Prohibition of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in spray foam insulation
The Regulations Amending the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations made under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 Sections 64.5 and 65.03 now prohibit any person from importing or manufacturing plastic foam or rigid foam products containing HFC used as a foaming agent, as set out in Table 4 of Schedule 1 of the regulation. To view this regulation in detail, visit the Government of Canada website.
Implications of HFC prohibition on insulation thermal performance
Due to differences in thermal resistance properties of spray foam insulation products manufactured with alternatives to HFC blowing agents, designers and contractors are advised to confirm proposed spray foam products will achieve the minimum required Long Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR RSI or R-value), as determined in accordance with CAN/ULC-S705.1-15 “Standard for Thermal Insulation – Spray Applied Rigid Polyurethane Foam, Medium Density – Material Specification”. This information can be found in CCMC product evaluation reports or in product technical data sheets provided by the spray foam manufacturer. In general, additional thickness of foam is required as new blowing agents typically result in a lower insulative value than the prohibited blowing agents. Therefore, as of July 1st, 2021 HFC blowing agents are no longer to be used and installers will have to adjust foam thickness to compensate for any reduction in R-value as provided in a current CCMC report for new non-HFC blowing agents.
Building inspectors will continue to enforce insulation R-value requirements to ensure compliance with energy efficiency measures under Supplementary Standard SB-12 for Part 9 residential buildings or SB-10 for Part 3 and Part 9 non-residential buildings. Building inspectors may require designers or contractors to submit current CCMC evaluation reports prior to authorizing the installation of a spray foam product.
Use of spray foam insulation as a barrier to soil gas
Only spray foam insulation products that have a current CCMC evaluation report listing or equivalent test documentation authorizing their use as a barrier to soil gas (radon) are deemed acceptable for this application. Note that the Evaluation Report CCMC 14073-R for CUFCA Radon Mitigation System (RMS trademarked) has been withdrawn. Therefore, as of July 1, 2021 Demilec Heatlok/Airmetic/Polarfoam SOYA and Genyk Boreal Lavender/Nature will no longer be accepted for use as a barrier to soil gas unless a new CCMC evaluation confirms that they are suitable for continued use.
Building inspectors will continue to require proof of CCMC product evaluation reports and product installer certificates for spray foam insulation, including when a spray foam product is installed as a soil gas barrier.
For more information
Patrick Andres, Technical Lead – Resource Conservation and Mechanical Systems
519-837-5615 extension 3478