Insulspan® SIPs play key role in North America’s first Active House


Builder Matt Belcher is no stranger to building sustainable homes. His resume as a custom-home builder and consultant boasts several of the nation’s top green homes, authoring a book on sustainable construction, and direct involvement in the development U.S. building codes and green building standards.


Reaching the energy efficiency metrics of the Active House standard demanded a robust building envelope to reduce heading and cooling loads.


Belcher and his team specified the Insulspan® Structural walls and roof of the home. By selecting Insulspan SIPs, they greatly reduced both thermal bridging and air infiltration.


“My experience with Insulspan was good,” said Belcher. “The end result is a superior home, and that is what we were going for.”


“We are excited that the Insulspan SIP System helped Matt reach the energy performance and indoor air quality goals of this new, emerging standard,” said Insulspan Sales Representative Aaron Hinde.


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Award-Winning Net Zero Energy Builder chooses Plasti-Fab® products to boost energy efficiency


Along a quiet tree-lined street in Edmonton’s Belgravia neighborhood, innovative builder Effect Homes is turning heads with their cutting-edge green development. Belgravia Green consists of three side-by-side homes similar in their net zero energy ambitions but using different strategies to produce as much energy as they consume over the course of a year.


“There are three different homes and they are all reaching towards the same goal, but approaching it with different considerations and different technologies,” said Les Wold, the company’s managing partner.


“Although the homes have different wall construction and heating systems, one thing they all have in common is a finished basement constructed with Plasti-Fab’s Advantage ICF System® and PlastiSpan® HD expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation.


“We have not built a foundation in the last decade that hasn’t used the Advantage ICF System,” he said. “For foundations, it is a no brainer because of the added energy efficiency, durability and overall performance.”


All three homes have PlastiSpan HD insulation underneath the basement slab. In addition, to further boost energy efficiency on the demonstration home, Wold added 5 inches of PlastiSpan HD insulation to the interior wall. The insulation had a vertical edge relief to accommodate a recessed nailer.


“Using the Advantage ICF System and the PlastiSpan HD insulation helped us make the house as energy efficient as it needed to be,” he said.


The project has already garnered attention from both local and national media; and has been toured by over a thousand people, including Edmonton’s mayor Stephen Mandel. Effect Homes received an Environmental Recognition Award from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Edmonton Region and has been named a finalist for the Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing.


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PBF products lead Scouts camp on path to sustainability


Located along the Little Campbell River outside of Langley, British Columbia, Camp McLean is one of the primary scout camps for the Scouts Canada Fraser Valley Council, servicing over 6,000 members. Following the organization’s emphasis on environmental conservation, the camp’s newest buildings are built green with help from Plasti-Fab products.


Camp McLean’s new 2,600 sq. ft. machine shop is constructed with the Advantage ICF System® for the foundation and above grade walls, and the Insulspan® Structural Insulating Panel (SIP) System for the roof. Both building systems deliver a continuous layer of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation that dramatically reduces heat loss due to thermal bridging and air leakage.


“The number one reason we used SIPs and ICFs was sustainability,” said Barney Dohm, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of general contractor TECHnic Construction. “Scouting is very much about leaving no trace in the environment, so we wanted to have as small of a footprint as possible, and we wanted to reduce energy as part of sustainability.”


An adjacent 2,300 sq. ft. storage building was constructed with Insulspan SIPs for the walls and roof, and an Advantage ICF foundation. To insulate the slab, both buildings use 2 inches of PlastiSpan® HD EPS insulation.


“I’m very impressed with both the Advantage ICF and Insulspan SIP systems,” said Dohm. “There is little waste on the job site, and as far as construction is concerned, the scheduling and site coordination are big pluses.” Insulspan Sales Representative Dave Stevenson, who worked with Dohm on the project, notes that reducing energy costs will allow more funds to directly support Scouts Canada’s mission to provide values-based support for youth in the community.


“PFB is proud to support Scouts Canada on a project that will benefit kids in the community for many years to come,” said Stevenson.


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MEC selects Insulspan® SIPs for signature green retail store


Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) has built a reputation for providing Canadians with quality outdoor gear and doing so with environmental sustainability in mind. The company’s goal to protect the natural playground enjoyed by their customers is reflected in their products, operations, and new 21,000 sq. ft. retail location in North Vancouver, British Columbia.


“MEC builds and operates some of the most energy-efficient retail buildings in Canada,” said CFO Sandy Treagus. “The North Vancouver store exemplifies our commitment to reducing our environmental impact through a highly evolved green building program.”


To cut down on the building’s energy use and meet the stringent LEED Gold standard, MEC selected the Insulspan® Structural Insulating Panel (SIP) System for the walls and roof. Insulspan SIPs enclosed the building with rigid closed-cell foam plastic insulation and a complete air barrier—greatly reducing heating and cooling needs. MEC estimates the building will use 45 percent less energy than a code-built retail facility.


“Insulspan’s structural insulated panels met several key objectives: they provide a high performance airtight wall assembly that can be erected relatively fast and, at the end of the building’s life, disassembled in large pieces,” Treagus added.


Clerestory windows in the building’s distinctive sawtooth roof disperse natural light over the retail floor, while daylighting and occupancy sensors dim electric lights when they are not needed. An innovative radiant heating and cooling system circulates hot or cold water through the building’s concrete slab based on predictive controls that adjust for the upcoming weather forecast. These high tech features are blended with native landscaping, onsite stormwater management, and siting that seamlessly integrates with the adjacent trails of Lynnmouth Park.


“We are very pleased that MEC has specified the Insulspan SIP System for this impressive green building” said Insulspan SIPS Sales Manager Dave Stevenson. “It is truly exciting to see our product help meet the amibitious energy-saving and sustainability goals of a progressive company like MEC.”


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