The Future of SPF

[ad_1] Spray foam insulation (SPF), is still relatively new to the insulation industry; at least in terms of its use in stationary structures. After initial success in vehicles and airplanes during the 1940’s, SPF began appearing in newly constructed homes of the 1970’s – but only when specially requested. Now as we find ourselves in the second decade of the 21st century, SPF is being installed in residential and commercial buildings with more frequency. Part of the motivation comes from federal and state initiatives aimed at reducing the cost of the nation’s energy consumption, and sometimes residents choose SPF because they have seen the raised R-values and lowered utilities bills in published articles and research. With all that taken into account, it seems quite clear the future of SPF is looking bright.

Then in 2002 the US Department of Energy created the Solar Decathlon. This international competition was designed to challenge up to twenty collegiate teams “to design, build and operate the most attractive, effective and energy efficient solar powered house.” Aside from those initial demands, the winner must also blend affordability, market appeal and a profound level of success in the design – all with an eye to the most efficient energy production. There are ten contests within the decathlon, each earning a maximum of 100 points. They are defined as architecture, market appeal, engineering, communications, affordability, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home entertainment, and energy balance.

Judges are looking for excellence in each category, but the overall goal is to produce a house that can be appealing to the buyer, wholly powered via solar energy and be completely comfortable. In 2011 the winner of the Solar Decathlon was the University of Maryland with their ‘WaterShed’ house. The students reported their design was inspired by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. They illustrated their inspiration by managing water in four categories: potable water (drinking),…

Sourced from by Mark A. Munns

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