Project Description:

Historic Fort Snelling has stood at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers since 1820. The upper post was built from the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s and served many functions over the years. Decommissioned after World War 2, the barracks and associated buildings have been vacant ever since. Under the direction of the DNR division of parks and trails, which has had control of the facilities since 1971, an agreement to redevelop the site has been formed with Dominium Development. The barracks and related buildings are being converted to affordable housing units. Homeco Insulation worked with Dominium and Weis Builders, the general contractor, to develop a plan to bring these buildings up to code while working around the requirements imposed by a designated historical site. The project includes a polyurethane foam and cellulose “hot roof” system as well as foam in the perimeter walls and foundations.


Historical requirements dictated that nothing could be installed in the building that couldn’t be removed if in the future they wanted to bring the structure back to its original structure. At the foundation walls, the waterproofing dimple board could not be adhered to the substrate, so we spot adhered it to the back of the studs prior to insulating the stud cavity, providing separation from the substrate.

Best Practices

Per SPFA best practices guidelines, Homeco insulation met all state, local and federal requirements, has a Written Safety Program, including annual training and weekly tool box talks, trains their employee’s in the best practices per their responsibilities, and conducted many meetings with the General contractor and related trades regarding ventilation, evacuation, clean up, and safe use of sprayed polyurethane foam. We employed a PCP Installer and Master Installer as well as two certified assistants who will be taking the installer step when they meet their footage requirements. All Homeco employee’s are members of the carpenters union, and receive OSHA 10 Construction course training through the union as well as CPR and first aid training. Work sheet score of- 13

Problem Solving:

Per the historical requirements listed above, the insulation applied to the back of the roof could not be adhered to the deck and rafters. After much trial and error, we determined that an application of sheet air barrier, carefully wrapped around the rafters and deck to minimize voids, tightly affixed to the substrate with pneumatic staplers, was the best solution to this non sticky problem.

Risk Mitigation:

The project required a Job Site Hazardous Analysis be performed prior to starting the project. Part of the recommendations we devised and followed was to completely isolate our spray areas, bagging off walls, floor and ceiling, and using positive air supply and exhaust to protect adjacent trades. All workers in the spray areas were outfitted with fresh air.

Also, because of ongoing lead remediation, we had to avoid stirring up any dust with our gun air while moving through the areas.

PCP Certified Installation:Tim Carl-Master Installer, Nick Heule-Installer, Ryan Erickson and Mike Anderson-Assistants

Value for Money:

The code requirement for the roof assemblies was 49R. We met this with 7 inches of BASF 178 foam and 1.5 inches of International Cellulose Ure-K thermal barrier, providing virtually no heat loss through the system. No other insulation system could have provided this degree of insulation value without a significant expense to provide the space to accommodate any other insulation system.

Speed of Delivery:

The speed of application of the sprayed polyurethane foam combined with ease of bringing the products into the spray areas through hoses as needed rather than having to carry product in and stockpile kept us well ahead of subsequent trades,

Environmental Sustainability:

No other insulation system could have made these 1900’s era buildings as energy efficient as Sprayed Polyurethane Foam! By tightening up the building from air infiltration to the high R-values obtainable in limited spaces, no other system could have delivered these results.

Also, as this facility is next to the international airport, the combination of the tight seal of the foam with the sound deadening of the cellulose thermal barrier will greatly reduce noise levels in the apartments.

About Homeco Insulation:

Homeco Insulation is a union provider of commercial, residential and industrial building envelope services. We have extensive experience with a broad assortment of insulation, such as spray polyurethane foam, acoustical spray, batt, blow, curtain wall and foam board. In addition to insulation we install air barrier, waterproofing, thermal barrier, and firestop products. We excel in our installation techniques and contracting systems. We partner and work effectively with contractors to ensure their finished product is of the highest quality. With over 35 years of experience, we are your building envelop experts.