What is Spray Foam Insulation?
Spray foam is rigid, lightweight, flexible, wind-resistant, and effective in extreme temperatures and weather conditions. When applied, it adheres immediately and expands from 20 to 120 times of its liquid volume.
Spray foam offers more consistent insulation performance (R-value) and other advantages over alternative insulation systems due to its ability to provide an integral air barrier, and in the case of closed-cell spray foam, water vapour resistance. The product also offers good acoustic performance.
When spray foam is created, a blowing agent is combined with liquid polyurethane raw materials, which creates a foamed material composed of small bubbles or cells. The two components join under pressure as they are sprayed on to building assemblies. As the mixture cures, the cells burst (ocSPF) or remain intact (ccSPF).
Spray Foam: Lower Environmental Impact
Because spray foam lasts longer and makes for more energy-efficient homes, its overall environmental impact is lower. The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance in the US completed a lifecycle analysis to look at the environmental impact of the manufacturing as well as the energy use phase of the products in homes.
The study showed foam paid back the energy of production in one to two years and paid back the greenhouse gas emissions in nine months to eight years. This resulted in a reduction of greenhouses gases over the product’s 60-year lifespan.
Durability is a key component in spray foam’s impact. The cellular structure of polyurethane foam means its performance remain unchanged with the passage of time.
Homestar ratings explained
Homestar is a tool that rates the environmental impact of new homes in New Zealand. The tool is run by the New Zealand Green Building Council, who estimates that a house built to the NZ Building Code would only score 3 or 4 stars out of 10.
Homestar gives ratings between 6 and 10. A 6 Homestar rating means the home is warmer, drier, healthier and costs less to run than a typical new house building to the code. A 10 Homestar rating means it is a world-leading home.
There are proven benefits to building homes with higher energy and efficiency ratings. These benefits show up first on power bills. It costs less to keep homes warm, comfortable and healthy.
The NZ Green Building Council has estimated the payback time of going for a Greenstar rating around the country. In Auckland, the cost of achieving Homestar 6 in energy and water savings is paid back in just two years. In Christchurch, it takes five years to pay it back. In Auckland, a 6 Homestar home is estimated to be 38% more energy-efficient than a home built to the building code.*
Spray foam insulation is a great way to boost the Homestar rating of a home. An investment here will pay the homeowner back with comfort, health and energy savings. As the Homestar rating gains popularity around the country, a higher rating will also likely mean a higher resale value.
NZ Foam’s spray foam is ecologically and environmentally friendly
Manufacturers of polyurethane spray foam around the world are continually perfecting their products to be thermally superior and most importantly ecologically and environmentally friendly.
NZ Foam's 'Orange' range of premium foams take these formulations to the forefront of the technology.
- Recycling of plastic bottles and renewable content makes up over 22% of the total volume of the finished foam
- The foam has zero ozone depleting potential and zero greenhouse effect on the environment
- No formaldehyde is used to make these products
- Due to the low energy production, the recycled content, the zero lifecycle and the superior thermal effectiveness, polyurethane spray foam is well known around the world as having one of the lowest carbon footprints of any insulation product available
NZ Foam continuously strives to improve the production and installation processes involved in bring excellent insulation to NZ homes to keep families warm, safe, and well.