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Don’t ask, don’t tell: radon gas in Canada

June 19, 2015

Plasti-Fab:

As you can see in Aaron’s blog below, Radon gas has become a hot topic as many begin to become more educated on the dangers of Radon gas and its presence in our homes and businesses.
Plasti-Fab and Radon Environmental have developed a key component in Radon gas mitigation, known as Radon Guard Insulation. Made with Plasti-Fab’s expanded polystyrene, Radon Guard Insulation aids in the mitigation of Radon gas, helping create healthier homes and environments.
To learn more about the Radon Guard Insulation and the key components in Radon mitigation, visit the Plasti-Fab web site.

Originally posted on arennie2015:

I came across an interesting article today, which was published back on June 1st 2015 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (www.cmaj.ca).  Written by Diane Kelsall (MD MEd), it calls sharp attention to the fact that Canadian lawmakers have done well to protect Canadians from harm by way of seat belt laws (saving estimated 1,000 lives a year) and smoke alarms (reducing fire related deaths to somewhere near 40 per million households a year) yet have been lax in regulating protection from radon gas, a proven carcinogen that causes thousands of death each year.  I supposed it’s sort of like the home owners and business owners I have met who say they don’t want to test for radon, because if the test comes back saying there are high levels present that means they have to do something about it.  Ignorance is bliss, they say, but does that apply when the topic at hand…

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Using DuroFoam to Insulate your Basement Floor

May 26, 2015

Written by: Melissa Carruthers

Many of you are familiar with our DuroFoam insulation product and the types of applications you can use it for. Essentially DuroFoam is PlastiSpan insulation but DuroFoam is laminated with a green side and a silver side. This allows for flexibility and durability in the product.

PlastiSpan and DuroFoam are closed-cell EPS insulations. PlastiSpan is available in 2′ x 8′ and 4′ x 8′ sheets; DuroFoam comes in 4′ x 8′ sheets. Both are suitable and recommended as the insulation component in the topic of our discussion: basement floors. They are both easy to cut and install.

Below is a video of our DuroFoam product being installed in a basement floor application. You will note they follow the same steps as spelled out for PlastiSpan.

For more information on Plasti-Fab’s DuroFoam insulation, visit: http://www.plastifab.com/homeowners/buildinghome/plastispan_duro/plastispan_durofoam.html

Building Safety Month = Radon Mitigation

May 20, 2015

Plasti-Fab_WTagline_survey

May is Building Safety month, and while that focus is partly directed towards safety goggles and power tool protocol, the concepts behind building a “safe” building are also gaining some exposure this month. Safe buildings = radon free buildings.

Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, and the leading cause among non-smokers. Several Canadian provinces have building code requirements in line with the National Building Code, which clearly define how to mitigate an interior space against radon gas.

Plasti-Fab has a key component within these mitigation systems, with their Radon Guard Insulation. It provides the space under the floor slab for the radon gas to move toward a vent stack, which diverts this deadly radioactive gas around interior spaces to vent harmlessly out the building roof.

radon-guard-product-image

An added benefit of Plasti-Fab Radon Guard Insulation, is that it provides under slab insulation to your building! The typical method of using washed gravel does not – so our product will help in producing a warmer, more energy-efficient building, in addition to protecting against radon gas.

As the largest manufacturer of EPS insulation in Canada, Plasti-Fab has manufacturing and sales offices in Ontario and all Western Provinces.

plastifab.com | advantageicf.com | insulspan.com

Building Energy Efficient Walls with Insulspan SIPs

May 19, 2015

Written by Aaron Hinde

You don’t have to take my word for it, Mike Holmes said so too! May is Building Safety month, and while that focus is partly directed towards safety goggles and power tool protocol, the concepts behind building a “safe” building are also gaining some exposure this month. Safe buildings = radon free buildings. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, and the leading cause among non-smokers. Several Canadian provinces have building code requirements in line with the National Building Code, which clearly define how to mitigate an interior space against radon gas. Plasti-Fab has a key component within these mitigation systems, with their Radon Guard Insulation. It provides the space under the floor slab for the radon gas to move toward a vent stack, which diverts this deadly radioactive gas around interior spaces to vent harmlessly out the building roof. An added benefit of Plasti-Fab Radon Guard Insulation, is that it provides under slab insulation to your building! The typical method of using washed gravel does not – so our product will help in producing a warmer, more energy-efficient building, in addition to protecting against radon gas. As the largest manufacturer of EPS insulation in Canada, Plasti-Fab has manufacturing and sales offices in Ontario and all Western Provinces. Check out their website for more product details, and also this link from Mr. Holmes about Building safety and Radon gas! http://www.plastifab.com Mike Holmes: Don’t wait for accidents to happen, prevent them.

