LEED Insulation Rehabs South Florida School with Spray Polyurethane Foam
SprayFoam.com was on the job site to cover the project.
By Ryan Spencer
BOCA RATON, FL–July 2, 2012–Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is often implemented in situations where blown-in insulation or batting has become compromised. When an aging school facility in Boca Raton, Florida sought to address its own insulation woes with SPF, SprayFoam.com was there to cover the project.
The 27-year-old building in question was part of Spanish River Christian School. Due to its age, the building had exhibited several problems with its HVAC system and building envelope. Most issues stemmed from the building's chilled water A/C units, which had begun to break down and produce condensation that had collected in the original fiberglass insulation. Over-saturated insulation presented a potential hazard to the building's acoustic ceiling, as the weight of inundated batting can collapse ceiling tiles. The school, which is operated by Spanish River Church, was proactive about renovating the building.
The application crew meets at one of the spray rigs (Left), and the Spanish River Christian School (Right).
"The whole system was just reaching its age, so they took it upon themselves to invest in the building," said Darrell Luloff, president of Heartland Builders, which was the general contracting firm for the project.
Heartland's proposal entailed replacing the old HVAC system with a centralized A/C system that incorporated variable air volume (VAV) units. The company also aimed to improve the building envelope by utilizing spray foam insulation in lieu of fiberglass batting. Additionally, a thermal barrier was required to be applied over the foam because of the building's wooden truss construction. (The alternative to the thermal barrier would have been the costly installation of a sprinkler system.)
"The foam seemed to be a perfect fit for everything that we were doing," said Luloff. "It was just the perfect product to keep the attic temperature lower and save the life of the equipment, and with the overall energy savings, it was the complete package."
Spray foam being applied to the underside of the roof decking.
LEED Insulation was contracted to perform the spray application, which covered over 17,000 square feet at completion. The foam was applied to the underside of the roof decking, to a thickness that equaled the previous fiberglass batting's R-value of 19. LEED used Demilec Sealection 500 for the application, and the open-cell foam's R-value of 3.8 necessitated five inches of material to be applied in order to hit the R-19 target. That depth of foam translated to a total project size of 85,000 board feet.
"The whole job was a little over six sets of foam and about 230 gallons of the thermal barrier," said Ed Richards, owner of LEED Insulation.
While the project was considerable in size, it was the application's environment that posed the real challenge. Florida's overly-humid summer is in full swing, which meant the applicators were dealing with temperatures well into the triple digits as they sprayed. Needless to say, hydration was crucial. Beyond temperature, the roof was vaulted substantially high, maybe thirty feet at its peak, and so the applicators were forced to climb over the trusses and use special spray gun tips to reach the highest points.
LEED had two spray rigs on site and two applicators spraying foam for much of the application. When enough foam had been applied, the coating application began and the number of foam applicators was reduced to one.
"We got a good jump out of the gate with both rigs going, and after a few days, we pulled one off to go do another job," said Richards.
The spray application began on June 12, 2012 and wrapped up nine days later on June 21.
A visible difference between the foam and thermal barrier coating (Left), and the completed application (Right).
About LEED Insulation: Based in Ft. Pierce, LEED Insulation is a full-service insulation contractor serving the east coast of Florida. Services include open- and closed-cell spray foam, CBS injected foam, blown-in insulation, batt insulation, rigid board insulation, and seamless gutters. For more information, please use the contact details provided below.
About Heartland Builders:Heartland Builders is a state-licensed general contracting firm based out of Boynton Beach, FL. Heartland is also licensed for mold remediation. For more information, contact Darrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.