Insulation: The Red Headed Stepchild of Mechanical Specifications
Are you missing out on new options or improved products that can save your clients money in the long run? I once asked a mechanical engineer how many hours he spent updating his insulation spec before sending a school project out to bid. He said, “Honestly, probably an hour.” In reality, I don’t think this is uncommon. Here are some reasons you may consider for making it a priority to update your insulation spec:
The first step in mechanical design is to determine what type of system will meet the demands of your project in the most efficient way. When you decide on that system, you’re counting on a certain level of efficiency it offers.
The hard truth is that by not spending enough time on your insulation spec, your system might be nowhere near as efficient as you planned. Your owner could end up facing much larger energy bills than you intended.
Mechanical insulation for commercial and industrial applications are entirely different animals, but they do share some common threats. The most harmful is water. When it finds its way into your insulation system, it can lead to corrosion under insulation (CUI), frost build-up, water damage to surroundings and reduced thermal performance.
Another notable threat is degradation or damage to insulation material. Manufacturers are constantly updating their products to perform better and last longer. Educating yourself on the latest innovations will ensure that you are maximizing the longevity of your insulation system.
Some building codes remain the same for decades, but others are updated often. Manufacturers are often aware of this first. Actively inviting sales people in to present and learning about their products will be an effective way to stay compliant with your specs.
Don’t be like some engineers I’ve met on job site complaint visits. I’ve been there as the owner asked why they specified one insulation or another, and they didn’t have an answer. It’s extremely important to fully understand what insulation products you are specifying, why you are specifying them and to have confidence in your material selection. Check out our free directory to quickly identify insulation related manufacturers. Please share this post if you ever came across an outdated insulation spec, and follow us to stay in the loop.
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