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From Trailer to Tiny House in an afternoon: The SIP Solution

January 21, 2016

Insulspan Tiny House 07Just like building a custom home, every tiny house is unique. Building on a smaller scale allows the homeowner to really dig into every detail, every finish, and every material that is being used. Tiny house owners must use as efficient design tools and building materials as they possibly can to make the most of their tiny home. This is where the Insulspan SIP system shines. Being a structurally insulated panel, not only is the process of enclosing the shell complete in one step, but you get superior energy efficiency.

The speed of installing an Insulspan Ready-To-Assemble System was put to the test one Saturday morning in July when we arrived in site to help the homeowner to construct his Tumbleweed home. Armed with tools and an installation manual provided by Insulspan, we began the process of assembling the home on an approved, weight-bearing trailer.

Following the plans, we assembled the house piece by piece, with the only difference being the need for the engineered fastening system to secure it to the trailer. By mid-afternoon, we had a completely enclosed shell that created an insulated building envelope.

You can follow our progress throughout the day in the gallery below:

Windows and doors installed, and completed house wrapped, this tiny house is ready for exterior finishes.

Windows and doors installed, and completed house wrapped, this tiny house is ready for exterior finishes.

The homeowner, who’s desire to have a home that he could easily place on his wooded property in Northern Michigan, completed the house wrap (provided by Insulspan), and began to work on his exterior finishes.

“One of the nicest things about a tiny house, is I could pull it into my barn and work on finishing it at my pace.”

With his Tiny House complete, the homeowner is ready to take it to its final destination in Northern Michigan.

“I could literally heat my home with one space heater because of how energy efficient it is! And I can’t believe how fast and easy it went together. It saved me a lot of steps later on.”

For more information on Insulspan Structural insulated panels and how you can build your tiny home, visit www.insulspan.com 

Tiny House, Insulspan SIPs wall and roof package

Tiny House, Insulspan SIPs wall and roof package

GreenGuard Certification Raises the Bar for Green Products & Healthier Homes

January 13, 2016

Healthy Homes, Healthy FutureRecently, Green Builder Media published an article titled “The GreenGuard Difference: Specifying the Right Products for your Green Homes.” This article is well-timed, coming on the heels of our recent GreenGuard and GreenGuard Gold certifications from UL Environmental for our EPS product lines. While the article itself is a good read for builders and homeowners alike, I wanted to highlight a couple areas that struck me.

As a society we now spend 90% of our time indoors. This has changed drastically from the days where kids played outside until dark, mothers hung clothes out on a line, and nearly everyone had their own gardens. Developments in innovation have allowed us to move indoors for more hours of our day.  In doing so we have also created the need for healthy homes, clean air, and air quality testing.

These types of requirements have created a laser like focus on the products we bring into the home. They have also created standards and certifications for the very materials with which we build our homes. This is where UL Environmental illustrates their strengths and desire for health, safety and environmental health by supporting the growth and development of environmentally friendly, low VOC products.

GREENGUARD_goldThis is where UL Environmental illustrates their strengths and desire for health, safety and environmental health by supporting the growth and development of environmentally friendly, low VOC products. UL Environmental is a two part organization, both a testing agency and a certification agency. Building materials in over 28 categories must pass rigorous testing before being sent to the certification stage, where yet more consideration is given to the building materials before they are stamped with a GreenGuard certification level.

As a consumer, you will begin to see the Greenguard certification label on products that range from lighting to insulation, paint to tile, and more. This label is a way to highlight the products that are above and beyond the norm. They set the threshold. The certification mark proves the manufacturer or builder has made a commitment to the environment and to the health of consumers everywhere.

As I mentioned above, as part of our commitment to quality and ongoing sustainability initiatives, Plasti-Fab Expanded Polystyrene (EPS for short) products received the GreenGuard GOLD certification level. Our EPS product solutions including PlastiSpan®, DuroSpan®, DuroFoam®, EnerSpan®, and ENERGREEN® insulation.

tricounty-recycle-healthy-homeOur other insulated building systems Advantage ICF System® (Greengard GOLD) and Insulspan® SIP System (Greengard) are also certified by UL Environmental. So truly when you are building for “green” you are no longer simply building sustainable homes with sustainable products, you are creating healthy spaces for future generations.

