Making Healthier, Greener Foam Insulation

first_imgFlame retardants used in foam insulationWe don’t want insulation materials to catch fire, so it is logical to add flame retardant (FR) chemicals to these materials if it will prevent them from catching fire. That’s the reason HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) is added by all polystyrene insulation and TCPP (Tris [1-chloro-2-propyl] phosphate) is added to most polyisocyanurate and spray polyurethane foam insulation. These are both halogenated flame retardants — the first using bromine, the second chlorine. RELATED ARTICLES GBA Encyclopedia: Rigid Foam Insulation Polystyrene Insulation: Does It Belong in a Green Building?Avoiding the Global Warming Impact of InsulationInsulation to Keep Us Warm — Not Warm the PlanetCalculating the Global Warming Impact of Insulation The efficacy of flame retardants compared with thermal barriersCombustion studies that were done in the 1970s showed that if the insulation is not protected with a thermal barrier, there is no correlation between the presence of flame retardant and the extent of the resultant fire. Thus, the inclusion of a flame retardant does not seem to appreciably increase the fire resistance of foam insulation, according to a peer-reviewed technical paper recently published in the journal Building Research and Information.However, thermal barriers like 1/2-inch drywall work extremely well at containing fires. The 15-minute protection provided by 1/2-inch drywall gives occupants time to escape a fire. In other words, of the two measures used to impart fire safety to a building assembly (flame retardants in foam insulation and thermal barriers) almost all of the fire safety benefit is provided by the thermal barrier. The problem with these halogenated flame retardants is that they have significant health and environmental risks. The HBCD that is used in all polystyrene (both extruded and expanded) is being targeted for international phase-out by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. It is highly persistent in the environment and bioaccumulative in the food chain; it is believed to cause reproductive, developmental, and neurological impacts. Less is known about the TCPP used in spray polyurethane foam and polyisocyanurate, but there is significant concern in the health and environmental community.Building codes require that foam-plastic insulation meet a very specific flammability standard. But building codes also require — for most applications — that foam insulation has to be separated from living space by thermal barriers, such as gypsum drywall. As readers of this blog know, I’ve come down fairly hard on certain types of foam insulation over the years. The downsides include the blowing agents used in extruded polystyrene (XPS) and most closed-cell spray polyurethane foam and the flame retardants that are added to all foam-plastic insulation to impart some level of fire resistance.Now there’s an effort afoot to change building codes in a way that would allow manufacturers to remove the hazardous flame retardants. This is the subject of a just-published feature article in Environmental Building News (log-in required).This is a significant energy issue, because layers of foam insulation provide the easiest way to achieve the level of energy performance needed to approach net-zero-energy performance. If we’re going to add a lot of foam insulation to our homes, we want that to be safe for the occupants and the environment.center_img Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. Changing building codes to allow elimination of flame retardantsBecause the vast majority of the fire safety in a building enclosure is provided by the thermal barrier, a group of environmentally aware architects, chemists, and code experts is seeking to change building codes to allow non-FR foam to be used in applications where adequate protection is provided by a thermal barrier. (Full disclosure: I have been involved in this initiative.)The code change would allow the FR-free foam to be used below-grade, where the insulation is sandwiched between concrete and earth (hardly a fire risk), and where the foam is separated from the living space by a 15-minute thermal barrier, such as 1/2-inch drywall.For the former application (below-grade insulation), I believe it’s a no-brainer. Over half of XPS is installed below-grade, so I think there could be a very viable product free of flame retardants for this application. The change to building codes wouldn’t mandate the elimination of flame retardants, but it would give manufacturers the option to do so if they chose to. Eliminating the flame retardant for above-grade applications where there is a 15-minute thermal barrier isn’t a slam-dunk, but I believe the case being made is strong.Changing building codes, however, is a long, challenging process; I don’t know what chances the initiative has. In my article research, manufacturers expressed reservations that they don’t want to have to produce, distribute, and market two different lines of material, and they point out that they also have to be concerned with fire safety of material being stored and during construction (before drywall is installed).On the other hand, though, foam insulation manufacturers spend a lot to incorporate flame retardants into their products. The insulation contains a not-insignificant amount of these chemicals: 12.5% TCPP in open-cell spray polyurethane, 4% TCPP is closed-cell spray polyurethane, and 2.5% HBCD in extruded polystyrene. A lot of the strategies for “greening” building products increase the manufacturing costs, while removing expensive flame retardants should reduce costs. So there is some interest by the industry in this change.As described in our Environmental Building News article this month, “Getting Flame Retardants Out of Foam Insulation,” the code-change initiative is being targeted, initially, at the International Residential Code. If successful, an effort to change the International Building Code (for commercial buildings) will follow.last_img read more

