Icynene Boosts R-Value of Spray-Foam Insulation - Fine Homebuilding

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Icynene Boosts R-Value of Spray-Foam Insulation

comments (0) May 14th, 2014 in Blogs
ScottG Scott Gibson, contributing writer

Icynenes Classic Plus polyurethane spray foam has a higher R-value than its other open-cell foams, making it easier for builders to hit tougher energy-code requirements.Click To Enlarge

Icynene's Classic Plus polyurethane spray foam has a higher R-value than its other open-cell foams, making it easier for builders to hit tougher energy-code requirements.

Photo: Icynene

Icynene is now offering a low-density polyurethane-foam insulation with a slightly higher R-value, which the company says will help builders meet stricter energy-code requirements.

The product is called Icynene Classic Plus. The manufacturer says the two-part spray-in insulation has an R-value of 4 per in., compared to the 3.7 per in. of its Classic and Classic Max open-cell products.

Sprayed into a 2x6 wall, the foam would provide a total of R-22 in stud cavities (whole-wall R-values would be lower because of thermal bridging at wall studs, headers, and other framing members). The company's other low-density polyurethane foams have R-values of 3.7 per in., meaning 2x6 wall cavities would have a total R-value of 20.35.

That's enough to meet the International Code Council's 2012 energy requirements, as explained in a blog by GreenBuildingAdvisor senior editor Martin Holladay. Builders need at least R-21 in wall cavities in climate zones 7 and 8 in order to meet the 2009 energy code (lower in other, more moderate climate zones). The 2012 energy code only calls for R-20 in wall cavities, but it adds a requirement for continuous insulation on the outside of the walls to reduce thermal bridging (R-5). Icynene says some jurisdictions have amended the 2012 code to require R-21 in the wall cavities because it's cheaper than cavity insulation plus outside insulation. Standard open-cell foam is rated at only R-3.7 per in., making a 2x6 framed wall less than R-21.

"We initially developed the Classic Plus to meet the 2009 code but have seen other climate zones adopt the R-21 value as well, so we can satisfy all areas in the country that require R-21 (even R-22) in 2x6 wood stud walls," a company spokesman said by email.

Like other open-cell polyurethane foams, Classic Plus is vapor permeable. But it has slightly higher density than other Icynene open-cell products, 0.7 lb. per cubic foot (pcf) vs. 0.5 pcf. It's also water-blown, so it has minimal global warming potential, Icynene says.


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