“Now that green is squarely mainstream – neither a trend nor a luxury – it is just smart business. Over time, there won’t be green products, just products. And they will be healthy” – Josh Jacobs, Technical Information Manager, UL Environmental

To learn more about Plasti-Fab’s EPS solutions and certifications, visit www.pfbsustainability.com or any of our product web sites: Advantage ICF, Plasti-Fab, Insulspan 

Download “The GreenGuard Difference” article

Happy Holidays from PFB

December 21, 2015

Happy Holidays from PFB

Homeowner heats up his basement with PlastiSpan HD Hydronic Insulation

November 19, 2015

Plasti-Fab_WTagline_surveyLike most homeowners, Philippe Clairo disliked cold basements. So when he and his wife Cat Hackman had the chance to design a 2,300 sq. ft. custom residence, they went for a radiant heating system in the basement for complete comfort and energy performance.

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“Coming from a house where our basement was always cold, we knew we wanted to heat the basement,” said Clairo. “I turned to Plasti-Fab and asked them if they had any products that could help us out.”

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Plasti-Fab provided Clairo with PlastiSpan® HD hydronic insulation, a specialty product for radiant heating systems. The closed-cell rigid foam insulation is equipped as the first component in the radiant heating system to lessen heat loss beneath the floor system and provides uniform heat distribution. Unlike traditional radiant heating assemblies that depend on rebar and metal ties to affix the hydronic tubing, PlastiSpan HD hydronic insulation has pre-routed channels that hold tubing in place without any mechanical fasteners. Clairo, who saw the installation, observed the apparent advantage of PlastiSpan HD hydronic insulation over the traditional approach.

“With the floor installation, there was a little frustration from the trades at first, because they were not used to it,” he said. “But as soon as they got it, they installed it really fast. They said it took two hours instead of four to install the insulation.”

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The efficiency of the radiant heating system backed by PlastiSpan HD hydronic insulation was paired with DuroFoam® insulation on below grade walls to produce a warm, comfortable basement that the whole family can enjoy. The lower level holds a recreation room, a small home theater, exercise area, and guest bedroom.

“In the basement, it is night and day with what we had before in terms of heat,” said Clairo. “Working with Plasti-Fab has been great,” he added. “The product was always on time, it was easy to install, and all the trades working here have been very impressed with it.”

Learn how you can use Plasti-Fab’s Hydronic Insulation for your home!

Insulspan® SIPs boost energy efficiency of cutting-edge Whistler condos

October 29, 2015

solana_6-october blog pic 1Rod Nadeau of Innovation Building Group has been designing and building energy-efficient homes for over 25 years. In Whistler, British Columbia, Nadeau undertook his latest project, the 26,000 sq. ft., 20-unit Solana condominium complex. Designed to be what Nadeau describes as a “home you can actually live in,” Solana features floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular mountain views and heated garages. Residents enjoy a 4,000 sq. ft. rooftop terrace with a barbeque, outdoor kitchen, and individual garden plots for each unit.

solana_6-october blog pic 2But the building’s defining characteristic is its exceptional interior comfort and low utility bills created by a high performance building envelope. Innovation Building Group selected the Insulspan® Structural Insulating Panel (SIP) System for the exterior walls of the building to reduce thermal bridging and air leakage—two factors that cause heat loss and lead to
moisture issues in Whistler’s wet climate.

solana_6-october blog pic 3“We chose Insulspan SIPs for the walls because there is very little thermal bridging, you can pick the R-values, and they have virtually no air leakage,” said Nadeau. “It is one of the best ways to make an energy-efficient building.”

Insulspan SIPs provide a continuous core of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation and use less lumber framing to reduce thermal bridging (heat transfer) through wall and roof assemblies. Building with large panels also means better air tightness for even greater energy efficiency, comfort, and indoor air quality. Insulspan’s design team worked closely with Nadeau to provide engineered drawings that were critical in the design phase and greatly expedited the installation process. All Insulspan products are covered by a CCMC Evaluation Report for easy code approval.

“Insulspan products have been around a long time, they’ve been proven, they’ve been engineered, and they’re easy for the guys to install,” said Nadeau.

