Heat loss is expensive: here’s how to avoid it

Heat loss is expensive: here’s how to avoid it

Spray foam insulation has been used for decades - for everything from spacecraft to planes, boats, containers and industrial buildings. What it hasn’t been used widely for is houses. 

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Spray foam insulation has been used for decades - for everything from spacecraft to planes, boats, containers and industrial buildings. What it hasn’t been used widely for is houses. Arguably, the residential sector is where its benefits are most needed and its benefits are currently in the spotlight.

Spray foam insulation, also known as closed cell polyurethane spray foam, has the highest RV rating of any insulation available on the planet. That’s because it fills gaps and cracks, seals drafts, doesn’t settle or sag, and can be easily applied to awkward areas, NZ Foam’s Chris Haughey says.

While the benefits of spray foam insulation are well known in sectors other than residential building, the use of this product in houses has only recently been on the rise. “Discerning homeowners are quickly realising the outstanding benefits of spray foam insulation and the ultimate impact it has on a building’s performance over time even in extreme environments.

“Spray foam insulation has an R-value of 4.29 at 90mm so it’s the product of choice to ensure ambient indoor temperature year-round, even in areas of the country where temperature extremes are expected, and it will perform for the lifetime of the building,” Chris says.

Spray foam insulation is being favoured in residential projects for its performance and high RV rating compared to other insulation products.
Spray foam insulation is being favoured in residential projects for its performance and high RV rating compared to other insulation products.

What is the ideal indoor ambient temperature?

The World Health Organisation recommends an indoor temperature of 18 degrees Celsius. “In Zealand, BRANZ has found that many homes drop well below that in winter with interior temperatures as low as 10 degrees Celsius at night,” Chris says. 

“Spray foam insulation is the best way to combat cold, damp homes and gives families the best thermal performance possible by filling and sealing cracks and drafts to block the transfer of air.”

The New Zealand Building Code lags dramatically behind international standards...
Thermal R-Value requirements by country.
Thermal R-Value requirements by country.

Is the New Zealand Building Code providing sufficient thermal performance requirements?

“Not if you’re aiming for a warm and comfortable home,” Chris says. “The New Zealand Building Code lags dramatically behind international standards. An OECD Environmental Performance Review of New Zealand in 2017 showed our standards were less stringent than many other OECD member countries and recommended modernising the code to avoid retrofitting new houses.

Our R value requirements are half that of Australia and a third of what is required in the United Kingdom and Ireland...

What is the best way to improve the thermal performance of a house?

Insulation is the key factor to look at when improving thermal efficiency, but not all insulation products are created equal, so it’s worth considering what you’re aiming to achieve with your insulation and consider the pros and cons of various products to find the best fit, Chris says. 

“Spray foam insulation is becoming a sought-after choice not only due to its thermal performance. It is also a rigid barrier, which adds strength to the building envelope and provides stability to the structure. Especially in earthquake prone regions of New Zealand, additional strength means additional peace of mind. Similarly, in extreme environments such as flood-prone areas, closed cell foam is the only type of insulation classified as ‘acceptable flood-resistant material’ by the US Federal Emergency Management Authority. Batt or blanket insulation types are classified as ‘unacceptable’.”

What about sustainability? Is spray foam environmentally responsible?

Spray foam, because of its extended lifespan and ability to dramatically improve a home’s energy efficiency, has a much lower environmental impact than other insulation materials, Chris says. 

“The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance in the United States completed a life cycle analysis to to look at the environmental impact of the manufacturing as well as the energy use phase of spray foam insulation products in homes. 

“The study showed foam insulation paid back the energy of production in one to two years and paid back the greenhouse gas emissions in nine months instead of eight years. This resulted in a reduction of greenhouse gases over the product’s 60-year lifespan. Durability is a key component in spray foam’s impact. The cellular structure of polyurethane foam means its performance remain unchanged with the passage of time.”

Find out more about spray foam insulation and how it could be used in your next project.

NZ Foam

Heat loss is expensive. Preventing heat loss in your home is what we do. Spray foam insulation is the most effective and efficient insulation in the market. It is safe,...

