Insulspan® SIPs play key role in North America’s first Active House

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An Active House standard brings house construction with sustainability in mind. Following a holistic approach to net zero energy design, the Active House standard merges energy-efficiency with a focus on environmental impact and indoor air quality. With energy saving properties, healthier indoors  and having lots of natural light from several of its windows as a requirement, this type of residential property standard offers benefits to both its owners and the environment.

Builder Matt Belcher was approached by the Belgium-based Active House Alliance with an entirely new take on green building. Belcher had experience with building green homes; his credentials include being a consultant to many of the top green houses in the United States. Belcher’s consulting firm Verdatek Solutions partnered with Hibbs Homes to construct the North American prototype: Active House USA.

Reaching the energy efficiency metrics of the Active House standard demanded a robust building envelope to reduce heating and cooling loads. Belcher  and  his  team  specified  the  Insulspan®  Structural Insulating Panel (SIP) System for the  walls and roof of the home. By selecting Insulspan SIPs, they greatly reduced both thermal bridging and air infiltration.

Building on the efficiency of the SIP envelope is a 98% AFUE natural gas furnace, an energy recovery ventilator, high performance windows and doors, a solar thermal system, and a 4.8kW PV array.  The home is expected to reach net zero energy use.

The Insulspan SIP System helped in providing North America’s first Active House with the energy performance and indoor air quality goals for this new and emerging standard.

Supporting the benefits of sustainability in houses

Companies such as Insulspan and PFB Corporation are committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends and recognize the importance of being transparent with their sustainability efforts. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in their practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com.

 

Safety Reports – 2017

bannerPFB is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment. PFB meets this commitment by ensuring all employees receives a health and safety orientation, a safety manual, and extensive training when they commence their employment and throughout their career to ensure they complete each and every task in a safe and timely manner. PFB and their employees share responsibilities for making sure work environments are healthy and safe.

Health and Safety Committees comprised of hourly, salaried and management representatives meet regularly to review results and develop improvements in safe work procedures.

Health and Safety Performance

PFB Corp. has always been transparent with their safety practices. Each year, information on Health and Safety Performance are being reported during its annual corporate sales conference.

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Occupational Health and Safety is of paramount importance at PFB Corporation. Safety is a core value for our company and is incorporated into everything we do. We recognize that our employees are our most valuable resource so we provide them with the training, tools, and environment to maximize their performance in the safest manner possible. Our safety focus has been on a proactive activities that are focused on identification and eliminating hazards, training and safety awareness and encouraging positive safety behaviour in all our employees.

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Corporate Responsibility

For the past 10 years PFB Corp. has reported the material impacts our activity has on the environment and safety. We tabulate and report our emissions, energy usage and waste generated. Our focus continues to be on improving our performance through a process of continuous improvement.

Health and Safety Committees comprised of hourly, salaried and management representatives meet regularly to review results and develop improvements in safe work procedures.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com.

Environment Reports – 2017

bannerAt PFB Corporation, we are concerned with the future of the planet and the effects that modern  lifestyles may be having on climate change.

PFB Corporation is committed to conducting its operations responsibly, mindful of the economic, environmental and social impacts of its operations.

Sustainability Through Action

PFB Corp. has always been transparent with their sustainability practices. Each year, information on the consumption of Energy and the Management of Wastes and Amount of Emissions are being reported during the annual sales conference.

The following parameters are being discussed:

Waste
Waste is a significant issue for manufacturers like PFB both from a cost perspective and its environmental impact. PFB is continually looking for ways to reduce the generation of waste and, wherever possible, reuse and recycle. Total waste to landfill increased by 14% in 2015 over the previous year. This was caused by increased production levels and introduction of new products and processes. Efforts are underway to determine ways to optimize these processes and take action to reduce waste by diverting scrap materials to alternate recycling streams and by improving production yields. 

WasteToLandFill

Energy
Direct electricity and natural gas consumption in our operations increased slightly in 2015 over the previous year. The increase was due to an overall increase in production levels. Energy consumption has been a significant focus of our individual facilities as we work toward improving efficiencies through installation of energy efficient lighting, equipment and administrative controls for managing equipment operation schedules. 

