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Not ALL Metal Building Insulation Is Created Equal

When it comes to metal building insulation (MBI), not all products are made the same. This is especially true for laminated fiberglass, which undergoes processing that can affect its thickness recovery and effectiveness. Unless the insulation option you purchase has NAIMA 202® ink jetted on the roll of fiberglass, it is not NAIMA certified, and thus may not recover to its stated R-value after lamination. Keep reading for a breakdown of the important metal building insulation standards, and learn how to ensure you receive a product that is 100% of the advertised R-value.

Industry Standards

NAIMA 202® Certified Fiberglass Metal Building Insulation

The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) is a trade association of fiberglass, slag wool, and rock wool insulation product manufacturers. It aims to promote environmental preservation and reduce energy consumption through these insulation methods, encouraging the safe manufacturing and use of materials. 



NAIMA 202® Certified Fiberglass Metal Building Insulation is specifically manufactured and marketed for the metal building market. In order for a product to be NAIMA 202® Certified, it must meet the standards outlined regarding surface burning characteristics, fungi resistance, thickness, and other product attributes. These regulations help distinguish fiberglass insulation installed in metal buildings from those designed for other applications.

Fiberglass that is NAIMA 202® Certified should be tested in accordance with ASTM E84, CAN/ULC S102or UL723This standard should be used to describe and measure the properties of products, materials, or assemblies in response to flame and heat under controlled laboratory conditions. Products should have a flame spread index of no more than 25 and a smoke developed index no greater than 50. 

NAIMA 202® Certified Fiberglass Metal Building Insulation is distributed by Therm-All. We’re a qualified independent laminator experienced in providing NAIMA 202® Certified Insulation in widths and lengths that fit most any metal building. NAIMA 202® Certified Fiberglass is required to meet the NIA Certified Faced Insulation® Standard. 

NIA Certified Faced Insulation®

The NIA Certified Faced Insulation® Standard “is a post-lamination certification for flexible faced fiberglass insulation used in metal buildings. It was developed by the National Insulation Association (NIA) to assure building owners and builders that the fiberglass insulation fully meets the stated R-value following lamination.”

The Standard was developed since the lamination stage of applying fiberglass facing and adhesives can impact the insulation’s thickness recovery and subsequently its effectiveness. The NIA Certified Faced Insulation® Standard addresses quality issues like packaging, handling, storage, compression ratios, adhesive rates, and other factors affecting thickness recovery and thermal performanceIt is a standard product specification for use by laminators of metal building insulation systems. The NIA Standard was updated in 2022 to include surface burning characteristics (Sections 5.3 and 5.3.1), which require independent third-party testing (Section 11.2). These standards ensure contractors and building owners receive post-laminated insulation that achieves the true R-value advertised — nothing less.


Insulation Testing Protocols

Samples of insulation are tested quarterly by a nationally recognized independent laboratory and determined to meet the stated requirements of the NAIMA 202® Standard. Fiberglass manufacturers pledge that their product has been produced to the same standard as samples tested. Instructions for sampling and inspection can be found in sections 8.0 and 9.0 of the NAIMA 202® Standard. 

Tests are conducted in accordance with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) methods on factors affecting thermal performance, such as thermal resistance and thickness. They measure the length, width, weight, thermal conductivity, and thickness of each product. Furthermore, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) performs additional testing according to ASTM requirements for corrosiveness, fire hazard classification, odor emission and water vapor sorption.

For insulation to be certified to the NIA Faced Insulation Standard, laminators are required to participate in third party testing by a nationally recognized independent laboratory such as Home Innovation Research Labs. The testing ensures out-of-the-package performance of the insulation and provides assurance that the product delivers the specified insulation R-value.


How Do You Know If You’re Getting NAIMA 202® Certified Fiberglass Metal Building Insulation?

NAIMA 202® Certified Fiberglass Metal Building Insulation is clearly identified with the following permanent markings on the insulation:

    1. Manufacturer and/or product name
    2. NAIMA 202®
    3. Symbol “R” for registered (®)
    4. The appropriate R-value



You Get What You Pay For

“Filler type fiberglass”, which is not NAIMA 202® Certified, is often used by laminators to cut costs. Products that don’t meet NAIMA 202® certification requirements likely won’t:

    • Deliver the specified thermal performance
    • Recover to the stated R-value post-lamination

Ensure NAIMA and NIA Certification Standards with Therm-All

At Therm-All, NAIMA 202® Certified Metal Building Insulation and NIA Certified® Faced Insulation have long been our standard. Since 1981, we’ve served as a leading source of quality metal building insulation. In fact, we were the first to initiate vital industry standards, including third-party inspection of post-lamination R-values. Bob Smigel, our founder, pushed for these certification requirements, helping ensure builders receive insulation products that meet the specified R-value. When you turn to Therm-All, you can trust that our products meet all current certifications and standards, including:

    • NIA Certified Faced Insulation
    • NAIMA 202®
    • UL 25-50
    • Home Innovation Research Labs Verification
    • Several environmental standards, such as LEED and UL GREENGUARD certifications

Products Customized to Your Needs

Our full line of custom products includes:

Contact Our Expert Team Today

As the metal building industry’s top commercial energy code resource, you can count on Therm-All for NAIMA- and NIA-certified insulation products, energy code-compliant solutions, and extensive industry knowledge. 

We’re also a provider of continuing education with the American Institute of Architects, keeping architects, engineers, and builders at the top of their field through various learning opportunities and resources.

We’re proud to be one of the nation’s largest metal building insulation laminators. With 13 facilities across the country, our highly experienced team can meet your insulation needs. Contact us today to get a quote.