about this project here.

Tags:  insulation  Polyiso  roofing 

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Roofing Day

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 11, 2019
Updated: Thursday, April 11, 2019

On April 4, 2019, as spring unfolded in Washington, D.C. with the arrival of the cherry blossoms, PIMA and a sea of more than 400 roofing industry professionals descended on Capitol Hill for meetings with Congressional representatives to discuss issues of importance to the entire roofing industry. PIMA and its member companies were there to advocate in support of three key issues:

  • A robust buildings component for infrastructure legislation.
  • Immigration reform that meets the roofing industry's workforce needs.
  • Expanded workforce training incentives.
There is strength in numbers and Roofing Day is an opportunity for the entire roofing industry to speak with one unified voice. Groups of roofing contractors, front-line workers, state and regional roofing associations, roofing manufacturers, distributors, and design and roof-consulting professionals participated in close to 300 Congressional meetings. Roofing Day 2019 had an increased participation of 5 percent compared to Roofing Day 2018.

Visiting Capitol Hill with hundreds of roofing industry professionals was powerful as were the connections that were made. Equally as powerful and valuable - the connections made among the attendees. For more information on Roofing Day, visit www.nrca.net/roofingday. And mark your calendars for Roofing Day 2020 – April 21-22, 2020!

Tags:  construction  insulation  jobs  Polyiso  resiliency  roofing 

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Chicago Area Cold Storage Facility Looks to Polyiso & TPO for a Massive 236,000 SF Roof Upgrade

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 29, 2018
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2018
When a 1979 Chicago area cold-storage warehouse needed a roof upgrade, Polyiso insulation was a critical component of the new roof system.

Owned by CenterPoint Properties, the largest owner/developer of industrial real estate in the greater Chicago area, the building required a roof system that replaced the15 year old 236,000-square-foot BUR roof system with efficiency and longevity in mind.

The old roofing system leaked, including at the drains and field seams. The roof had overlay work from several past repairs and an uneven surface with obsolete mechanical units, which were removed.

The building is located in Hodgkins, Ill., where the tenant, Fresh Logistics, consolidates daily rail shipments of produce from key agricultural areas in California and Washington for distribution. Along with the new roof, an efficient and consistent temperature-controlled facility was critical to Fresh Logistics daily operations.

After the existing roof was torn off, two staggered layers of 2” Polyiso insulation, was topped with 60-mil energy efficient TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) membrane. This system allowed the contractor to use 70 percent fewer seams than the previous roof.

The roof system offers a cost-effective solution that provides a flat, clean, energy efficient roofing solution. Since the building has a temperature-controlled environment, the reflectivity of the 60-mil TPO keeps the building cooler and the four inches of insulation provide the proper R-value.

The roof was installed by Northcross Roofing and Waterproofing, Inc.

You can read more about this project here.

Tags:  Efficiency  insulation  Polyiso  roofing 

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The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act – Saving Small Businesses up to 30% on Energy Efficient Commercial Roof Retrofits

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Thursday, April 12, 2018

There has been a great deal of news coverage about the recent Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But as with all things related to the tax code, getting to what matters can be a long and arduous hunt. The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association made an assessment of the impacts this legislation will have on the building and roofing industries. It found that new reforms allow qualifying building owners to expense, or deduct, up to $1 million for the cost of certain building improvements in the year the work is performed, including adding insulation during roof replacement projects to meet or go beyond modern building energy code requirements. The impact can be significant for capital improvement projects. For example, a building owner that expenses the cost of a full roof replacement can reduce the net cost of the entire project by 25% to 30%. You can find our one-pager with more detail [here].

Tags:  buildings  energy codes  insulation  jobs  roofing  tax  taxreform 

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