As we have for the past few years, the Spray Foam Coalition of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) sponsored the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Race to Zero Student Design Competition. This year, the first-place winner in the small multifamily housing contest – from Georgia Tech – used SPF in their design.
Georgia Tech’s team named their project Westart. According to their project summary, “Westart is a multi-family building consisting of 36 dwelling units. It is designed mainly for local residents wishing to improve their housing quality with limited budget. The goal of this project is to design a building to provide a high living quality at low total cost, bringing a sustainable, affordable and equitable Net Zero Home to the residents of West End.”
In the design, the team used SPF in the floor trusses to maximize acoustic and thermal insulation between floors and units.
A little background on the competition: the Race to Zero competition was created to inspire students to design the next generation of zero energy ready homes with features that sharply reduce energy use and offset most, if not all, of the remaining energy needs with renewable energy. This year, 37 teams from 33 collegiate institutions competed with market-ready designs for homes that are more energy efficient than today’s standard new homes.
We’ve been proud to sponsor this event for the past few years because it provides examples of how SPF is an outstanding building material for high-performance homes. SPF is an excellent fit for net-zero energy construction because it helps to increase overall energy efficiency by adding high-performing thermal insulation to the building envelope and reducing costly air leaks that can account for up to 40% of the heating and cooling loss in a typical home.
And we’re always glad to see a winning team incorporating SPF into their designs. Congratulations to Georgia Tech and the other winners in the competition!
The Spray Foam Coalition is composed of companies that produce and sell SPF insulation systems as well as suppliers of raw materials and machinery used to apply them. For more information, please visit: https://www.whysprayfoam.org/.