Air Changes Per Hour (ACH):
An expression of ventilation rates - the number of times per hour that a
building’s entire volume of air is exchanged with outside air.
A layer of material resistant to air flow usually in the form of polyolefin
(i.e. Typar, Tyvek, and other house wraps). A material which is applied in
conjunction with a building component (such as a wall, ceiling or sill
plate) to prevent the movement of air through that component.
Air Barrier System: The
assembly of components used in building construction to create a plane of
air tightness throughout the building envelope and to control air leakage.
American Made: Manufactured in The United States.
Blower Door Diagnostic:
Equipment consisting of a fan, removable panel and gauges, used to measure
and locate air leaks.
Blowing Agent: A gas or a substance capable of producing a gas used in making
British Thermal Unit - the amount of energy that is required to raise 1 lb.
of water up 1° F
A rate of energy transfer - can be expressed as Btu’s/hour
Building Envelope: The external elements walls, floor, ceiling, roof, windows and doors of
a building that encloses conditioned space; the building shell.
Capillary Action: The movement of liquid within a material against gravity as a result of
A measure of useful heat extracted from a fuel source by an operating
heating appliance. For example a furnace with a combustion efficiency
of 60 percent converts 60 percent of the fuels energy content into useful
heat. The rest is lost as exhaust gases.
Conduction: Transmission of energy (heat /sound) through a material or from one
material to another by direct contact. Materials with low rates of
conductive heat transfer make good insulation.
of energy (heat /sound) from one place to another by movement of a fluid
such as air or water.
Determined by the weight expressed in pounds per cubic foot of spray foam.
Dew Point: The temperature at which a vapor begins to condense.
The movement of water vapor from regions of high relative humidity (RH)
toward regions of lower RH driven by a higher to lower temperature
Exfiltration: Uncontrolled leakage of conditioned air from inside the home to the
Flame Retardant: A substance, which is added to a polymer formulation to reduce or
retard the tendency to burn.
Flame Retarded (Adj.): The property of a material to which flame-retardant has been added.
Flame Spread: Standard test for determining relative combustibility. The flame spread
of a tested material is rated relative to red oak (flame spread = 100).
Flammability: Relative ability of a material to support combustion as expressed by
its flash point.
Heat that is lost from a building through air leakage, conduction and
radiation. To maintain a steady interior temperature, heat losses must be
offset by a combination of heat gains and heat contributed by a heating
Heat Recovery Ventilation System: A mechanical ventilation system that recovers energy from exhausted indoor
air and transfers it to incoming air. This system usually incorporates an
air-to-air heat exchanger which transfers the heat from exhaust air to the
incoming air or vice versa.
Humidistat: A humidity sensitive control device that signals the ventilation system to
operate if the humidity goes above a preset limit.
Hydrophobic: Having no affinity for water; not compatible with water. "Water fearing"
Infiltration: Uncontrolled leakage of air into a building through cracks around doors, windows, electrical
outlets and at structural joints.
Materials with low thermal conductivity characteristics that are used to
slow the transfer of heat.
Isocyanurate (MDI): One of a group of neutral derivatives of primary amines (R-N=C=O)
groups. An essential component (A) of spray foam chemistry.
Kilowatt-hour (kWh): Standard unit for measuring
Energy consumption-kilowatts X hours.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): A standard formatted information sheet, prepared by a material
manufacturer, describing the potential hazards, physical properties, and
procedures for safe use of a material.
Mold: Fungal growths often resulting in deterioration of organic materials,
especially under damp conditions.
Organic: Compounds containing carbon.
(1) Airborne spray loss of polyurethane foam. (2) Undesirable
depositions of airborne spray loss.
A unit of water vapor transmission defined as 1 grain of water vapor per
square foot per hour per inch of mercury pressure difference (1 inch mercury
= 0.49 psi). Metric unit of measure is ng/m2 s Pa. 1 perm = 55 ng/m2 s Pa
Permeability: The time rate of water vapor transmission through unit area of a
material of unit thickness induced by unit vapor pressure difference between
two specific surfaces, under specified temperature and humidity conditions.
A measure of acidity/alkalinity of aqueous mixtures. A measure of pH
7 is neutral, lower is more acidic, higher is more alkaline.
PSI: Pounds per square inch.
Transfer of energy (heat/sound) from one object to another through an
intermediate space. Only the object receiving the radiation, not the space
is heated. The heat is in the form of low frequency, infrared, invisible,
light energy, transferring from a "warm" object to a "cold" object. It is
known as the "black body effect".
Relative Humidity: The ratio expressed as a percentage of the amount of moisture air
actually contains to the maximum amount it could contain at that
R: A unit of measurement of resistance to heat flow in hr. ft2 ° F/BTU.in.
RSI: A unit of measurement of resistance to heat flow in m2 ° C/W per 25 mm. R =
Resin: Component B in spray foam chemistry. This component is mixed with the A
component to form ZipFoam.
The modification of an existing building or facility to include new systems
Standard Testing: Laboratory test methodology for determining relative properties of
materials at specific conditions.
Temperature sensitive control device that signals a heating or cooling
system to operate if the temperature in the building reaches a preset limit.
Thermal Barrier: A material applied over ZipFoam designed to slow the temperature rise
of the foam during a fire situation and delay its involvement in the fire.
Thermal Bridge: A thermally conductive material which penetrates or bypasses an
insulation system; such as a metal fastener or stud.
Thermal Resistance (R): An index of a material's resistance to heat flow. See R and RSI.
Thermal Shock: A building materials reaction to rapid changes in temperature.
Thermography: A building energy diagnostic technique using an infrared camera for
locating areas of temperature differential in a building.
U-Value: Overall thermal conductance. U value is equal to the inverse of the sum of
the R-values in a system (U = 1 /R total).
Vapor Retarder/Barrier: A layer of moisture resistant material usually which controls moisture
diffusion (defined as less than 1 perm) to prevent moisture build up in the
Viscosity: The thickness or resistance to flow of a liquid. Viscosity generally
decreases as temperature increases; application temperatures of spray foam
components are specified in part, to control viscosity at the spray gun.
Volatile Organic Compound (VOC): Any compound containing carbon and hydrogen or containing carbon and
hydrogen in combination with other elements.
AISI: American Iron & Steel Institute
ALA: American Lung Association
ANSI: American National Standards Institute
American Society for Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers
ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials
Building Environment & Thermal Envelope Council
BOCA: Building Officials and Code Administrators
CABO (ICC): Conference of American Building Officials (International Code Council)
United States Department of Energy
EPA: Environmental Protection Association
EEBA: Energy Efficient Builders Association
EREC: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearing House (DOE program)
FSEC: Florida Solar Energy Center
IBC: International Building Code
International Conference of Building Officials
NAHB: National Association of Home Builders
NAHBRC: NAHB Research Center
NEAT: Novel Environmental Advanced Technology
NER: National Evaluation Report
NIBS: National Institute of Building Sciences
NIST: National Institute of Standards and Technology
ORNL: Oak Ridge National Laboratories
Southern Building Codes Congress International
UBC: Uniform Building Code