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.


Learning Objectives

  • Analyze insulation material types and the impact to the long-term occupancy health, safety, and wellness.
  • Examine ASHRAE 90.1, including the history, process, and ways in which it applies to building codes and standards to protect the occupants of a structure, as well as the cost-effectiveness of code-level insulation.
  • Explore the benefits of utilizing energy-calculating software to exceed local code requirements to influence the project budget, energy efficiency of a structure, and occupancy health, safety, and wellness.
  • Deconstruct examples provided of energy calculating software calculations to determine best practices in pipe insulation specification that influences the long-term health, safety, and wellness in the built environment.

Pre-Requisite: Knowledge of pipe insulation materials and code requirements, including ASHRAE 90.1.