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The Code Man

Five Commercial Building Insulation Retrofit Facts You Should Know

Your Top Retrofit Questions Answered

November 2, 2015
OptiLiner Retrofit

Before and after: The Portsmouth Abbey School ice rink in Portsmouth, RI.

 

Do your customers ever ask about retrofit insulation systems? Do you have questions of your own about the process? Rest assured: You’re not alone.

Over the years, many contractors and building owners have come to Therm-All for their most complicated commercial building retrofit jobs. I receive many inquiries about insulation retrofit projects, so I thought I’d take a break from writing about commercial energy codes for this post and instead answer some of your top retrofit questions. A big thanks to Mark Diksas of The Northview Group (a partner of Therm-All’s), who shared his insights - knowledge that he’s gleaned from over 20 years worth of retrofit experience – throughout this post.

Have a question that’s not included in this list? Fill out the form on this page and I’ll personally get back to you.

 

1. When is it time for a building owner to inquire about an insulation retrofit?

 

OC Case Study Before

Before the retrofit: Decaying insulation board in a 47,000-square foot metal building in Franklin, Conn.

 

Another way to phrase this question is, “What are the top reasons for an insulation retrofit”? Below are a few, among many:

 

2. What’s the most important question a building owner should ask before hiring an insulation retrofit specialist?

 

OC Case Study After

After the retrofit: The OptiLiner™ Banded Liner System transformed the interior space of F.W. Webb Company*,
New England's largest plumbing and heating distributor.

 

“Have you ever done a building like mine, and can I visit it?” The retrofit process is very different for metal buildings versus a pole barn, so it matters whether or not the specialist has experience in your specific type of building. Also, seeing the specialist’s work in person trumps any pictures they’ll show you. It’s important to look closely at the application and check for quality.

Read about the F.W. Webb Company’s retrofit here.

 

3. How long does it take for a complete insulation retrofit in an “average” sized metal building?

In short: That’s variable. Factors such as whether or not there are machines on the ground can impact the length of time it takes to complete an insulation retrofit. On average, a retrofit specialist installs about 3,000 – 4,000 square feet of insulation per day.

 

4. What will the end result look like?

 

Portsmoth Abbey retrofit after

 

A brighter, improved appearance is how most building tenants describe the finished product.

Insulation retrofit systems also aid in:

 

5. Are all buildings candidates for insulation retrofit?

 

Retrofit in progress

 

No, not all buildings qualify for insulation retrofit applications. In some cases, buildings have too many obstacles for the install to be a smooth, cost-effective process; buildings that house indoor pools are one example. It’s important to remember to choose an installation specialist who will give you an honest recommendation. A building should only be labeled viable for a retrofit after it has been visited by an insulation specialist or installer.

 

Remember to fill out the form on this page if you have a retrofit question not addressed in this post. And don’t forget to check back in February, when I’ll share a summary of all the most important 2015 commercial energy codes developments.

 

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