Department of Energy Report: Retrofit Techniques & Technologies: Air Sealing

This guide will help homeowners identify ways to make their homes more comfortable, more energy efficient, and healthier to live in. It also will provide contractors and remodelers with the necessary supporting documentation to explain the value of these air sealing measures to their customers.

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Benefits of Mineral Wool as Continuous Insulation (Print Course)

Insulation can help to increase overall energy efficiency, improve occupant comfort, manage risks of mold and mildew, and even minimize the spread of fire. When designing exterior wall assemblies, the type and placement of insulation is critical. To address thermal performance, wall systems almost always feature insulation – once predominantly in the form of batts friction fit between framing members. However, batts alone have been demonstrated not to provide enough thermal resistivity for the wall.

Continuous insulation in conjunction with batt insulation in the stud cavity is now a building code requirement across the country to optimize thermal performance. Mineral wool continuous insulation is an inorganic, noncombustible solution to building energy efficient wall assemblies that protect occupants from exterior temperatures, moisture, noise, and even fire.

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Fire Performance of Insulated Metal Panel Systems (Print Course)

As building envelope design is changing and becoming more complex, designers and builders need to focus on more than the aesthetic. Conventional building insulation systems do not adequately protect against fire and heat damage, and the results have been catastrophic loss of life and millions of dollars in damages. Using a better insulation system that goes above minimum code requirements is a practical solution … but what constitutes better insulation?

This article will compare different insulated metal panel systems and their fire properties, demonstrate the various commercial applications for insulated metal panels, and review applicable fire and building codes. Case studies will demonstrate how the right insulation can save building assets, and lives.

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High-performing Weather-resistant Barriers: Moisture, Surfactant Resistance, and Specifying the Appropriate Material

Water and moisture intrusion can affect everything from a building’s structural durability to its indoor air quality. Understanding the material options, installation, and testing criteria for high-performing weather-resistant barriers can help specifiers manage present and future moisture concerns.

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Why Exceed the Code: Maximizing Energy and Cost Savings in Pipe Insulation

Thermal insulation aids in stabilizing process temperatures; can minimize moisture condensation on below ambient temperature piping surfaces; increases fire protection; and contributes to noise abatement. Personnel protection against burn injury is a major benefit from thermal insulation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that “all exposed steam and hot-water pipes within 7 feet of the floor or working platform or within 15 inches measured horizontally from stairways, ramps, or fixed ladders shall be covered with an insulating material, or guarded in such manner as to prevent contact. In addition, the Insulation Institute provides other succinct reasons for insulating pipes beyond many current state and local code thickness requirements.

ASHRAE 90.1 minimum pipe insulation thicknesses are required for compliance with energy-efficient building design relative to many new buildings, building additions, and retrofit construction. A vapor retarder, which is required in addition to the insulation, will further reduce the likelihood of corrosion due to condensation on cold pipes. Finally, while insulation cannot prevent standing water in pipes from freezing, it can slow the process. This course will enable learners to analyze material types that may ultimately affect the long-term safety and wellness of occupants. By thoroughly examining ASHRAE 90.1, the need for building professionals to exceed the local code requirements will become apparent. Finally, the course will focus on utilizing software to specify pipe insulation, which will influence the project budget, energy-efficiency of a structure, and the long-term safety and wellness of occupants.

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Sealing the Envelope with Insulated Metal Panels (Print Course)

Insulated metal panels are a single-component solution to effectively seal the building envelope. IMPs can function in all climate zones and achieve the goals of a perfect or universal wall. They are manufactured as a single-component solution to prevent water, air, and vapor intrusion and effectively manage heat flow between control layers and the interior and exterior of a building. IMPs also act as a continuous insulation in an energy-efficient building assembly. This course will describe how IMPs control water, air, vapor, and heat transfer and their role in continuous insulation, as well as how they fit into a perfect wall assembly.

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