Recommended reading
Done tagging
Full screen
Heat loss is expensive: here’s how to avoid it
Heat loss is expensive: here’s how to avoid it

Heat loss is expensive: here’s how to avoid it

Spray foam insulation has been used for decades - for everything from spacecraft to planes, boats, containers and industrial buildings. What it hasn’t been used widely for is houses. 

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Spray foam insulation has been used for decades - for everything from spacecraft to planes, boats, containers and industrial buildings. What it hasn’t been used widely for is houses. Arguably, the residential sector is where its benefits are most needed and its benefits are currently in the spotlight.

Spray foam insulation, also known as closed cell polyurethane spray foam, has the highest RV rating of any insulation available on the planet. That’s because it fills gaps and cracks, seals drafts, doesn’t settle or sag, and can be easily applied to awkward areas, NZ Foam’s Chris Haughey says.

While the benefits of spray foam insulation are well known in sectors other than residential building, the use of this product in houses has only recently been on the rise. “Discerning homeowners are quickly realising the outstanding benefits of spray foam insulation and the ultimate impact it has on a building’s performance over time even in extreme environments.

“Spray foam insulation has an R-value of 4.29 at 90mm so it’s the product of choice to ensure ambient indoor temperature year-round, even in areas of the country where temperature extremes are expected, and it will perform for the lifetime of the building,” Chris says.

Spray foam insulation is being favoured in residential projects for its performance and high RV rating compared to other insulation products.
Spray foam insulation is being favoured in residential projects for its performance and high RV rating compared to other insulation products.

What is the ideal indoor ambient temperature?

The World Health Organisation recommends an indoor temperature of 18 degrees Celsius. “In Zealand, BRANZ has found that many homes drop well below that in winter with interior temperatures as low as 10 degrees Celsius at night,” Chris says. 

“Spray foam insulation is the best way to combat cold, damp homes and gives families the best thermal performance possible by filling and sealing cracks and drafts to block the transfer of air.”

The New Zealand Building Code lags dramatically behind international standards...
Thermal R-Value requirements by country.
Thermal R-Value requirements by country.

Is the New Zealand Building Code providing sufficient thermal performance requirements?

“Not if you’re aiming for a warm and comfortable home,” Chris says. “The New Zealand Building Code lags dramatically behind international standards. An OECD Environmental Performance Review of New Zealand in 2017 showed our standards were less stringent than many other OECD member countries and recommended modernising the code to avoid retrofitting new houses.

Our R value requirements are half that of Australia and a third of what is required in the United Kingdom and Ireland...

What is the best way to improve the thermal performance of a house?

Insulation is the key factor to look at when improving thermal efficiency, but not all insulation products are created equal, so it’s worth considering what you’re aiming to achieve with your insulation and consider the pros and cons of various products to find the best fit, Chris says. 

“Spray foam insulation is becoming a sought-after choice not only due to its thermal performance. It is also a rigid barrier, which adds strength to the building envelope and provides stability to the structure. Especially in earthquake prone regions of New Zealand, additional strength means additional peace of mind. Similarly, in extreme environments such as flood-prone areas, closed cell foam is the only type of insulation classified as ‘acceptable flood-resistant material’ by the US Federal Emergency Management Authority. Batt or blanket insulation types are classified as ‘unacceptable’.”

What about sustainability? Is spray foam environmentally responsible?

Spray foam, because of its extended lifespan and ability to dramatically improve a home’s energy efficiency, has a much lower environmental impact than other insulation materials, Chris says. 

“The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance in the United States completed a life cycle analysis to to look at the environmental impact of the manufacturing as well as the energy use phase of spray foam insulation products in homes. 

“The study showed foam insulation paid back the energy of production in one to two years and paid back the greenhouse gas emissions in nine months instead of eight years. This resulted in a reduction of greenhouse gases over the product’s 60-year lifespan. Durability is a key component in spray foam’s impact. The cellular structure of polyurethane foam means its performance remain unchanged with the passage of time.”

Find out more about spray foam insulation and how it could be used in your next project.

NZ Foam

Heat loss is expensive. Preventing heat loss in your home is what we do. Spray foam insulation is the most effective and efficient insulation in the market. It is safe,...