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Pharrel William’s fans are not Happy

first_imgNot all Pharrell Williams fans are happy right now.The41-year-old singer has issued an apology for the backlash he hasreceived for sporting an American Indian headdres on the cover of theJuly issue of Elle UK.”I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture. I am genuinely sorry,” a rep for the star issued in a statement to the Daily News.Twitter users expressed just how not pleased they were by using the hashtag “#nothappy” along with their opinions on Williams’ controversial choice.Pharrell Williams appears onstage the 56th annual Grammy Awards wearing much more fan-approved headwear. Matt Sayles/Matt Sayles/Invision/APPharrell Williams appears onstage the 56th annual Grammy Awards wearing much more fan-approved headwear.EnlargePharrell Williams wore the hat that makes fans ‘Happy’ to the 35th anniversary gala celebration at The Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagicPharrell Williams wore the hat that makes fans ‘Happy’ to the 35th anniversary gala celebration at The Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.Enlarge”Pharell…why?! #NotHappy with @ELLEmagazine for the appropriation of this headdress,” one angered user wrote.Ironically, the “Happy” singer did make note of his Native American ancestry in a 2010 interview with The Oprah Magazine.last_img read more

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BCCI urges ICC to appeal against ‘totally wrong’ Anderson verdict

first_imgJames Anderson was earlier a given a clean chit by Judicial Commissioner Gordon Lewis in the caseMiffed by the Judicial Commissioner’s verdict pronouncing England’s pace spearhead James Anderson not guilty in the altercation with Ravindra Jadeja, the BCCI wants the ICC to appeal against the ruling which it finds “totally wrong”.The Anderson-Jadeja Saga The BCCI was left red-faced after Judicial Commissioner Gordon Lewis found both Anderson and Jadeja not guilty of breaching ICC code of conduct during the Trent Bridge Test after a marathon six-hour hearing on August 1.BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel shot off a mail to ICC CEO David Richardson late last night asking him to appeal against the verdict.”I have written a letter last night to ICC CEO David Richardson to file an appeal against the verdict which all of us, including the team management, feel totally wrong and in violation of the particular process. Let’s see what happens,” Patel said.”We, in BCCI, cannot appeal against the verdict, only the ICC can and hence I have written the letter to Richardson and I am confident a decision will be taken within the next 48 hours,” Patel said.”How can he (Anderson) be pronounced not guilty after having admitted that he had pushed Jadeja. According to me so many laws in the ICC Code of Conduct had been violated in this particular process,” Patel added.There is, however, no video footage of the alleged physical altercation between the duo during lunch break of the Trent Bridge Test available to substantiate the Indians’ complaint.advertisementThe International Cricket Council, on its part, said it has received the Judicial Commissioner’s detailed report on the altercation and was considering its future course of action.”The ICC confirms that it has received and is considering the written decision of His Honor Gordon Lewis AM, the Judicial Commissioner, in respect of his findings thatEngland’s James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja of India were not guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct and Player Support Personnel, following an exhaustive disciplinary hearing which was held in Southampton on Friday,” the ICC said in a statement.As per Section 8.3.2 of the ICC Code of Conduct, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson has seven days – until Sunday, August 10 – to consider whether to lodge an appeal against the decision.”The ICC will make no further comment on this matter until the decision has been made,” the statement said. Richardson, who was on leave, has resumed his duties at the ICC headquarters in Dubai and is learnt to have consulted his legal team on the matter.In case Richardson appeals, a three-member panel will be formed from the members of the ICC Code of Ethics committee.The three-member panel might take upto 30 days (as per ICC constitution) to give a verdict which would allow Anderson to play the entire Test series.Anderson was accused of pushing and abusing Jadeja during the second day of the first Test at Trent Bridge on July 10. England had also pressed for a Level 2 charge against Jadeja as a counter move.Match referee David Boon, however, downgraded it to a level 1 offence and docked Jadeja 50 percent of his match fee. Although it is an non-appealable offence, the Indians appealed against the verdict and the ICC accepted the plea.last_img read more

