BPI Seeks Comments on Revisions to Insulation Standards

The Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) is accepting public comment on a revision to its Envelope Professional Standard relating to materials selection for dense-pack wall insulation applications. The revised standard references a materials specification standard and a test method standard that are also being released for public comment. Deadline for comments is June 16, 2010.

BPI, which develops technical standards for home performance and building weatherization retrofits, is revising its requirements for dense-pack wall insulation materials used in existing homes. The updates now will permit the use of a relatively new class of fiberglass and rock wool insulation materials, which meet the BPI performance requirements. They can be used for the dense-pack insulation of wall cavities in existing homes in addition to cellulose and spray foam.

“These changes enforce the need for materials neutrality in the development of standards. BPI is committed to developing and maintaining standards that meet the needs of a rapidly evolving home performance contracting industry,” says David Hepinstall, BPI chairman.

More Options
The three new standards actions by BPI’s Standards Technical Committee take a major step towards improving residential energy efficiency retrofit programs by providing a wider set of technology options for programs to select from:
• The Envelope Professional Standard adds reference to high density cavity insulation or air impermeable spray foam to reduce air leakage paths through building cavities and points to two new standards (listed below)
• A new standard, BPI-102 Air Resistance of Thermal Insulation Used in Retrofit Cavity Applications - Material Specification, sets a minimum performance requirement for air retarder insulation materials intended to be used in existing residential buildings
• A new standard, BPI-103 Standard Test Method for Thermal Insulation Materials Used in Air Retarder Applications, provides an objective, repeatable testing procedure to determine the air permeance of thermal insulation materials

“Taken together these standards help define and clarify the performance of specific technologies used to improve home energy efficiency retrofits,” says John Krigger, Chair of the BPI Standards Technical Committee (STC). “Weatherization and home performance programs across the country will benefit from these changes,” Krigger says.

The STC first was alerted to the need for this change by thermal insulation manufacturing representatives. The STC responded by establishing a working group representing a cross-section of thermal insulation interests to propose changes to the standard.

“In less than two months, we went from problem identification to the refinement of one of our existing standards and the development of two new companion standards with the assistance of the thermal insulation industry and with oversight by BPI’s Standards Technical Committee and Standards Management Board,” says Larry Zarker, chief executive officer of BPI. “This is a record for us,” he says.

These standards are now released for Public Comment with a deadline of June 16, 2010. Any interested party can download the proposed standards at www.bpi.org and submit comments by linking to the following: Standards Under Review - Submit Comments and Feedback. Comments must be submitted in accordance with the instructions provided at this link.

For technical information, contact Ralph Justus, BPI, at: 202/223-9512 or [email protected] For media inquiries, contact Stephanie Inglis at: [email protected] or 416/598-7573.

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