Successful Small Business: Burton & Clark Construction, Inc.

Burton & Clark Construction, Inc. is a small business in California that offers spray foam insulation services. This video talks about the services they provide for commercial buildings in Los Angeles, California.

Commercial Building Spray Foam Application by Burton & Clark

Read the transcript of the video here:

That is a five story building.

What type of the commercial building is this one?

Offices.

I noticed a different color. Is that relevant?

The different color of foam is how the manufacturers can tell whose foam it is.

There’s no practical difference in it. It’s just a different brand.

Exactly.

Right.

Years down the road, let’s say there’s a problem, and they open up a wall and they see that it’s blue, they know that’s Dow foam. When they see that it’s orange, they know that it’s an AirTight foam.

Right. So this is an office block you said?

It’s an office complex, yes. It’s in Culver City. And that area over there like Culver City and Santa Monica, they’re a very green city. A lot of the new construction, they’re really pushing for going as green as you can. Sustainable buildings, and all material being organic and biodegradable. And so they really go through a lot of extra measures to make it more sustainable than a lot of cities. So this is very typical in Los Angeles, like Santa Monica and Culver City area that they’re doing foam. They want to make it to where their utility bills are as low as possible.

You said this was a multi-story building?

5 stories.

And was the whole building done like this?

Yes.

It looks a lot thicker on this one.

Yes. Four inches.

That’s going to give an R what?

26.

So that’d be an R26. But what we’re saying is a lot of the value in the spray foam is the fact that it seals all the air gaps, seals all the cracks. So it actually stops air, which contributes more to insulation than the R value.

Yeah. And now they put it in the technical… The prescriptive value is an R26, but the performance value is like an R50. It’ll perform like an R50.

Prescriptive and performance. So the fact that spray foam does a good job of sealing everything, gives it a much higher performance value and all…

Exactly.

Interesting. Basically what you’re saying is it tends to be thicker in commercial buildings because they have higher performance requirements.

And they have higher standards in commercial buildings.

And bigger budgets presumably.

Yup. This particular foam is biodegradable. The manufacturer is called Demilec, and it’s soy-based. This is made out of beans. Soy beans.

Oh wow!

Yes. Just this job though. Not the other ones. This is the only job that I’ve done with soy.

So is that you in the picture?

No.

So you don’t actually do any work yourself?

Yes I do!

This is another view. Obviously, that’s the roof. That’s the ceiling area there. And this all the walls having been covered with spray foam. So how big was this project?

There’s five different buildings, and there were several change orders.

This image gives us a sense of the scale of the one of the buildings at least, in terms of how much work there was. How much surface area to cover with spray foam.

Yeah. I took this picture. This is actually the exterior where the elevator is. The construction elevator. And they had me go around all the soffits, and spray underneath the soffits. You see it there? I’ll put my mouse.

The stairs. That’s what you’re talking about?

Yeah. And they had me go around and spray all the soffits. All around the whole building. That was the change order.

Right.

So we had to full on spray on the outside areas.

So this is the nature of a commercial project. It’s going to be much bigger. Often much thicker insulation. Just overall a maxi project. So you get up to doing these very large commercial projects, like this. Whether it’s just a small roof on a sound studio. Wow. Small. That’s like 10,000 square feet. Or this one which is super huge by comparison and it’s all the inside of the building.

Yeah. Giant projects.

What we’ve looked at is we’ve looked at some examples of an existing building that was covered from a roofing point of view. And then we’ve looked at this, which is obviously a very large sort of a new construction type of project for an office.

Right.

When you’re doing a commercial building, it’s all about new construction being designed to be very green overall, use much less energy, and obviously, the net that is lower in utility costs.

Right.

Commercial projects are different mainly in scale, and the fact that you’ll often be doing flat roofs. And it can be, spray foam can be used just as an alternative roofing system, but has better general performance because it seals and it’s actually waterproof. Or it can be used to dramatically improve the installation value as well as improve the roofing systems.

Correct. And even when the specs call for a roof system for one inch of foam with the roof coating on there. Compared to a standard built-up hot tar roof system, because it’s an airtight seal, and you have the foam and the reflective coating, it still helps out as far the energy savings a lot compared to a regular roof system. So when they just say, “I want a roof system on there.” Your minimum specification they’re still going to be saving money on the utility bills.

Right.

 

 

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