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BASF, Clinton Initiative Collaborate on Cool-Roof Project in Philadelphia

Thursday, November 19, 2009

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BASF, a diversified global chemical and coatings manufacturer, supplied high-performance spray polyurethane foam (SPF) and reflective roof coatings as part of the restoration of a green-jobs training center in Philadelphia.

ECA Project Thermal Monitors

The project is the result of BASF’s collaboration with the Clinton Climate Initiative. Under a global contract with the Clinton initiative, BASF offered high-performance roofing materials to the nonprofit Energy Coordinating Agency to retrofit the training center’s roof. The Energy Coordinating Agency is in the process of transforming an old textile factory in inner-city Philadelphia into a new green-jobs training center.

In 2007, BASF announced that it would offer member cities of the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) its spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing at a volume discount price negotiated by CCI. The agreement coincided with former President Clinton’s announcement of CCI’s expanded efforts to make energy-efficient and clean-energy technologies available to  more than 1,000 U.S. cities. The Clinton Initiative’s goal is to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by providing sustainable solutions to cities around the world.

SPF roofing offers waterproofing and insulation properties, and also can be applied over the top of existing roof layers, eliminating the need for landfill disposal of roof waste materials.

ECA Middle Section

The Energy Coordinating Agency is aiming for LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for the Philadelphia facility, the John S. and James L. Knight Green Jobs Training Center, which will teach unemployed individuals sustainable construction techniques. Once the center is open, BASF said it will offer instruction to trainers in the green-building technologies.

The existing built-up roof, which had been patched with acrylic coatings and fabric, had sustained severe water damage. Wet sections were removed and BASF’s ELASTOSPRAY® spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing system was applied to both new and remaining roof sections. The 30,000-square-foot roof now has an R-value of 38, making it highly energy efficient.

The SPF roof was finished with BASF's ELASTOCOAT™, a white, reflective urethane coating, which reduces rooftop heating and contributes to a reduction in cooling-energy demand.  The urethane chemistry offers a high degree of tensile and cohesive strength, important characteristics in this case, due to plans for installation of solar panels and the likelihood of foot traffic and other activities that will subject the roof surface to abrasion.

The urethane coating’s initial solar-reflectance index has been rated at 0.91 to 0.93, well above the most commonly referenced definitions for low-slope cool roofs, including the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program (.65) and Title 24 of the California Energy Commission’s Energy Efficiency Standard (.75).

Michael Sievers, marketing manager for BASF Polyurethane Foam Enterprises, said the SPF/reflective-coating roof is expected to provide 20 years or more of leak-free service with almost no maintenance. Sievers also noted that since SPF roofing can be applied over the top of existing roof layers, this type of roof restoration reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills.

Jack Strong, manager of Smart Energy Solutions, an Energy Coordinating Agency subsidiary, said the restored roof has “given a new lease on life to our training center and 150-year old structure. The building, which was quite hot with our old tar-paper roof, is much more comfortable. As soon as the BASF roof was installed—even before the finishing coat—we noticed a significant drop in the temperature.”

BASF and the Clinton Initiative are working to carry out other projects involving the use of SPF in Toronto, New York, Philadelphia, and Puerto Rico. In a project in New Orleans involving CCI, SPF was applied to a number of residences that were rebuilt following the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The Clinton Initiative has targeted 1,100 cities throughout the world for energy-efficient and clean-energy technology upgrades in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Through CCI’s partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, more than 1,000 U.S. cities can take advantage of volume discounts on energy-efficient and clean-energy products and technologies by means of CCI’s purchasing consortium. These benefits are also available to the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, a group of 40 of the world’s largest cities that are working in concert to fight climate change.


Tagged categories: BASF; Clinton Climate Initiative; Cool roof coatings; Green building; Sustainability

Comment from Anthony Cassel, (11/21/2009, 12:18 PM)

Why not put a roof on that will last a long time. The foam roofs seem great in the beginning but, are nothing but problems after a few years.

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