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2020 IIBEC Virtual Building Enclosure Symposium+ (BES+): A Burning Question: Performance of Spray Foam Insulation on the Interior Face of Metal Back Pans

November 10, 2020

2020 IIBEC Virtual Building Enclosure Symposium+

We are presenting at this year’s Virtual Symposium on Building Enclosure. The event offers cutting-edge information regarding design, construction, maintenance and repair of modern and/or older building enclosures. Join us on November 10, 2020.
More infomation and registration here: 2020 IIBEC Virtual BES+.

Session Overview: A Burning Question: Performance of Spray Foam Insulation on the Interior Face of Metal Back Pans

Window wall assemblies are a popular exterior wall assembly for high-rise residential apartment buildings. These systems are economical because of efficiencies of factory assembly and rapid installation on site. With the exception of components deemed “minor”—including thermal breaks in the aluminum frames, sealants, etc.—window wall assemblies are considered non-combustible and therefore compliant with building code requirements to limit the vertical spread of fire. The thermal performance of window wall systems is relatively weak, limited by thermal bridging through the frames. Thermal performance can be increased with two-component, closed-cell polyurethane foam insulation spray applied directly to the spandrels. However, the insulation is combustible and too large to be considered a minor component; so, the entire assembly is often considered to be combustible.

This presentation describes full-scale fire exposure tests under CAN/ULC-S134, the equivalent to NFPA 285. The outcomes are used to assess if such walls are combustible. The presentation will also consider if the test results can be applied to other window wall assemblies and to assess compliance with building codes in the United States, where Canadian window wall systems are often used.

This session will be presented by Stéphane Hoffman, P.Eng. It takes place on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 – 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM EST.


November 10, 2020
Event Category:


International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants (IIBEC)
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