Since its founding, the Polyiso Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) has been very active in the harmonization of relevant standards, including ASTM and CAN/ULC, in an effort to provide greater continuity in the reporting of polyiso roof insulation thermal values throughout North America. In fact, the association implemented the industry-wide QualityMarkCM certified R-value program for rigid polyiso roof insulation in 2004, to insure accurate and reliable reporting of insulation thermal properties.

Earlier this year, the primary product standard for polyiso insulation (ASTM C-1289-11) was revised to include the most recent versions of both ASTM (ASTM C-1303-11) and CAN/ULC (CAN/ULC-S770-09), test methods to measure Long-Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR). Prior to the development of the latest version of ASTM product standard for polyiso, LTTR testing and reporting was based on a single test method (CAN/ULC-S770-03) identified in the previous version of the ASTM product standard (ASTM C-1289-08).

Given the long testing periods required for the new LTTR values, and the importance to the insulation consumer of the QualityMark program, the PIMA Board of Directors has decided that the QualityMark program will continue to follow existing procedures throughout 2013, followed by implementation of the new multiple procedures January 1, 2014.

The PIMA Board of Directors believes that it is in the best interest of the construction industry market, specifically designers, builders, and contractors, to have accurate and reliable data relating to the thermal performance of polyiso insulation. In order to ensure that a new methodology developed for measuring long term thermal performance of closed cell insulating foams has adequate time to harmonize with existing methods, and to permit the polyiso insulation LTTR values to be validated by the third party certification QualityMark program, additional time should be allotted for an industry transition to the new method.

“Our primary goal is to provide building designers and owners and contractors with reliable and consistent information for making accurate thermal insulation decisions,” said Jared Blum, President, PIMA. “The association and its members are also committed to the ongoing review and improvement of thermal value reporting, both in terms of test methods and certification procedures.” 

For the building designer and owner, LTTR values reported under the QualityMark program in 2013 will be based on ASTM C-1289-08 requirements, just as they have been for the past four years.  This means that LTTR values currently reported in accordance with QualityMark certification standards will remain unchanged in 2013. In addition, PIMA will work diligently to resolve all remaining test issues so that the most recent version of ASTM C-1289 may be integrated into the QualityMark program beginning in 2014.  Finally, in 2013 PIMA and its members will continue to communicate with customers to provide additional details regarding the transition.

“It is critical that we ensure a smooth transition for architects, building owners and contractors, and given the importance of the existing, rigorous QualityMark program, it is appropriate that PIMA members take the time needed to utilize the science based, yet time consuming, methodologies effectively,” added Blum.