By Liz White, UT editor
Raleigh, North Carolina-The largest brownfield redeveloper in the US, Cherokee Investment Partners, has begun using polyurethane spray foam (SPF) insulating material in its National Homebuilder Mainstream GreenHome.
This demonstration home has been designed to prove green building practices can easily be transferred to the conventional building industry. The insulating material is spray-applied insulation from BASF Polyurethane Foam Enterprises llc.
According to Cherokee senior director Jonathan Philips, "the first thing to think about when considering green is to create a tight building envelope, to control the air that's in the home and prevent leaks that waste energy in so many traditional homes." Philips added in a Cherokee statement that the spray foam creates that seal, and "should be at the top of the list of anyone looking to build green."
Closed-cell SPF is being applied to all the home's exterior walls, attic and crawl spaces. On spraying, the foam instantly expands to 30 times its original size and hardens to seal all corners. This helps to reduce energy loss through the building envelope.
The PU technology will give off no gas nor will it have any adverse affect on a home's occupants, says Cherokee. It also has double the R-value (the standard measure of resistance to heat flow and insulating strength) of traditional glass fibre insulation, and "this makes a significant contribution to creating a high-performance building envelope system," the developer added.
"Getting to zero energy starts with a smart insulation and air barrier strategy. We are seeing that as the green and zero-energy home building markets grow, the advantages of closed-cell spray foam systems are becoming obvious," said BASF Polyurethane Foam Enterprises' representative Kelly Frauenkron, in the announcement.
Compared to a similar conventional home the developers estimate that heating and cooling costs will be "at least 60 percent" lower for the Mainstream GreenHome. Furthermore, it is expected that the combination of energy efficiency measures and renewable power generation will result in a home that achieves near-zero energy performance.
The Mainstream GreenHome-with various innovative, environmentally- friendly features-looks and works as a traditional home. The aim is to reverse the negative connotations that can be associated with green building, Cherokee says.
Pic: Front view of the GreenHome."