The Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors (CUFCA) was established in 1984 by the amalgamation of two predecessor associations to promote and expand the use of spray polyurethane foam. To accomplish this, the spray polyurethane foam industry had to ensure that building industry professionals, including architects, engineers and specification writers, could rely on consistent quality for all applications of spray polyurethane foam. Spray polyurethane foam will make a significant contribution to providing energy efficiency in buildings and other applications.
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) can also be a significant part of the solution to the challenges we face with the environment. Use of high performance insulation can help to reduce various emissions from the burning of fossil fuels in buildings or by utilities. The spray polyurethane foam industry wants to ensure that the products installed for the consumer or owner is of the highest quality and provides the maximum benefits.
Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) has estimated that there is $500,000,000 spent annually due to premature deterioration of buildings. Many of these expenditures are as a result of improper installation of products rather than defective products themselves.
Applications for tanks and vessels, mining operations, pulp and paper plants, truck bodies,motor homes, underground applications, oil and gas industry, freezer and cold storage plants, fishing boats, flotation devices, shipbuilding, rail cars all required a mechanism for assuring proper application of spray polyurethane foam insulation.
Although many of the requirements in this quality assurance program have been designed for the application of spray polyurethane foam in buildings, the requirement for properly and professionally installed spray polyurethane foam is applicable for all SPF applications.
The SPF Site Quality Assurance Program (SQAP) by CUFCA takes a holistic approach to quality assurance on the job site. It has recently been updated to be aligned with the newly published ULC-S718-13 Standard for the Site Quality Assurance Program for Spray Polyurethane Foam.
The chemical manufacturers, along with the spray polyurethane foam industry and CUFCA, have worked together with government departments, veteran industry consultants, to establish the CUFCA SPF Site Quality Assurance Program (SQAP) to meet this challenge.
The SPF Site Quality Assurance Program by CUFCA starts with the proper research and development on the product and installation methodology which leads to the development of material and installation standards and specifications.
CUFCA has worked with spray polyurethane foam industry to develop industry installation specifications for specific spray polyurethane foam applications. These specific applications specifications will be updated on an ongoing basis. New application specifications will be developed as required.
The CUFCA SPF system manufacturers have developed and produced a material which will meet the CAN/ULC S705.1 Material standard. As such they have made significant investments into the research and development of their products. CUFCA has participated in the development of the 1992 Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) standards for both the product (CAN/CGSB 51.23 - 1992) and the installation standard (CAN / CGSB 51.39). These standards were replaced in 1998 with the Underwriters Laboratory of Canada (ULC) standards which CUFCA participated in the development. The new standards S705.1 for the product and S705.2 for the installation, will be continually updated to meet the needs of the industry.
The 1995 National Building Code (NBC) listed the CGSB standards as requirements for the product and for the installation when spray polyurethane foam insulation when used in a building covered by the building code. In 1998 the individual provinces started to adopt the 1995 NBC as the basis for the provincial building code. In most municipalities in Canada the provincial building code is used to govern the requirements in buildings. An amendment was circulated by the National Building Code which changed the reference from CGSB to ULC.
The Canadian standards (CAN/ULC S705-1 and CAN/ULC S705-2) were used as the basis for the International Standard for Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation, ISO8873.
The CUFCA SPF system manufacturers have invested a substantial amount of money and time into conducting all of the tests required to prove compliance with the material standard. These tests have been conducted with an independent laboratory which is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada.
The CUFCA SPF system manufacturers have ensured ready acceptance of the product by having their material evaluated by the Canadian Construction Materials Center (CCMC). The evaluation by CCMC allows the contractor to prove that the product meets the requirements of the national standard and the building code. Products with this approval are accepted anywhere in Canada.
Without CCMC approval, the onus is on the contractor to prove to the "authority having jurisdiction" that the product meets the standard and the intent of the building code. The contractor and the building official take on the liability for the installed product by doing so. The standard requires that the material only be sold to License Contractors who have installers that have been trained and they have been certified by a Certifying Organization and that the Certifying Organization provides a quality assurance program for the proper installation of the product.
The CCMC Evaluation Report for spray polyurethane foam also lists that the material be only sold to Licensed contractors.
The manufacturer has to prove to CCMC that they have only sold CCMC Evaluated material to properly Licensed Contractors.
A process was developed to evaluate and license contractors who meet the necessary criteria, who are prepared to comply with the SPF QAP, conform to ISO 9002 quality standards and sign a licensing agreement with CUFCA. A process was developed to train, evaluate and certify the site installer.
CUFCA Continues to develop its best in class training and licensing system for the SPF Industry in Canada.
The training program provides the education to the installer. It is the basis to ensure that all installers possess the appropriate level of skill and have met the established levels of competency. An annual renewal, along with appropriate upgrading will ensure this level of competency be maintained by the industry. Once trained and they have successfully completed the certification test instruments, the installer is certified to install spray polyurethane foam.
The training program ensures that installers are competent to install the product according to the manufacturer's instructions, the national installation standard, the installation specifications published by CUFCA and the requirements of the CUFCA SQAP. An independent inspection system provides ongoing training and spot surveillance to ensure that installers continue to follow the high standards set forth in the SPF Quality Assurance Program by CUFCA. Inspectors form an important link in the CUFCA SQAP, observing and providing feedback on each installer's abilities.
Installers complete and maintain records for each job. The contractor is obligated to forward a copy of the daily work sheets, a summary sheet or the information in another form to the CUFCA office each month. A Job Site Label is attached at the location where the product is installed.
Once the daily work sheets are received they are securely archived . CUFCA maintains a record of jobs completed by all certified installers. This provides for continuous monitoring of installers and product, allowing the administrator to identify trends. The database tracks job site work, tracking individual manufacturers/suppliers and consumers to ensure quality control.
The final link is the proper warranties. The supplier and contractor both provide warranties. In addition, material that has been evaluated by CCMC is covered by the third party warranty provided by CUFCA.
The first job of the CUFCA third party warranty program is to act as a conciliator between the owner and the contractor. If necessary, the warranty program ensures customer satisfaction by correcting deficiencies or completing a job when a contractor or supplier is unable or unwilling.
CUFCA is proudly the listed third party Site Quality Assurance Program administrators for Demilec and Genyk. CUFCA is also fully ISO Accredited to both ISO-17024 and ISO-17020 for training certification and Inspection Body rolls for service to the SPF Industry in Canada.