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Insulation Eco-E Spray Tips - August 2010

NSF International verifies the sustainability performance of ENERTITE® and SPRAYTITE® with BASF's award-winning Eco-Efficiency Analysis methodology

The Eco-Efficiency Analysis for BASF's residential spray-applied polyurethane foam (SPF) residential insulation has been verified by NSF International, The Public Health and Safety Company(TM), a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, that is the world leader in standards development, product certification, education, and risk-management for public health and safety.

Eco-efficiency analyses (EEA) evaluate the economic and environmental impacts of a product or a process through its anticipated lifecycle. To help provide independent, third-party reviews of EEA analyses, NSF International developed NSF Protocol P352: Validation and Verification of Eco-Efficiency Analyses. Utilizing this protocol, NSF validates EEA methodologies and verifies EEA studies for its clients. This gives clients additional credibility for their EEA methodologies and studies.

The verified Eco-Efficiency Analysis quantifies the differences in lifecycle environmental impacts and total lifecycle costs of various insulation systems for residential buildings in the United States, specifically different insulating systems for a single story residential home in three distinct climate zones in four different locations in the United States (Newark, New Jersey; Tampa, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona and Minneapolis, Minnesota) to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the effect regional material and energy costs, as well as regional climate conditions, can have on the results of the study. Insulation requirements for each region followed the recommended building code requirements specified by the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code for Residential Building Requirements.

Base case: Newark, NJ (Zone 4; R-13 wall and R-38 ceiling)
Scenario #1: Tampa, Florida (Zone 2; R-13 wall and R-30 ceiling)
Scenario #2: Phoenix, Arizona (Zone 2; R-13 wall) and R-30 ceiling)
Scenario #3: Minneapolis, Minnesota (Zone 6; R-19 wall and R-49 ceiling)

The product alternatives compared under this study included SPRAYTITE® 158-LDM, SPRAYTITE® 178-F, SPRAYTITE® &180-F closed-cell, spray-applied polyurethane foams, ENERTITE® - US open-cell polyurethane foam, cellulose, fiberglass and a generic bio-based closed-cell SPF.

The Customer Benefit applied to all seven alternatives is the construction, use and disposal of the walls and roof of a single-story home meeting the 2006 IECC residential building code requirements for insulation over a 60-year time frame

The study found that ENERTITE is the most eco-efficient alternative due to its combination of lower environmental burden and lowest lifecycle cost. The four SPRAYTITE alternatives are closely related to each other in eco-efficiency and slightly less than ENERTITE. The fiberglass alternative is the least eco-efficient followed by the cellulose alternative.

Key contributors to the performance of the BASF polyurethane insulation materials in this study for the base case include:

  • Lower primary energy consumption
  • Lower raw material consumption by module and by type
  • Lower greenhouse gas emissions (relative and absolute energy consumption values)
  • Lower photochemical ozone creation potential
  • Low land use
  • Low risk potential by module and by risk factor
  • Lowest lifecycle cost

When measured again using the three location scenarios small shifts in the eco-efficiency scores were noted.

Tampa, Florida
Improved positions for ENERTITE, cellulose, and fiberglass relative to the SPRAYTITE alternatives, with SPRAYTITE alternatives and the cellulose alternative of equivalent eco-efficiencies. For this scenario and relative to the absolute HVAC loads, the SPRAYTITE home was about 2% more energy efficient than ENERTITE, 3% more efficient than cellulose and 6% more efficient than the fiberglass alternative.

Phoenix, Arizona
ENERTITE is less eco-efficient relative to the base case with specific improvements to the SPRAYTITE alternatives, which have the lowest overall lifecycle costs. The SPRAYTITE 180-F alternative is now as eco-efficient as ENERTITE. For this scenario and relative to the absolute HVAC loads, the SPRAYTITE home was about 1% more energy efficient than ENERTITE, 4% more efficient than cellulose and 7% more efficient than the fiberglass alternative.

Minneapolis, Minnesota
All the spray foam alternatives (open- and closed-cell) have similar eco-efficiencies. Cellulose and the fiberglass alternatives are still less eco-efficient that the spray foams. The SPRAYTITE formulation is the only alternative that can achieve the R-19 building code in 2x4 construction. The SPRAYTITE insulation benefits from cost and material savings in installing 2"x4" vs. 2"x6" framing. For this scenario and relative to the absolute HVAC loads, the SPRAYTITE home was about 2% more energy efficient than ENERTITE, 12% more efficient than cellulose and 26% more efficient than the fiberglass alternative.

The verification of this Eco-Efficiency Analysis under NSF Protocol P352, Part B was released in June, 2010 by NSF International.

As a BASF approved applicator, you are encouraged to use the Eco-Efficiency Analysis report to demonstrate the sustainability attributes of these materials to your customers.