Codes and Standards
SPFA is dedicated to working for our members and the industry when it comes to building codes. SPFA, through its Code Committee, monitors and engages various national and state building code entities, introduces new codes and code changes, and assists members with code issues.
SPFA's commitment to establishing building codes based upon solid building science benefits the industry and society by promoting technically-sound energy saving and safety measures, and recognizes that the code is where the "rubber meets the road." Equally important is assisting in the understanding and knowledge of the code among our contractor base to bring consistency, longevity, quality and compliance to assure long-term customer satisfaction.
Knowledge, skills, and abilities relating to the safe and proper installation of SPF, as well as the ongoing performance of the product post-installation, depend heavily on the building code within the jurisdiction of the project. Building codes are going to impact many facets of the installation and performance, and a professional contractor has a duty to be aware of the code in force and take all necessary steps to comply. From R-Value to fire protection, codes are essential to consistent building practice and safety. While many states have differing building codes adopted, the importance and awareness of code compliance is heavily emphasized in SPFA’s Professional Certification Program (PCP).
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states that adopt codes choose the International Codes developed by the International Code Council.
SPFA and its members engage in code development and approval hearings on codes that relate in any way to SPF. ICC codes stretch across safety, construction and energy topics. Once a national model code is passed within the ICC, it still needs to be adopted by states and jurisdictions, many times with unique deviations. SPFA supports the adoption of clear code language that promotes safety, application of sound building science, and energy efficiency. Particularly SPFA supports codes that recognize the unique efficiency performance features of SPF - its high R-Value and inherent air-sealing capabilities.
ICC holds hearings every year to develop new or revised codes, as well as supplemental codes when outside of the normal code cycle.
As a member service you may contact SPFA Technical Services for a review of SPF-related code proposals that had action taken upon them during the last code cycle, to inquire about SPF-related code issues being proposed for upcoming hearings, or just to ask a question about a code.
Information on ICC activities are always available on their website - www.iccsafe.org.
The International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) is the United States’ leader in evaluating building products for compliance with code. A nonprofit, public-benefit corporation, ICC-ES does technical evaluations of building products, components, methods, and materials. The evaluation process culminates with the issuance of reports on code compliance, which are made available free of charge to code officials, contractors, specifiers, architects, engineers, and anyone else with an interest in the building industry and construction. ICC-ES evaluation reports provide evidence that products and systems meet code requirements.
SPFA and its members are very involved with ICC-ES predominantly under Acceptance Criteria AC-377 - Spray Applied Polyurethane Foam Insulation. SPFA maintains involvement with the standard and members benefit from being ICC-ES AC-377 report holders for their products. These reports are called Evaluation Service Reports (ESRs), and are available from the ICC-ES website. Additionally, an Ask the Expert article from Sprayfoam Magazine covering ACs and ESRs (June 2008) is available at the bottom of this page.
Historically SPF was covered under AC-12 - Acceptance Criteria for Foam Plastic Insulation. Due to unique application and performance attributes, SPFA and the industry endeavored to bring more clarity, transparency and convenience to the building code official community - the core audience of AC / ESR. In 2007 SPF was removed from AC-12 and AC-377 was created.
More detailed information on AC-377 is available here.
The Building Codes Assistance project (BCAP) was established in 1994, as a joint initiative of the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Major funding for this website and for BCAP's advocacy and technical assistance work comes from the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Foundation.
BCAP provides custom-tailored assistance on building energy code adoption and implementation. BCAP assists state and local regulatory and legislative bodies and help coordinate others representing environmental interests, consumers, labor, and industry. BCAP provides states with code advocacy assistance on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, and coordinates with DOE technical assistance (see www.energycodes.gov for more information).
BCAP also receives funding from foundations, U.S. EPA, and works with states as a part of SEP grant projects. BCAP works with regional energy efficiency organizations, state energy offices, environmental groups, industry, utilities, and other entities - to form and sustain strong collaborations, and facilitate coordination on mutual goals.
BCAP has presented at the SprayFoam Annual Conference (Jan 2009) and represents an extremely effective and easy way to monitor code activity around the country. BCAP has map-based search engines bringing the latest information on various versions of adopted codes by state and jurisdiction, and has a free email subscription service that provides regular newsletter updates on code activities.
SPFA believes that the path to a healthful, safe, high-quality and performing SPF installation travels through the hands of a knowledgeable, trained, experienced, and ideally PCP-certified professional contractor.