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BASF Produces Free On-line Training Program On Sustainable Roofing Systems

BASF developed an on-line training program on sustainable roofing systems for architects to utilize as part of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) continuing education requirements for its membership.

The program is available free-of-charge and is posted on Ron Blank & Associates’ Internet site (, a registered provider with the AIA Continuing Education Systems.

“As part of BASF’s global commitment to sustainable development and ‘Helping Make Buildings Better,’ we are bringing to architects the technology and information on how ecologically beneficial solutions can be cost-effectively achieved in the building and construction industry,” said Jack Armstrong, Business Manager for BASF’s Styropor® EPS business in North America.

The computer-based training program, “Designing Sustainable Roofing Insulation Systems Using Plastic Materials,” is critical to the building and construction industry to achieve optimal energy efficiency, said Armstrong. Most heat loss occurs through the roof, which impacts the ability to achieve Energy Star® or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits -- key industry rating protocols. BASF presents information on plastics, including technologies the company supplies, because they provide energy efficient, affordable, environmentally friendly insulating systems, he said.

Architects taking the course can review the performance of key plastic materials, including expanded polystyrene (EPS), spray-applied polyurethane foams (SPF), polyisocyanurate (polyiso) and extruded polystyrene (XPS). The information presented in the BASF training program is based on the company’s Eco-efficiency Analysis tool, which offers customers a comparative analysis of the best possible products, processes and technologies with the least environmental impact at the best price by looking at the entire lifecycle of a product, beginning with extraction of raw materials through its disposal or recycling.

The Eco-efficiency Analysis provides an “ecological footprint” of a product’s environmental impact in six categories: materials consumption; energy consumption; emissions to air, soil and water; risk potential; toxicity potential; and land use. In addition to developing training programs, Armstrong said that BASF’s Styropor EPS business works closely with the Sustainable Building Industry Council (SBIC), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), GREENGUARD and McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) to bring sustainable development solutions through well engineered, high-performance building envelope systems to the building and construction market.

“Styropor EPS received the GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified® designation from Air Quality Sciences, Inc., as a low-emitting material that helps manufacturers create healthier and safer indoor environments,” said Armstrong. “Also, MBDC previously announced that Styropor EPS resins have strong attributes of environmental sustainability in that they can be used and recycled in thermal insulation applications after conducting a rigorous evaluation of the ‘environmental health and intelligence’ of the material.”

Later this year, BASF will build the Paterson (N.J.) Showhouse Project as part of BASF’s Better Home, Better Planet Initiative in which the company features “green,” energy-conservation building practices and technologies. The Paterson Showhouse will showcase for architects, builders, government officials and other parties interested in pursuing “green design solutions” how healthy, energy-efficient homes can be built economically with materials that also enhance homes’ durability and aesthetic appeal.

The Paterson Showhouse will incorporate Zero Energy Housing (ZEH) concepts from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and building science principles from PATH (Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing) / Build America expert Steve Winter, AIA. Once the construction and demonstration phases are completed at year-end, the BASF Paterson Showhouse will be donated to St. Michael’s Housing Corporation, Paterson, N.J. This organization will then turn over the home to Richard Sosa, a quadriplegic boy, and his family to occupy. The Paterson Showhouse is designed to accommodate their special needs.

Armstrong added that other activities by BASF’s Styropor EPS business to promote sustainable development in housing and construction this year include sponsoring the first C2C (Cradle to Cradle) Home Design and Construction Competition that is expected to result in building 10 to 30 affordable, sustainable houses in Roanoke, Va., that achieve the standards described in ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’ by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, who head MBDC.

More information is available on the Internet on BASF’s efforts in sustainable development for the building and construction industry (, and the company’s Eco-efficiency Analysis tool (

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