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The Overarching Impact of the Insulation Industry

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Insulation can be found in buildings, refrigeration and a multitude of other end use products, and is used for floatation and transportation. From an environmental standpoint, when insulation products such as Polyiso are used in building and construction, the purpose of the insulation is to stop the flow of air (hot or cold) through the exterior walls and roofs of a building. Reducing the air transfer reduces the amount of energy required to regulate a building’s heating and cooling system. As a result, the insulation has a direct impact on the cost and use of energy to run that building.

Beyond its sustainability and environmental attributes, a new report, “The Contributions Insulation to the U.S. Economy in 2018,” produced by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), shows that the insulation industry contributes significantly to the U.S. economy. In fact, the industry generates more than 550,000 jobs and $33 billion a year in payrolls. For extended details on the economic contributions, insulation industry segments, and more view the full study here.

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Tags:  buildings  construction  continuous insulation  energy efficiency  insulation  manufacturing  Polyiso 

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Polyiso Roof & Wall Insulation: Helping New International Concourse at LAX Meet the Codes

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Friday, May 3, 2019
Updated: Friday, May 3, 2019
The ongoing overhaul of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the nation’s third busiest airport, is a complex web of projects. One of its major components is the new Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) North, a five-level, 750,000 square-foot expansion accessible via a spacious 1,200 ft. long tunnel corridor with moving walkways from the Tom Bradley terminal. As with any major construction undertaking, the project is designed to meet a wide array of building codes, including the California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) mandatory sustainability related requirements, and its Tier 1 voluntary sustainability measures that each jurisdiction has the option to enforce.  

CALGreen is the first-in-the-nation mandatory state green building standards code. Developed in 2007, it targets the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) from buildings, while promoting environmentally responsible, cost-effective, healthier places to live and work. In order for the new MSC to meet the exacting CALGreen Tier 1 specifications, the thermal insulation used in the project had to meet key requirements that measured volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions. Designers worked to find a continuous insulation capable of reaching those goals and providing the durability and protection required for the high-demand building conditions.

Additionally, since the new concourse is designed to complement the ocean wave theme of the airport, the architects envisaged a stunning curvilinear roof. This unique design element demanded some additional roof and wall configuration requirements. The team needed insulation materials that could be custom fit to meet custom curvature and design needs.

The design and construction team began searching for an insulation solution that would meet or exceed all code and environmental requirements and provide the flexibility and ease of installation that would make it a viable option for such a large project. Atlas polyiso roof and wall insulation products were continually recommended by industry experts due to their low VOC emissions and optimal performance. Atlas polyiso roof and wall insulation products have passed the vigorous testing requirements for GREENGUARD Gold certification.

The size and scale of the project is significant. More than 500,000 square feet of polyiso are required on the roof and more than 215,000 square feet will be used in the walls to ensure top building performance by providing a high R-value, durability and water resistive barrier attributes available.

To find out more, click here for the full case study.

Tags:  building envelope  buildings  continuous insulation  energy efficiency  insulation  Polyiso  roofing 

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Nothing But the Best for the Big Ten: Terra Cotta Rainscreen Wall System With Continuous Insulation on New Headquarters Provides Style and Performance

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Since its inception in 1895, the Big Ten Conference has pioneered standards of excellence for intercollegiate sports. It should be no surprise then that the design of its headquarters building in Rosemont, Illinois features the construction industry’s highest performing products. In the Midwest, where temperatures can swing 100 degrees between winter and summer, the effectiveness of a building’s envelope, in particular, is a major factor on interior comfort, energy efficiency, and building durability.

Echoing the red brick buildings on the college campuses the Big Ten represents, designers chose a terra cotta rainscreen wall system that creates a striking façade for the 50,000-square-foot building. The tiles themselves are 12 x 48-inch panels with a bright red-orange color and a smooth finish. Their distinctive color is created using a single-clay composition, but there is a range of natural variations that enhance visual interest. The panels weren’t chosen just for their looks though. Each piece incorporates self-supporting extruded clay cleats that eliminate the need for metal support clips during the installation process—reducing costs and install time.

The terra cotta tiles are only the most exterior of the layers that wrap the Big Ten headquarters’ building envelope. These layers, called an open-joint rainscreen system, allow pressure to be equalized in the space between two exterior wall components so weather elements don’t reach the inner wall (rainscreen), which contains the moisture barrier and other critical components. This makes the building mold and mildew resistant—a huge bonus in an area known for its summer humidity. The panels are attached to exterior cold-formed metal framing, which supports the rainscreen system to resist the wind and snow loads for the Chicago area.

Behind the framing is the workhorse of the wall assembly, a commercial-grade insulation from Portland, ME-based Hunter Panels. The continuous insulation system used was manufactured at the local Hunter plant in Chicago. Continuous insulation, as its name suggests, covers the entire wall surface, with the obvious exception of windows, doors, and fasteners, minimizing heat loss and thermal bridging that is inevitable in systems that only insulate between the studs. Hunter’s Polyiso foam-board insulation with foil facers on both sides offers R-values from 6.3 to 19.5 in a single layer—a marked improvement over other insulation options. Since the insulation panels incorporate the moisture barrier required to protect the building, they also eliminate a step from the installation process.

Even though the construction team was unfamiliar with some of the wall system’s elements before this job, they were able to quickly master the installation techniques. The entire exterior took only six months to install and the Big Ten will be reaping benefits of such a maintenance-free and energy-efficient system for decades to come.


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Tags:  building  continuous insulation  energy efficiency  insulation  Polyiso  rainscreen 

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