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Regulations on hydrofluorocarbons reduce roof insulation options

Codes and Standards

Regulations on hydrofluorocarbons reduce roof insulation options

Canada, some U.S. states ban HFC blowing agents used in closed-cell foam.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | July 12, 2021

Early this year, Canada and several U.S. states enacted new regulations eliminating the use of blowing agents containing hydrofluorocarbons with high global warming potential.

The regulations apply to extruded polystyrene insulation and other closed-cell foam insulations that use HFC blowing agents. This material is used in low-slope roof systems to support thermal performance, provide moisture control, and deliver compressive strength.

The new HFC regulations are being implemented on a state-by-state basis and are currently effective in California, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Washington. Delaware, Maryland, and Massachusetts have finalized similar regulations.

The regulations generally prevent the sale of non-complying products into a state and allow a grace period for sales of existing materials after which non-compliant products cannot be sold. The new regulations have hastened the pace of innovation for manufacturers to develop blowing agents with less global warming potential.

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