Todd Shupe Explains Significance of,
and Market for,
Bio-Based Spray Foam Insulation

A viable bio-based spray foam industry is likely to lead to economic development opportunities due to the growing interest in spray foam insulation and increasing consumer demand for green products. The successful utilization of agricultural and forestry residues will benefit the agricultural producers, wood processing industries and forest landowners. These sectors combined contributed $4.1 billion to the Louisiana economy in 2013 (LSU AgCenter 2014). The state has more than 14 million acres in forests and another approximately 2 million acres in agricultural plant commodities. “Most of this land is located in rural communities and consequently, this project has great

First, a word on why we’re taking special precautions on safe disposal during our spring cleaning processes. Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is a heavy metal that will eventually leave the wood rotting in a landfill and seep into the ground. As a former professor at LSU, Todd Shupe says that this is unfortunate and can be minimized by knowing what to do with leftover lumber. According to construction goods store Home Depot, “deck wood” and other hazardous construction materials can be taken to municipal disposal sites to be properly dealt with. This is similar to what we do with motor oil or paint so folks don’t turn to dumping gallons upon gallons of waste down the drain. Another option for those doing construction renovations of decks or tree forts damaged by winter is to call a trash-hauling company that will take away the lumber for a fee. Todd Shupe says that other wood-waste dealers could be consulted, and recycling or reuse is also a possibility.

In addition to rural economic development related to the feedstock, there is also economic development potential related to the product – spray foam insulation. The insulation market in North America was an $11 billion dollar market in 2012 and growing each year. Spray foam comprises 9 percent of that market is the fasting growing segment of the market, estimated at an annual growth rate of almost 5 percent. There is a rapidly growing “green” market for numerous goods and services. This is particularly evident in the housing market as consumers are increasingly demanding that lumber that is used for new home construction be harvested from a certified managed forest (Green Home 2014). Consumers are demanding green products for their housing, transportation, energy, food and cosmetics. The common belief years ago, as Todd Shupe remembers, was that people would not pay extra for green products and while they may remain true to some extent, there is a growing market that is keenly interested in green products. These markets are particularly evident in more affluent, urban areas.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is the President of and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and wood science.  Shupe worked as a  professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog Todd is the Secretary of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, Database Coordinator for Gulf South Men, and volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, Iron Sharpens Iron, Open Air Ministries, HOPE Ministries food pantry. Todd is currently preparing to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men.