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Historic Renovation and Remediation using Polyurethane Foam Technology

Program numbers AIA101, AIA102, AIA103

Based on: Case studies - Bruce Museum of Art and Science, Currier Gallery of Art, Allen Memorial Art Gallery, Rippin Gallery, New Hampshire Historical Society, Museum of our National Heritage, Roswell Flower Library, Wells National Estuarine Sanctuary, Vermont History Center, Wells Reserve, Essex County Courthouse - by Henri C. Fennell, President.

Course Description

This program focuses on polyurethane foam technology with respect to the scientifically correct solutions it provides which avoid/prevent thermal envelope failures in historic buildings. It elaborates on the variety of applications that are possible when using urethanes for restoring and renovating historic buildings, while maintaining the integrity of the original architectural detailing. It includes a general discussion of the polyurethane material itself, processing methods, and case studies that demonstrate incorporating polyurethane foams into a number of historic structures.  Building science experts, architects, and engineers specializing in historic landmarks and buildings collaborated on many of the projects that are mentioned.  The case studies include museums, art galleries, and other historic structures, many of which are on the National Register.  They explore the thermal envelope problems that were solved in each representative project, and provide an explanation of how the polyurethane foam installation related to the project design/solution. The procedures for implementing the scientifically correct solution are explained with a series of images that convey the evidence of the problems, the methods for gaining access to the work areas, and the completed work and evidence of the improvement. Before, during, and after essays include photos, infrared images, and test reports that describe the process and the results of the renovation. Diagnostic and quality-assurance testing procedures that support the polyurethane foam installations are also discussed. Building construction detailing which is particular to polyurethane requirements as well as on-site diagnostic and quality-assurance procedures will be explained. The program will include slide and video presentations, review of basic building science principles, and the demonstration of specialized testing equipment.

Henri C. Fennell is President of Building Envelope Services, Inc. & FOAM-TECH, North Thetford, Vermont, USA

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Case Studies