Red Wood Terrace by Insulspan SIP by Design
Our design process reduces construction time and improves efficiency. Blueprints for your home are loaded into our computerized factory equipment, where Insulspan SIPs are manufactured to your exact specifications, then delivered to your location as a ready-to-assemble building system.

Energy Efficiency
Higher R-value keeps conditioned air in. The R-value of a wall is a measure of its ability to keep heat from flowing through it. Higher R-value for walls means less heat loss from the interior or gain from the exterior means less energy needed for heating and cooling. The Insulspan closed cavity wall design limits air movement. The continuous core of EPS insulation in an Insulspan SIP vastly reduces air leakage and heat loss, while also allowing better control of indoor air quality.

SIPs under Construction
Insulspan delivers a full ready-to-assemble package for your walls where we do a complete HSB wall layout showing all connection and lumber detailing. The panels are cut with precise CNC equipment to meet specified tight tolerances. The walls come to the job site with all splines, corners and window and door bucking installed to make installation fast and accurate. The top and bottom plates are supplied and installed in the field to make for connections between top and bottoms of the panels. Insulspan cuts all lumber at connection points for the wire chases saving you the time in the field.

Insulspan tries to do everything in the factory setting and throughout design to save you time and money during the installation process. We also use the highest quality of adhesives and material to assure you receive the highest quality product the market can offer.

So in short, by using our structural insulating panel system, you have built an incredibly energy efficient, higher quality wall system.

Tips & Tricks
To see our product in action, and learn some of the tips and tricks used by the pros, check out our YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE604FB4BC11E368B&feature=plcp

SIPs are just one of the methods available to help create the most energy efficient home.

plastifab.com | advantageicf.com | insulspan.com

Supporting Sustainability: A look at 2014 and what it means for you

May 7, 2015

Plasti-Fab:

Good blog post from PFBSustainability regarding the focus and commitment towards the environment.

Originally posted on PFB Sustainability:

2030-globe

Corporations like PFB are committed to conducting operations responsibly and being mindful of the economic, environmental and social impacts of its operations and concerned with the future of the planet and the effects that modern lifestyles may be having on climate change.

In the last decade the company has reported the material impacts its activity has on the environment, including tabulating and reporting emissions, energy usage and waste PFB has generated. In 2013, PFB established a Sustainability Committee with members from all areas and specialties within the company. The Committee’s mandate is to work with management group and employees to facilitate continuous improvement of its sustainability performance. PFB’s focus continues to be on improving our performance through a process of continuous improvement.

Waste
Waste is a significant issue for manufacturers like PFB both from a cost perspective and its environmental impact. PFB is continually looking for ways to reduce the…

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Designing with Insulspan SIPs

April 28, 2015

Written by guest writer Keith Nelson, Insulspan Designer

Why Design with Insulspan SIPS?  A panel is a panel is a panel, right?

I believe in helping people, giving the best possible effort, and doing right by others. I believe that the “pictures” I draw are more than lines on a screen or a page. I believe that they are a person’s dreams, realized.   My name is Keith Nelson and I design SIPs at the Insulspan plant in Blissfield, MI.

Being entrusted with someone’s dream is an awesome and daunting responsibility, with equal parts trust, excitement and trepidation.  Architects have the visionary work; designers translate their concepts into reality. Mechanics and metrics, software and load paths are all part of that translation, but those things are just the tools that I use to actualize their dreams.    The purpose behind those tools is improving the quality of life that the homeowner will enjoy, the pleasure they’ll take everyday living in their dream. I endeavor to give each of them the most energy efficient, cost effective version of that dream.

