Industry Insights & Newsworthy Articles

05/15/2022

Vapor Armour, GWP (Global Warming Potential) and Carbon Neutrality

We’ve all heard about climate change. Global temperatures are documented as rising at unprecedented rates, and whatever you believe about the origins behind it, the political reality behind it will affect the cold storage industry in major ways in the coming years. As an industry that is one of the biggest consumers of electric power worldwide, accounting for over 1% of all electric usage, we will fall under closer scrutiny.  In fact, in several US states, regulations are already in effect. Global Warming Potential, or GWP is a rating assigned to processes and materials, based on their potential contribution to greenhouse gasses, linked to the recorded rise in global temperatures.

In states with GWP regulation already in place, new facilities being built, as well as facilities undergoing extensive renovation, expansion, or repair, will need to use materials and processes that are GWP compliant. That sounds like a headache, doesn’t it? On top of this, most contractors are stretching to provide thermal insulated cold storage under the old regulations, let alone adding more regulatory requirements.

To add to the mix, many industries are reporting that investment capital is now coming with GWP compliance strings attached, meaning your next round of investment might not come like the last one did, as many banks and investment firms are making the move away from companies and industries that lack carbon neutrality centered operations. This means doing without borrowed funds, or moving to riskier, and more costly VC channels of funding to run and grow your business.

What it really means for you, is that you need know what the GWP standards do and are going to look like. This is a known risk that will come to you, whether you want it or not. One way to mitigate the possible ramification is to hire contractors and suppliers that know the ins and outs of GWP in the materials and processes you need to either get your facility up and running, or remain running, and Vapor Armour can help.

From the beginning, our patented process has been approved for GWP standards in regulated states and across Canada. These standards are aimed at reducing energy usage, and implementing materials that don’t contribute to greenhouse gasses, our partnership with Dupont, (formerly DOW Chemical) helps us maintain that standard. In fact, the protection our system provides is mandated in many new construction specs, and we are the only ones providing it.

Through our partnership with Dupont we are expanding our ability to help our clients navigate the coming changes. Originally, our process was installed using their state of the art DOW Styrofoam™ insulation board, for it’s superior R value, durability and resistance to moisture absorption. Blue Board,  Extruded Poly Styrene panels, or XPS are manufactured using a “closed cell” foam that prevents moisture buildup from occurring, unlike the commonly used EPS foam that many cold storage were originally constructed with.

With GWP regulations coming online, Dupont moved to update their original Blue Board insulation creating a Grey version using processes that curtail the GWP of the original Blue Board, making it a GWP compliant material, mandated in regulated states, and highly recommended in those yet to be regulated. It features the same great R value, durability and ease of use of the original, with the added benefit of being one of the few materials capable of providing the longlasting performance, and GWP compliance you’re going to need in the future.

In light of the new regulation effecting all of our Canadian clients, and many of our US installations, we’ve decided to move toward compliance in all facets of our installation, before it becomes mandatory. We are encouraging all of our clients to do the same for their own protection, and the political goodwill it can bring your company.

In our work, preventing and remediating condensation and icing due to Vapor Drive (warm air entering the envelope of a controlled cold storage environment) we’ve found that the commonly used EPS foam insulation panels frequently becomes sponge like when condensation is prevalent, causing freezing and thawing cycles in roofing materials and wall panels that can envelop an entire roofing system. This, of course, reduces the thermal insulating capacity of the entire structure, drives energy usage through the roof (quite literally) and contributes to climate change concerns in a way that costs you money, and risks potential contamination of your stored goods.

Skipping  the political reasoning for moving toward carbon neutrality, let’s talk where the rubber meets road. Our installation  is going to save you money. A lot of money. In fact, we’ve got case studies showing that in the majority of our facilities, a move toward carbon neutrality with the Vapor Armour system is not only good for the environment, it pays for itself in three years, and keeps paying you back in up to 20% energy usage reductions for the life of the product. Which, in our case, is warranted for the first fifteen years against the effects of Vapor Drive in every area of your facility that we install it.

We know, you’re used to hearing how much regulations are going to cost you, but in this case, it will play in your favor to do the right thing. Here’s how it works. We install our Vapor Armour compression seal around the perimeter of your facility,  and where  the interior wall meets the roof deck.. We replace the original insulation about two feet out from every wall, with Dupont Grey Board, giving you the peace of mind that for the next decade and a half, any repairs, or replacement that become necessary are on the house.

That’s good, and we realize it’s unheard of in the commercial construction industry, but we can do better. In facilities where we replace the roof insulation and roof membrane, we extend that warranty another five years to give you a full two decades of coverage, and that includes the roof, the insulation,  and the Vapor Armour™  seals.

Some of you must be thinking “there must be better options”. We wish we could tell you there were, but the truth is, if you want to be compliant, with both the coming GWP regulation in your area, and the standards of the USDA for cold storage, we are the option you need. When you factor in the energy savings, realize that we don’t have to shut down your operation to get the job done, even in a retrofit, being “stuck” with the only game in town never sounded better.

So, while the rest of the industry debates global warming, and tries to avoid the added cost of improving their facilities to meet coming demands, our clients are proactively getting their facilities assessed forensically to diagnose and define the nature of their Vapor Drive challenges.

Here’s our suggestion. Why don’t you leave the politics to the politicians, and the technical side of compliance with us, while protecting your existing business and putting yourself in a good position to be on the right side of the coming regulation before it happens? If you have vapor drive already (you’ll know from the condensation, frost and icing in your cold storage) you know there’s not another permanent fix.

Check out our white paper on how our products work (citation to white paper with link) and give us a call to book your free invasive forensic assessment. A Vapor Armour team will be dispatched to your facilities to talk with and listen to your facilities staff about the struggles you’re facing. We will conduct a thorough investigation, using thermal imaging, and core sampling if necessary, to explore the current conditions and extent of the problem.

We can help. We’ve proven this in over 20 million square feet of cold storage across North America already, and we’d love to help get you ahead of the curve, and keep you there. Call us today.

 

We offer the industry’s only 15 year ‘No Ice. No Condensation. No Cost.’ Warranty for all thermal-controlled building that install Vapor Armour™, DOW Deckmate™ Plus Insulation and a roofing system installed by Royalty Roofing