New SES’s Nexseal 2.0 Closed-Cell Spray Foam Featuring Honeywell’s Solstice LBA Creates A Top Of The Line, Environmentally Friendly System That Will Blow Others Away
By Jourdan Porter
On the coast of South Carolina, lies the effervescent historically enriched town of Charleston. In the midst of the downtown area resides the Pacific Box and Crate Development, a project in the works that will be home to office spaces for multiple tech businesses, along with a yoga studio, brewery, a food hall, and more for employees and the public. The developer noticed a lack of technology companies in the area and felt compelled to fill that niche in the market. Instead of the old-style architecture the city is best known for, the developers decided to take a fresh approach with a contemporary design for the three structures being built. Bringing in architects with individual processes, the majority of the group knew what material would provide optimal insulation for two of the buildings—closed-cell spray polyurethane foam (SPF). As an air and moisture barrier, there was no better performing material for this project.
To complete the job, Trident Construction, the general contractor spearheading the Pacific Box and Crate Development project, brought in Energy One America (EOA), a spray foam insulating company from the Charleston area. The substrates for SPF application were exterior sheathing and concrete masonry unit (CMU) walls of the two-story buildings, as well as corrugated metal, a small elevated subflooring that connected the buildings. All of these structures spanned a total of 85,000 board feet. With the multiple structures undergoing construction, there were many trades (electric, plumbing, roofing, framing, and concrete installation) on site, anywhere from fifty to one hundred workers at a time. Although it was a tight work space and they only had eight days to complete the job, Energy One America took on the task, but this project had a different component from past commercial insulation applications. Here’s why:
Top-leading companies in the SPF industry, SES Polyurethane Systems and Honeywell, recently teamed up to develop a top-of- the-line spray foam. The spray foam in question is Nexseal 2.0 – a new closed-cell foam formula with superior yield, sprayability, adhesion, and reduced gun clogging, whilst still compatible with typical processing conditions and equipment. The foam was formulated with Honeywell’s Solstice LBA – a blowing agent based on hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) technology, with an ultra-low GWP of 1, non-ozone-depleting, nonflammable features, that is an ideal replacement for hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blowing agents currently in the market. “Nexseal 2.0 closed-cell foam made with Honeywell’s Solstice LBA provides tremendous structural strength for the building. It also provides a very strong thermal, air, and moisture barrier in one monolithic system,” states Robert Allen, national sales manager, SES Foam in a case-study.
This cutting-edge insulation product received its most notable installation project during the Pacific Box and Crate Development. “This is an exciting, high-profile project,” says Laura Reinhard, Honeywell’s global business manager for spray foam. “Solstice LBA has provided SES with both an environmentally preferable solution along with improved foam performance that has been further validated by Energy One America.”
In preparation for the SPF application, the EOA crew provided a site prep meeting with fellow contractors and crews on site to inform them of the work that their team would be performing. The EOA team also put up red caution tape 50 feet away from each side of the building to block off the area they were spraying. Additionally, signage was posted while the team sprayed. In order to prevent materials from suffering overspray damage, the team masked off finished concrete flats, steel architectural metal, window frames, and windows with plastic. Since the application was performed outside, the crew did not need to provide ventilation systems on site. The PPE worn by the EOA crew entailed full face respirators, polypropylene suits, nitro gloves, and full-body harness when in the 40-foot man lift.
With the structures freshly built, EOA did not need to remove any loose material from the existing framework prior to foam application. Equipped with a PMC proportioner and 350-feet of hose, the EOA crew installed two-inches of Nexseal 2.0 closed-cell foam. Although the space was a bit more difficult to spray due to the modern architecture design, the crew was thrilled by the application and foam results of the newly paired combination. “The Nexseal 2.0 foam had a broader operating range with the Solstice LBA. If the substrate temperature was off, we did not have to tweak our machinery,” says Jason Pluchinsky, commercial operations manager, Energy One America. “It was very user-friendly. My installers have sprayed just about every foam on the market, but when spraying the Nexseal foam with the Solstice LBA they had no issues, which is very rare when using a new type of foam.”
With no negative changes or performance trade-offs, easy integration into buildings, positive crew feedback, and current high customer demand, there is an exciting future ahead for Nexseal 2.0 foam with Solstice LBA. John Kish, vice president of commercial sales, Energy One America says it best, “Incorporating Solstice LBA blowing agent into the SES product to make it more climate-friendly without impacting its effectiveness is a home run for everyone.” •
Photos courtesy of Jason Pluchinsky