As we all know, construction methods are very slow to change. Although products have evolved and overall performance has been enhanced, very few have actually altered the way in which we build. Many of the standards have been used for decades and are based around best effort rather than best practices. Yes, in many cases, standards were established by do-gooders who were willing to benchmark a value and stand behind its logic. Building science has come a long way and has provided more scientific gauges for new standards, but the greatest change and impact on the way we build is coming from new technologies. New technologies and methods are being applied to all types of construction both new and retrofit in residential and commercial construction. The goals of new technology often focus on lower cost, or faster payback and higher performance. Performance is a general description that can relate to longevity, aesthetics or offer some additional value to the building owner or tenant.
Historically, homes have been built to “breath” primarily due to concern for trapping moisture within the structure. This approach leads to greater energy expense, poor air quality, and compromises the comfort of the occupants through drafts and other temperature related fluctuations. One product that has gained significant momentum in construction, especially over the last decade, is spray polyurethane foam.