“Innovation Building Group brings a high level of experience and knowledge in sustainable construction to this project,” said Insulspan SIP Sales Manager Dave Stevenson. “The combination of Insulspan SIPs and other technologies has dramatically reduced energy use and helped create a healthy, green building.”

Saskatchewan Crescent

October 22, 2015

Plasti-Fab GeoSpec® saves unstable slope along South Saskatchewan River

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Three years ago, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan city officials discovered cracking in the pavement of the Saskatchewan Crescent roadway at the intersection of 17th Street East, a well-known thoroughfare that follows the South Saskatchewan River through the city. The problem was investigated by engineering firm Golder Associates and suspected the cracks were the first signs of a much bigger issue: the slope below the roadway descending to the riverbank was failing.

Golder Associates engineers hatched out a plan to sustain the slope aiding the road using expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam from Plasti-Fab. Used instead of soil or other lightweight fill materials, Plasti-Fab GeoSpec® lightweight fill material lowers the mass and associated gravitational forces on the sloped embankment.

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Plasti-Fab GeoSpec is up to 100 times lighter than in-place soil and it granted project engineers the opportunity to sustain the failing slope next to the road surface, with nominal disturbance to the trees and vegetation along the riverbank.

“We did the analysis and looked at a variety of potential remediation options,” said Laurie McEachern, the project coordinator for Golder Associates. “The benefit of this design choice is that it reduces the loading at the crest of the slope because EPS is a lightweight material.”

“One of the key benefits of using EPS for this particular site was that the remediation plan involved minimizing the amount of trees that had to be removed along the riverbank,” McEachern added.”

Starting in September of 2013, working with GeoSpec permitted construction to advance seamlessly through the winter months. Since GeoSpec is made in large blocks, labor and overall construction time is minimized, allowing the roadway to be finished much quicker and with less traffic issues.

“By specifying GeoSpec lightweight fill material from Plasti-Fab, Golder Associates helped speed up the construction schedule and preserved the trees along the South Saskatchewan riverbank,” said Plasti-Fab Sales Representative Neil Henrikson.”

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Follow us on Twitter @InsulspanSIPS or @InsulspanSIPSCa

Energy Efficiency Boost with Insulspan SIPs

September 24, 2015

Insulspan® SIPs boost energy efficiency of cutting-edge Whistler condos

For over two decades, Rod Nadeau of Innovation Building Group has been building and designing energy-efficient homes. His recent endeavor involves a 26,000 sq. ft., 20-unit Solana condominium complex which is located in Whistler, British Columbia.

Solana features floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular mountain views and heated garages. Residents of each unit enjoy a 4,000 sq. ft. rooftop terrace with a barbeque, outdoor kitchen, and individual garden plots.

An exceptional interior comfort and low utility bills created by a high performance building envelope is the building’s defining characteristic. Innovation Building Group has chosen Insulspan® Structural Insulating Panel (SIP) System for the building’s exterior walls in order to lessen thermal bridging and air leakage – two factors that cause heat loss and lead to moisture problems during the Whistler’s wet climate.

Insulspan SIPs provide continuous expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation with minimal dimensional lumber studs that produce a thermal “bridge” of heat transfer to the outdoor structure. Building with large panels also means better air tightness  for even greater energy efficiency, comfort, and indoor air quality.

 “We chose Insulspan SIPs for the walls because there is very little thermal bridging, you can pick the R-values, and they have virtually no air leakage,” said Nadeau.  “It is one of the best ways to make an energy-efficient building.”

Insulspan’s design team worked closely with Nadeau to provide engineered drawings that were critical in the design phase and greatly expedited the process of installation. All products from Insulspan are covered by a CCMC Evaluation so code approval becomes easy.

“Insulspan products have been around a long time, they’ve been proven, they’ve been engineered, and they’re easy for the guys to install,” said Nadeau.

“Innovation Building Group brings a high level of experience and knowledge in sustainable construction to this project,” said Insulspan SIPS Sales Manager Dave Stevenson.  “The combination of Insuspan SIPs and other technologies has dramatically reduced energy use and helped create a healthy, green building.”

Learn more about Insulspan SIPs at www.insulspan.com

Follow us on Twitter @InsulspanSIPS or @InsulspanSIPSCa

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