After receiving the plans from the customer, I recreate their two dimensional information in a 3D model using HSB Cad.  HSB is cutting edge software that integrates with AutoCAD Architecture.  Starting at the top, I work my way down through the structure, I trace the loads imposed on the panel, transferring them out and down to the foundation. Each door and window, opening and exterior wall is digitally recreated.  Every SIP and piece of lumber in the project is then modeled from that data for maximum efficiency and minimal waste.  Panels are maximized in size, thermal breaks are minimized, the design tweaked to provide the best performance possible within the given structural requirements.  That care and attention to detail will have direct impact on every utility bill the customer receives.

Insulspan panels are consciously designed for the people who will use them, for their comfort and enjoyment, for their future and the actualization of their dreams.

What I do everyday makes a difference in people’s lives; not just in their energy savings, but in their level of comfort, and in their sense of home. I maintain that an Insulspan panel isn’t like any other you can purchase, by design.

Visit www.insulspan.com for more on panel design and options.

Plasti-Fab Solutions Home: Exterior Sheathing Insulation

April 17, 2015

written by Melissa Carruthers
Follow her on twitter: @MelissaC_PFB

People are continually looking at different ways to increase their energy efficiency and decrease their energy costs. So what do they do? Replace windows and doors. Well that’s a great start, but what about all that space between your windows and doors? How much energy do you think is leaving through your walls every day? Parents are always after their kids to shut the door so we don’t let the heat or cool air out but in reality, you could be losing up to 33% of your heating and cooling through your walls each day.

So how do we fix this? Well, this is where PlastiSpan insulation saves the day. It is more cost effective and time effective to increase your R-Value above grade by going from the outside in then from the inside out. Make sure you check your local building code; see what they have for rules, requirements and restrictions. This will save you from problems later on.

Let’s get down to work.  By adding PlastiSpan, PlastiSpan HD or DuroFoam insulation to your home we will increase your energy efficiency and decrease your costs.

*All insulation will be called PlastiSpan from here on, but any of the 3 is the right insulation solution for this application.

A little overview of the 3 types so you can chose the best for your application

  • PlastiSpan has the lowest cost/R-Value for rigid insulation
  • PlastiSpan HD is also a more cost effective product than other rigid insulations. It gives you a slightly higher R-Value and compressive strength than PlastiSpan too.
  • DuroFoam is an ideal product for sheathing because it has been laminated on both sides, one with a green film and one with a silver one

The reflective facer on DuroFoam insulation contains a thin layer of foil embedded within the film. The reflective facer does not increase the nominal R-value of DuroFoam insulation. The green face of DuroFoam insulation should be left exposed to make use of the markings on this face provided for easy cutting of insulation and spacing of interior framing as required.

After you have chosen which type of PlastiSpan insulation you are going to use and have removed all your existing siding, you need to plan out the joints. Apply one of the PlastiSpan insulation products over the exterior of the wood framing. All vertical edges of the PlastiSpan insulation need to be butted tightly together over stud locations for adequate support.

Make sure you are using the correct fasteners. PlastiSpan Insulation must be fastened to framing using fasteners with heads or washers at least ½” diameter where the cladding will be applied directly against the insulation. Fasteners with heads or washers at least 1″ in diameter must be used where an air space will exist between the PlastiSpan insulation and the cladding. (The fasteners are usually a nail with a green washer around it).

A sheathing membrane is not required if all joints between the PlastiSpan insulation and all openings in the wall are taped using a sheathing tape to seal them. Installing exterior cladding; cladding must be attached to the wood framing members so they need to be long enough to penetrate through the PlastiSpan insulation and at least 1″ into the wood framing.

This should finish off the exterior of your home. New doors, new windows and by using PlastiSpan insulation under your sheathing, it will make a huge difference on your energy bills every month, plus increase the comfort inside your home. It’s a win-win situation, and who can resist a win-win?

Next week we continue our solutions home as Aaron talks new construction with Insulspan Structural Insulating Panels for your above grade wall solution.

Visit www.plastifab.com for more information on exterior sheathing.

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