Dow Converts Riverside Facility to New Zero Ozone-Depleting, no-VOC Foaming Agent Technology

– Successful switch is final step in series of plant conversions to new sustainable technology

Midland, MI - March 17, 2010

Dow Building Solutions announced today that it has converted its Riverside Plant in Pevely, Missouri, which manufactures STYROFOAM™ Brand Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Foam Insulation to its new zero ozone-depleting (ODP), no-VOC (volatile organic compound) foaming agent technology.

"Today Dow has reached a milestone in our sustainability efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Torsten Kraef, Business Group vice president, Dow Building and Construction. "Green builders and architects know how effective foam insulation is in reducing energy consumption in buildings. We actively put significant resources towards developing this new, non-ODP foaming agent technology to meet the needs of our customers and we're pleased to see this objective realized."

Riverside marks the sixth and final conversion of Dow facilities to its new foaming agent technology.

"With the conversion of Riverside, we've completed our task to ensure the sustainable manufacture of STYROFOAM™ Brand XPS Foam Insulation," said Mike McGaugh, general manager for Dow Building Solutions, North America. "Our customers can now be assured that the use of STYROFOAM™ Brand Insulation will help achieve energy efficiency for their buildings with a product that is itself produced in an environmentally responsible way."

Dow's new proprietary technology delivers the same STYROFOAM™ Brand XPS Foam Insulation R-5/inch insulation value, moisture resistance and compressive strength that builders have trusted for more than 60 years, and offers an even "greener" choice to builders designing energy efficient homes and buildings with rigid foam insulation.

Sustainable Innovation

The new proprietary foaming agent technology was developed by a team led by Dow's Simon P. Lee, who was recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for his contribution to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. The zero ozone-depleting, no-VOC foaming agent technology isn't the only way that the STYROFOAM™ Brand Insulation produced at the Riverside facility contributes to a more sustainable environment. Here are a few more facts:

  • When properly installed in buildings, production capacity at Riverside of STYROFOAM™ Brand Insulation could save CO2 emissions** equivalent to:
    • Planting 1 billion trees;
    • Reducing vehicle travel by 2.1 trillion miles or more than 85 million trips around the world; or
    • Saving approximately 100 billion gallons of gasoline or U.S. $200 billion ($2/gallon).
  • The new technology has not affected Dow's ability to recycle scrap STYROFOAM™ Brand XPS Foam Insulation back into the production line either- just as its plants have been doing for many years.
  • Dow Building Solutions' building envelope products have received the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) Research Center Green Approved mark, making Dow the first to have its line of energy saving insulation and air sealing products eligible for meeting mandatory requirements or earning points under the National Green Building Standard.

Business as Usual

STYROFOAM™ Brand Insulation with the new foaming agent technology will sport the same famous brand-leading BLUE™ color with the words "zero ozone-depletion potential" on the product print mats and unit labels. Builders can easily validate the performance of STYROFOAM™ Brand XPS Foam Insulation made with the new technology by showing to code officials the ICC-ES report issued in January 2009. Customers supplied by the Riverside plant can expect excellent product performance and uninterrupted product supply as the converted plant continues operations.

About Dow Building Solutions

Dow Building Solutions has a 60+ year legacy of providing energy saving solutions to the global commercial and residential construction industry, which began with the launch of its flagship STYROFOAM™ Brand Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Foam Insulation, one of the most recognized brands of insulation in the world. A market-facing business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, Dow Building Solutions offers building science expertise to help builders, designers, architects and homeowners reduce energy costs and protect against wind, rain and moisture, while contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. More information about Dow Building Solutions can be found at

About The Dow Chemical Company


R means resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.
** Based on maximum production capacity at Riverside during a twenty year period, a product lifetime of 50 years, and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions from the "Use of Dow Thermal Insulation.

For Editorial Information:

Cristina Myers
The Dow Chemical Company

Elizabeth McDonnell
Gibbs & Soell Public Relations