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Emissions
Our focus for the past several years has been to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by using fossil fuels more efficiently. Additionally, PFB has an initiative underway to substitute raw material inputs with materials that contains less VOC expanding agent. Since 2008 we have increased our usage of low VOC raw materials to 72% in 2015. This has resulted in an average annual VOC emissions reduction of over 100 tonnes.

VOC-Emissions-Intensity-2017

Corporate Responsibility

For the past 10 years PFB Corp. has reported the material impacts our activity has on the environment. We tabulate and report our emissions, energy usage and waste generated. Our focus continues to be on improving our performance through a process of continuous improvement.

Environmental conservation has always been a top priority as shown in the practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com.

Designing Green Buildings with a focus on health

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 While Sustainable buildings are built for safeguarding the environment and helps save for energy costs, it should also benefit the overall well-being of the people living inside those buildings.

According to an article by Chris Hellstern of the website Daily Journal of Commerce (http://www.djc.com/news/en/12098663.html), the common practice for evaluating buildings was that several designers and building rating systems would focus mainly on a building’s performance.

But just recently, there has been a growing shift on how this is being handled as health and wellness for the residents of the building are now a significant part of the equation.

Hellstern has added that there is now real, hard data which suggests how important health considerations are during a building design process. Case in point: A 2016 study done by Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health discovered that better indoor environmental factors was linked to improved productivity and better cognitive function.

“These results suggest that even modest improvements to indoor environmental quality may have a profound impact on the decision-making performance of workers,” said Joseph Allen, lead author of the research.

The focus on health

As mentioned on the report provided by Harvard University, several noticeable improvements on health were found during the research period: “Measuring nine cognitive function domains, researchers found that the largest improvements occurred in the areas of:

  • crisis response (97% higher scores in green conditions and 131% higher in green+)
  • strategy (183% and 288% higher)
  • information usage (172% and 299% higher)

In addition, when researchers looked at the effect of CO2—not normally thought of as a direct indoor pollutant—they found that, for seven of the nine cognitive functions tested, average scores decreased as CO2 levels increased to levels commonly observed in many indoor environments.” (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/green-office-environments-linked-with-higher-cognitive-function-scores/ )

Although this directive is fairly new, it becomes important for builders to consider the health impact on occupants when designing sustainable buildings. When this is added to reductions in energy consumption, water consumption and environmental deterioration, then the chances for green buildings to be the main option for the future would greatly increase.

Supporting the benefits of green buildings

Health-focused parameters aside, buildings will play a major role in the sustainability of communities. There will be more reasons for adding health-based designs for buildings, and its benefits would be too hard to ignore.

Companies such as PFB Corporation are committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends and recognize the importance of being transparent with their sustainability efforts. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in their practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com.

 

 

 

Importance of Green Buildings to Cities

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It is predicted that by year 2050, almost 70 percent of the global population will be residing in cities. This means that buildings will play a vital role in sustaining urban growth. With the problems concerning health and environment posed by cities, it becomes important for builders to consider more environment-friendly ways in building new structures.

The Urban Expedition series, a collection of articles from National Geographic that tackle green solutions to cities around the globe, just published an educational info graphic style “by the numbers” view on green buildings and its sustainable benefits. It highlights what comprises a green building and what positive impact it provides to both its residents and the environment – and what eventual influence it brings to the cities of the future. (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/urban-expeditions/green-buildings/benefits-of-green-buildings-human-health-economics-environment/)

The environmental issue

Cities are a main source of emissions and waste, currently accounting for an astounding 70% of greenhouse-gas emissions. With 30% of those emissions coming from buildings, improvements on the way buildings are built and operates are very important for it to become more sustainable. And then there are also other issues that relates to health, water and energy use.

The Green building alternative

Due to these concerns, builders from around the world have started to implement a more green approach in building new structures for cities. Thus, more and more green buildings have been built.

Through the LEED certification that ensures that a structure meets the green building standard, a green building is usually designed to use up less energy costs and water, as well as make air quality better. The article has also stressed that building methods that are sustainable has clearly several benefits over traditional ones.

