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Help Make Insulation Safer

By   /  April 16, 2013  /  1 Comment

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Dear Green Building Enthusiasts,

My dedicated friends and associates at the Safer Insulation Solution have forwarded the plea for support below. Please do what you can to help move this important initiative forward!

We all want energy efficient buildings that are also fire safe and healthy for people and the environment. The Safer Insulation Solution (SIS – http://saferinsulation.greensciencepolicy.org) is a collaborative effort to help achieve those aims by addressing toxic flame retardant chemicals in plastic foam building insulation.

This effort is led by the Development Center for Appropriate Technology (DCAT www.dcat.net), the Green Science Policy Institute (GSPI www.greensciencepolicy.org), BuildingGreen (http://www.buildinggreen.com) and GreenWeaver (www.greenweaverinc.com), with many other organizations contributing to the work. Our goal is to shift design and building practice away from the current use of toxic and ineffective halogenated flame retardant chemicals in plastic foam insulation. This issue is growing in urgency due to increasing demands for energy-efficiency in buildings and for limiting the climate impacts of buildings, both of which are driving ever-greater use of plastic foam insulation in new and existing buildings.

The SIS Team is at a critical point in our work to change the building code requirements that lead to the use of toxic flame retardants in nearly all plastic foam insulation now available in the United States and Canada. To date, this effort has been supported by hundreds of hours of dedicated, expert pro bono time and a small amount of funding from the Green Science Policy Institute. This funding has been carefully and fully utilized during the past year to get us to this point. Now we’re gearing up for a critical stage of this first phase of our campaign; expert testimony in support of our proposed code changes at the International Code Council’s code development hearings for the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) in Dallas in late April and at the final action hearings in Atlantic City in October.

We are optimistic about our chances for success in this first phase of our work, buoyed by official proponents including the American Institute of Architects, the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation, Perkins+Will, one of the nation’s leading architectural and engineering firms, the International Living Future Institute, California USGBC and others.

This is the first part of a larger plan, which includes similar changes to the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) as well as state building codes where necessary.  We are also helping support new California State draft legislation that was inspired by our work to reduce the use of harmful flame retardants in buildings.

We are reaching out to leaders and leading green firms to request that you share in supporting this effort. Please consider how important this change is in helping make sure that “energy efficient” also means safe and healthy, and make a tax-deductible donation. You will be helping to make a positive change for the future of green building and addressing energy efficiency and climate change in a safer and healthier way.

Support at any level is greatly appreciated but please consider a donation at one of the following levels:

  • $500 – SIS Friend – help sponsor travel expenses for an expert witness to one hearing
  • $1,000 – SIS Champion – help sponsor travel for two expert witnesses or both hearings for one
  • $5,000 – SIS Patron – help support SIS team hearing preparation and travel expenses
  • $10,000 – SIS Leader – help support SIS team, expert travel, and prep for the entire process

For more information about SIS, please visit the SIS website and download our brochure (http://saferinsulation.greensciencepolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/SaferInsulationBrochure.pdf) for a summary of this work, to see the broad and growing base of support, and the proposed code amendments. If you have any questions or ideas about how to further these goals, please contact us at the addresses below.

To donate online follow this link or go to www.dcat.net. Or if you prefer, please make your check payable to DCAT and mail to: 
Development Center for Appropriate Technology, P.O. Box 27513, Tucson, AZ 85726-7513. DCAT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donations are tax-deductible.

And please, take a moment to share this with others. This work cannot continue without broad financial and volunteer support.

Thank you,

The Safer Insulation Solution Team including:

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About the author

green building consultant; owner/founder, Design AVEnues LLC

Ann V. Edminster, M. Arch., LEED AP, is a leading green building consultant, speaker, teacher, and author. Her recent work and award-winning book, Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet, focus on net-zero energy homes. Ann has taught for groups including AIA, USGBC, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison. Ann’s consulting clients include major builders, software companies, design firms, developers, public agencies, utilities, investors, and homeowners. She has held key roles on numerous award-winning residential projects of all types.

1 Comment

  1. Alex Wilson says:

    A great cause. I encourage support of this initiative!

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