Energy Efficient Foam Coalition Opposing Fire Codes That Omit Foam Insulation

The newly formed Energy Efficient Foam Coalition (EEFC) has announced its opposition to two building code proposals that would side-step the current code requirement for a long-standing fire safety test known as the E-84 Steiner Tunnel Test. These proposals would allow the use of foam insulation that relies on a thermal barrier as the only means of defense in establishing fire safety in a majority of building applications.

The Coalition believes that the use of flame retardants in foam insulation is essential to protect occupants and workers from fire-related death and injury, and owners and occupants from property loss. Side-stepping the Steiner Tunnel Test would effectively permit the use of non-flame retardant-treated foam insulation in residential applications.

“We have more than 35 years of real-world evidence that the current fire testing requirements in the International Residential Code (IRC) for foam insulation are indispensable,” said Coalition spokesman Leonard Greenberger. “Existing building code fire safety provisions are based on years of careful analysis, extensive testing and a robust development process, yet the proposals pending before next week’s International Code Council’s Committee Action Hearings are based largely on a single, flawed report. The Coalition urges the IRC Building Committee to reject these proposals.”

The new Coalition, which is part of the American Chemistry Council, was established to educate the building community on the benefits of foam insulation as a sustainable building material that can significantly reduce a building’s energy use and help control indoor temperature. It not only helps to reduce a building’s energy costs, but also helps meet high consumer expectations about building performance and comfort. The Coalition’s current members are:

  • Center for the Polyurethanes Industry
  • EPS Industry Alliance
  • Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association
  • Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association
  • Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance