SEE Expo Tradeshow Review & Flyers

This past weekend we exhibited our product at the 2008 Southern Energy and Environment (SEE) Expo and had a tremendous response from the attending community.  Our feet are tired but we're back in action with lots of follow-up to do this week.  While we were sure we would have more than enough flyers for the show we did run out in the waning two hours on Sunday afternoon and we apologize for anyone that passed by and could not receive a flyer.  I have attached links to the two documents on the right (the document we distributed was a single sheet double sided document).

It was as much an educational event this past weekend as anything - and when you get down to it that's really what it's all about.  Unfortunately we did have competitors spreading falsehoods about our product but I guess that goes with the territory.  It is not better to have an open cell foam in the wall cavity to allow moisture to pass through your building envelope in an uninhibited fashion - in fact it is never good to have moisture roaming around in your walls and roof.  It is always best to keep the interior of the building envelope well ventilated with an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator) or equivalent.  "Seal it tight, ventilate right" the building scientists say in growing consensus - and that includes preventing moisture - and any particles that moisture may contain - from passing freely through your building envelope.

Our competitors with the EPS panels (~95% of the US market uses EPS or styrofoam type foam products) lied to people when they told them that our panels would kill you.  Kind of a pitiful, desperate plea for attention, I think.  Our panels have an inert (non-reactive) foam interior that is 100% formaldehyde free and does not off-gass.  We can substantiate the R value that we state with DATA - something our competitors often lack.  We'll be glad to discuss with any interested parties if you like.

"Green Building 101" Flyer

Eco-Panels "Green" Attributes

The skinny on "organic" spray foam insulation

This morning I had just enough quiet time as my young daughters ate breakfast to catch "Living With Ed", a really great and entertaining show on the Planet Green network.  I'll save you the entire recap but Ed (Ed Begley Jr., the movie star and avid green technologist) had visited some friends in their mountain cabin and the couple were having some energy efficient upgrades done to their home, including having some (apparently) open cell spray foam applied to the underside of the roof deck in the attic.  Ed got excited about the product and went to speak with the installers who noted that the foam they were applying was "...a soybean based polyurethane foam as opposed to a petroleum based product."  Naturally this impressed Ed - I mean, gosh, all organic insulating foam - how good is that?  Here's the thing - either this installer was egregiously misinformed or he was being deliberately misleading on national TV.

Common household products can affect indoor air quality (IAQ)

We can try very hard to help you build a home or commercial building that provides a strong, safe, healthy and highly energy efficient building envelope.  And a very large part of the safe and healthy aspect of an Eco-Panels home comes from proper ventilation to regulate indoor air quality.  That's all fine and dandy, but what happens after you move in and start to collect common household products?

Anne Steinemann of the University of Washington wondered the exact same thing.  Taking common products ranging from plug-in air fresheners to laundry detergents to an independent testing facility, Dr. Steinemann found that some some of these products that most of us have in our homes contain hazardous and carcenogenic chemicals and that through various regulatory loopholes the manufacturers are not required to identify their presence. 

What the honey bee can teach us about building envelopes

I attended an excellent presentation yesterday by nationally recognized building scientist, Chris Mathis, a contributing code writing member of the ICC, ASHRAE, NAHB and founder/co-founder of the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). As a hobby Chris is also a bee keeper and very early in the presentation he states that bees can control the temperature of their hive at 92 degrees plus or minus two degrees year round - and this in a local environment where the outside temperature can easly swing 90 or more degrees in the course of a year. Given that a bee hive consists of little more than a wooden shell, honeycomb, wax and the bees themselves I think that's an incredible achievement and I can understand why Chris believes we've got a lot to learn from the 70 million years of experience of the honey bee.

Air-Sealing is key

Our panels will provide you with the best thermal and air-sealed structural boundary on the market today, but it's all for naught if you have poorly installed windows and doors.  Structures built with our panels have consistently scored significantly better than even traditional stick-built structures with sprayed foam insulation as rated with a blower door test (tests for the "leakiness" of a house, a huge factor in energy efficiency).  But regardless of the method of construction one of the greatest opportunities for gaps in a home's construction is with windows and doors.  DON'T TAKE THIS LIGHTLY.  It can be easy for a builder to slap in a window or door, run a bead of caulk or foam around it and trim it in rather quickly - never to be seen or examined again.  In the meantime the bead of caulk or foam was not effective in sealing the structure and siginificant energy leakage can occur around this window or door for the life of the structure - even growing worse as time elapses.

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