Recommended reading
Done tagging
Full screen
Heat loss is expensive: here’s how to avoid it

Heat loss is expensive: here’s how to avoid it

Spray foam insulation has been used for decades - for everything from spacecraft to planes, boats, containers and industrial buildings. What it hasn’t been used widely for is houses. 

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Spray foam insulation has been used for decades - for everything from spacecraft to planes, boats, containers and industrial buildings. What it hasn’t been used widely for is houses. Arguably, the residential sector is where its benefits are most needed and its benefits are currently in the spotlight.

Spray foam insulation, also known as closed cell polyurethane spray foam, has the highest RV rating of any insulation available on the planet. That’s because it fills gaps and cracks, seals drafts, doesn’t settle or sag, and can be easily applied to awkward areas, NZ Foam’s Chris Haughey says.

While the benefits of spray foam insulation are well known in sectors other than residential building, the use of this product in houses has only recently been on the rise. “Discerning homeowners are quickly realising the outstanding benefits of spray foam insulation and the ultimate impact it has on a building’s performance over time even in extreme environments.

“Spray foam insulation has an R-value of 4.29 at 90mm so it’s the product of choice to ensure ambient indoor temperature year-round, even in areas of the country where temperature extremes are expected, and it will perform for the lifetime of the building,” Chris says.

Spray foam insulation is being favoured in residential projects for its performance and high RV rating compared to other insulation products.
Spray foam insulation is being favoured in residential projects for its performance and high RV rating compared to other insulation products.

What is the ideal indoor ambient temperature?

The World Health Organisation recommends an indoor temperature of 18 degrees Celsius. “In Zealand, BRANZ has found that many homes drop well below that in winter with interior temperatures as low as 10 degrees Celsius at night,” Chris says. 

“Spray foam insulation is the best way to combat cold, damp homes and gives families the best thermal performance possible by filling and sealing cracks and drafts to block the transfer of air.”

The New Zealand Building Code lags dramatically behind international standards...
Thermal R-Value requirements by country.
Thermal R-Value requirements by country.

Is the New Zealand Building Code providing sufficient thermal performance requirements?

“Not if you’re aiming for a warm and comfortable home,” Chris says. “The New Zealand Building Code lags dramatically behind international standards. An OECD Environmental Performance Review of New Zealand in 2017 showed our standards were less stringent than many other OECD member countries and recommended modernising the code to avoid retrofitting new houses.

Our R value requirements are half that of Australia and a third of what is required in the United Kingdom and Ireland...

What is the best way to improve the thermal performance of a house?

Insulation is the key factor to look at when improving thermal efficiency, but not all insulation products are created equal, so it’s worth considering what you’re aiming to achieve with your insulation and consider the pros and cons of various products to find the best fit, Chris says. 

“Spray foam insulation is becoming a sought-after choice not only due to its thermal performance. It is also a rigid barrier, which adds strength to the building envelope and provides stability to the structure. Especially in earthquake prone regions of New Zealand, additional strength means additional peace of mind. Similarly, in extreme environments such as flood-prone areas, closed cell foam is the only type of insulation classified as ‘acceptable flood-resistant material’ by the US Federal Emergency Management Authority. Batt or blanket insulation types are classified as ‘unacceptable’.”

What about sustainability? Is spray foam environmentally responsible?

Spray foam, because of its extended lifespan and ability to dramatically improve a home’s energy efficiency, has a much lower environmental impact than other insulation materials, Chris says. 

“The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance in the United States completed a life cycle analysis to to look at the environmental impact of the manufacturing as well as the energy use phase of spray foam insulation products in homes. 

“The study showed foam insulation paid back the energy of production in one to two years and paid back the greenhouse gas emissions in nine months instead of eight years. This resulted in a reduction of greenhouse gases over the product’s 60-year lifespan. Durability is a key component in spray foam’s impact. The cellular structure of polyurethane foam means its performance remain unchanged with the passage of time.”

Find out more about spray foam insulation and how it could be used in your next project.

Get in touch with
NZ Foam

Request pricing/info
Visit website
Done tagging
Full screen