SPF Enables Timely, Cost-Effective
Renovation at the Gaylord Opryland
Resort and Convention Center
During the recent renovation of the Gaylord
Opryland Resort and Convention Center, spray
polyurethane foam (SPF) was used in two
different applications to solve unique problems.
The first involved insulating a number of guest
room walls with CertainTeed’s CertaSpray®
Closed-Cell Foam Insulation. The second utilized
CertaSpray’s structural properties to create a
new bar and lounge in the Cascades Atrium.
Exterior Wall Renovation
Renovation of some of the guest rooms
required the tearing out of both the fiberglass
insulation and the exterior fiberglass-mat faced
gypsum board sheathing, leaving exposed brick.
Replacing the exterior sheathing would have
required removal and replacement of the brick,
and expensive proposition. Rather, the general
contractor DF Chase and Insulation Solutions of
Tennessee developed the idea to use closed-cell
SPF with a baffle system.
The baffle provided an air gap for the drainage
plane, while serving as a surface for spraying
and transferring loads on the brick back to
the studs. The baffle was test-sprayed prior
to installation to ensure it would have good
adhesion. Two inches of closed-cell SPF
were then applied directly onto the baffle
system. The adhesion and structural rigidity
of the foam solidified the wall system and
added strength. The SPF provided a thermal
insulation of R- 13 and served as the air barrier.
Finally, the wall system was finished on the
interior with drywall.
The Falls Bar close up of
waffle grid using SPF.
Cascade Atrium’s Foundation Renovation
The renovation of the Gaylord Opryland’s
Cascade Atrium also features closed-cell
SPF. The new bar and lounge, known as The
Falls Bar, presented some unique changes.
In designing this area, DF Chase found the
existing concrete foundation would be unable
to support the bar’s weight. Polystyrene was
considered, but there were concerns over
settling under the weight of the structure.
With the assistance from CertainTeed’s Building
Science Group, the team became convinced
that the closed-cell SPF would be able to
support the dead load and anticipated live
loads of the bar area. Additionally, its use
would significantly reduce the dead load upon
the existing concrete pad.
The foundation was designed as a waffle grid
of concrete channels with SPF in between. To
form the channels for the concrete, expanded
polystyrene (EPS) boards were covered with
polyethylene sheeting, one of the few materials
SPF will not adhere to. The
boards were cut to form the grid
in the foundation into which
concrete would be poured. This
process required significant
detailed labor to deal with the
curved structure and all of the
pipes and conduit running in the
foundation. Once the EPS board
grid was formed, 14 inches of
closed-cell SPF was sprayed into
Diagram: Drainage Plain
Metal Studs Baffle
the grid pattern in multiple passes of two and
three inches each. Spraying passes too thick can
cause the foam to overheat from the exotherm
and become dimensionally unstable.
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