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ESL Shipping Expands into Smaller Vessel Class

first_imgzoom Helsinki-based shipping company ESL Shipping has entered into smaller vessel class with ice classed 3,000 dwt ships. As explained, the move is part of the company’s growth strategy.Three vessels of the abovementioned class, Baltic Carrier, Baltic Skipper and Capella, joined the company’s fleet in fall this year, while the fourth vessel, Delfin, was added to ESL Shipping’s fleet on December 18.The smaller vessels support “the flexible customer service”, regardless of the transportation batch size, ESL Shipping said.“The new operating model allows ESL Shipping to expand into new vessel classes with no major capital investments,” according to the company. In the operating model that is new to the shipping company, the vessels will be chartered from the market for the transportation volumes. The most sought-after volumes include renewable bioenergy, recycled raw materials, such as recycled energy fuel or steel, wood-based products and grain.Including the recently added ships, ESL Shipping’s fleet comprises thirteen vessels ranging in size from 3,000 to 56,000 dwt.last_img read more

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April 25 2014The crew is preparing for the fourth

first_imgApril 25, 2014The crew is preparing for the fourth ANNUAL BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL, tomorrow, Saturday April 26, 2013. It will start at 10 am – 6 pm.This is a wonderful event and we look forward to great music and fun for the whole family. You don’t want to miss this.The event is hosted by Highway 69 Chamber of Commerce.FEATURED BANDS: Flint Hill Special Reunion • Desert Routes • The Potato Patch Band • Superstition Ridge • Cisco & the Racecars • • Brush Arbor Revival • Jam Pak Blues n’ Grass FREE INSTRUMENT WORKSHOP: Jam Pak Blues n’ Grass will host a free full day workshop with guitars, fiddles, banjos, mandolins, dulcimers, and wash-tub bass for children and adults. Admission: $12, Children 7 – 12 half price, 6 and under: FreeFor more information and tickets, please contact:
(928) 632-4355 or highway69chamber [at] gmail [dot] comlast_img read more

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Jim Lanzone US broadcaster CBS has promoted the CE

first_imgJim LanzoneUS broadcaster CBS has promoted the CEO of its interactive unit to become chief digital officer at the corporate head office.Jim Lanzone will remain as chief executive of CBS Interactive, while taking on the newly-created CBS Corp. post.He is credited with launching new services such as SVOD platform CBS All Access, which has made waves after being announced as the exclusive home of the new Star Trek and Good Wife series.“For the past five years, Jim has built a successful business and organisation at CBS Interactive, which is now a thriving and profitable operation – and one of our most exciting growth engines as we move to build CBS All Access, CBSN and many other important initiatives in the digital space,” said CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves.In the new post, Lanzone will oversee all digital matters and ensure CBS’s digital strategies are coordinated across divisions.Prior to joining National Amusements-owned CBS, Lanzone was at Clicker Media, which he founded and led as CEO. He was also chief executive of Ask.com (fka Ask Jeeves), which Electus and CollegeHumor backed IAC acquired in 2005.last_img read more

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UK public broadcaster the BBC has agreed to fix it

first_imgUK public broadcaster the BBC has agreed to fix its level of funding of Welsh counterpart S4C until 2022.A letter sent this week by BBC Trust chairman Rona Fairhead to S4C Authority chairman Huw Jones confirms the BBC will provide S4C with £74.5 million (US$99.5 million) each year until the current licence fee agreement ends.The existing agreement with S4C was due to end in 2017, though the BBC Trust, which currently governs the BBC, had previous agreed an extension until 2018 in order to provide stability to the under-threat Welsh pubcaster.“I see this as the right thing to do in recognition of the important role played by S4C for Welsh speaking licence fee payers in particular and as a solid basis on which the S4C Authority and the new BBC Board can work together and maintain the very positive relationship which the BBC Trust has enjoyed with you and your colleagues,” wrote Fairhead in the letter.The BBC said the funding level was “some way above the average projected ‘read across’, which was agreed by the BBC with the [UK] Chancellor and Secretary of State as part of the licence fee agreement in July 2015”.The UK Conservative government earlier this year announced a “comprehensive review” of S4C’s remit, governance and funding, news that followed the revelation government investment in the service would be reduced from £6.7 million to £5 million by 2020.The BBC’s Welsh arm, BBC Cymru, is also bound to provide S4C with 10 hours of programming per week.In June, S4C hired the founder of factual indie TiFiNi, Amanda Rees, as its new director of content.last_img read more

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