Benefits of Green buildings

The post has also mentioned the benefits of green buildings, some of which include:

  • Energy efficiency from improved insulation building materials
  • Mitigation of the Urban Heat Island Effect
  • Water Conservation from systematic consumption reduction
  • Environment-friendly building materials that decrease emissions

The positive effects brought forth by green buildings have resulted in producing an encouraging stat: green buildings in the U.S. have now reduced carbon emissions by 34%. Although this number may not mean a lot now, as this positive trend continues, so can the potential for green buildings to provide some lasting impact to communities and contribute to urban sustainable directives in the near future.

Supporting sustainable buildings 

The improving direction brought forth by green buildings provides not only the environmental benefits and long term gains for future generations, it could also help propel other organizations to pay more attention that possibly leads to positive action.

Companies such as PFB Corporation are committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in their practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

Insulspan is an excellent choice to construct energy efficient buildings because of its energy efficiency features and ability to reduce energy consumption in buildings. Insulspan’s sustainable system and its ability to withstand natural disasters better than other construction methods makes it a top option for energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com

To learn more about Insulspan SIPs, visit the Insulspan website at: http://www.insulspan.com

Greenery: timely color for 2017

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Color of the Year

For 16 years now, Pantone Inc., a company known for its proprietary color space Pantone Matching System (PMS) that helps standardize colors used mainly by manufacturers for printing purposes, has selected a specific color that would carry the honorary title of “Color of the Year”.

Based on the Pantone.com website (https://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2017), this year’s Color of the Year is Greenery. The website notes: “The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally.”

Greenery’s link to sustainability

The color green has long been associated with sustainability and symbolizes nature for obvious reasons. From plants and trees to leaves and fields, a good part of our natural environment bear the familiar hues of the color green. While green is also linked to other good things such as wealth and progress, no association is as evident for the color on nature and the environment.

Associating this color to the branding of organizations who are sustainability-focused has also proven be a good association for better representation of their core values and objectives.

Helping spread environmental awareness

With Greenery selected as 2017’s Color of the Year, there is a favorable possibility for increased awareness towards the environment and the issues it face. As companies and communities become more and more conscious of their carbon footprint and impact to the surroundings, this selection provides another opportunity to make more green choices on a fresh start.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute says it best: “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we year for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and larger purpose.”

In support of sustainability in 2017

New start, continued commitment. Sustainability directives from various sectors both private and public are gradually picking up steam at a time when environmental concerns require immediate attention.

Companies such as PFB Corporation are committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends and recognize the importance of being transparent with their sustainability efforts. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in their practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com.

Sustainability in 2017

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The year 2016 brought forth several milestones for accomplishing sustainability goals. From the increase in sustainable awareness with support coming from different corporations to more energy-efficient buildings being built, this year was a good one for the green movement.

With 2017 just around the corner, we face another year with some questions in mind. How will 2017 fare in terms of green initiatives and how would it impact us on a local and global scale?

Thomas Singer from the sustainability website GreenBiz (https://www.greenbiz.com/article/4-reasons-be-excited-about-sustainability-2017) had posted a very insightful article on the issues that we face in 2017 and why we should remain optimistic despite the challenges sustainability is expected to face.

As mentioned in the post, below are some of the reasons to be excited in 2017 for sustainability, which includes climate governance, sustainability financing and urban leadership.

Taking the lead in climate governance

Doubts surrounding the next U.S. administration in terms of prioritizing environmental directives means that the door is open for other governing bodies to step in and take the helm in the green movement. The biggest question is whether emerging markets such as China would decide to accept the daunting task.

Green financing gaining momentum

Green investments have steadily grown and has helped tremendously in both accomplishing climate goals and modernizing systems. As 2017 arrives, this positive momentum should remain to be the focus and aid in continued growth.

Sustainability leadership from urban areas

Rightfully becoming stewards of environmental conservation, cities have been championing the green movement, even more so than their government counterparts. The motivation in doing so remains obvious: obtaining less air pollution, having healthier communities, natural disaster control etc. Despite possible lack of support from governing bodies, cities must strive to implement sustainable practices.

In support of sustainability in 2017 

Sustainability has come along way in the last couple of years. While there is still so much that needs to be done in order to have a significant and lasting impact, the seeds of growth have been planted. The key now is to keep these directives going and maintain green consciousness.

Companies such as PFB Corporation are committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends and recognize the importance of being transparent with their sustainability efforts. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in their practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com.