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The Facilities Manager’s Guide to Insulation
Insulation stays out of sight, but when you’re expanding your building or installing a new roof, it should be top of mind. Facilities professionals who are new to the field or are taking on their first expansion project are facing a steep learning curve.
However, there are a few key facts that apply to every insulation project. One of the most important is whether your project meets or exceeds code requirements. Your local code sets out minimum insulation requirements for your roof and walls. Going beyond code requirements can make a dent in your energy consumption by keeping heat from transferring where it shouldn’t.
Here are the basics that new facilities managers need to know to investigate the best insulation material for walls and roofs. Puf Panel Roofing Contractors in Chennai
How Energy Codes Classify Insulation
The International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE Standard 90.1, the two standards on which most jurisdictions’ energy codes are based, set out three classifications for roof types and four for walls.
Roofs: insulation above deck, metal buildings, attic and other
Walls: mass, metal building, steel-framed, wood-framed
Each one has its own baseline requirements for the thermal envelope—the combination of the roof, walls, slabs and other components that keep heat from moving between the outside and inside of your building.
Requirements may vary depending on which climate zone your building is located in and your conditioning needs. At a minimum, your walls and roof will have to deliver a certain R-value (a measurement of how well an insulating material resists heat flow).
“The key locations for insulation are wall cavities that aren’t taken up by windows—where there’s not glazing, you’ll have insulation in the wall systems,” explains Charlie Haack, director of technical services for the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA).
“For ceilings, typically on flat roofs you need something a little more resilient, so depending on the structure of the building, a flat roof will use something like rock wool or a foam board. If you have a pitched roof, the most common application is fiberglass. It will be hand-blown just like a house, but it’s a larger structure. Metal buildings are built a little differently—you’re able to use fiberglass insulation at the roof and in the walls, and they’ll have insulation under the roof deck,” he continues.