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The Future Of Steel Buildings Insulation

David Jones - 21 Oct 2019
steel buildings insulation

Are you working on an upcoming steel building project and need to know the best way to provide insulation for the future?

Fear not, we are here to provide our expert recommendation for steel buildings insulation and also delve into why some of the current or previous options have not been up to par.

What are the options for steel buildings insulation?

Generally, there are four different insulation methods that are common on the market, they are:

Loose fill

Loose fill insulation is made of recycled newspapers that are combined with flame retardant chemicals and are resistant to moisture. It’s often more expensive than other types of insulation, but does provide around 30% more insulation power than ‘batt and blanket’.

Formed and applied in a special way, using expert equipment, the fibers are blown into the building cavities, often in walls, ceilings, attics and floors. Loose fill insulation is quite a good option for the future of steel buildings insulation, but as we look forward to see what we believe constructors will be using years from now, this is not it.

Batt and blanket

Comprising of rock wool or processed fiberglass, batt and blanket insulation is one of the most common types of insulation in the western world. Batt insulation is the cheapest option for steel buildings insulation, but it’s by no means the best.

The duty of care upon application is so fine that it takes a real expert to apply the batts in a way that they won’t sag or settle over time, and all this while taking care not to come into physical contact with it. Batts and blankets of rock wool or fiberglass are irritants and can cause all sorts of skin, lung and eye problems.

Rigid board

Polyurethane, polystyrene or fiberglass are usually used to form these rigid boards for steel buildings insulation. They can be cut to a desired thickness and length, but remain a solid, non-versatile option, and can create more work than spray foam or batts.

Rigid boards do have advantages for stone or concrete walls, and so are the recommended choice for churches and basements, but for steel buildings, they’re not ideal. For both internal and external usage, an extra layer of protection is required, to protect from either fire or rain, and that means that rigid boards simply aren’t functional enough to be considered as the insulation of the future.

Closed Cell Spray Foam

Icynene spray foam was developed 25 years ago and is available in 34 countries around the world. As far as steel buildings insulation go, especially for the future, we can’t see any better option than this. The air tightness and insulation properties are far superior, bringing immediate energy bill savings (up to 50%!). It’s relatively inexpensive and pays it’s off in a short period of time, meaning it’s great for both renovations and for new constructions!

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Icynene spray foam is that it acts as a ‘tailor made’ insulation, as when it is directly sprayed onto walls, it fills all of the gaps, spaces, cracks and crevices. It it ideal for steel, brick and concrete buildings and never collapses or sags with time. It’s ultra-lightweight and its strength contributes to the structural support of the building.

An additional point that must be made about the future of steel buildings insulation is the need for soundproofing. Many steel buildings will have busy and noisy departments on different floors, so reducing the sound transmitted between them is imperative. Icynene, when used on steel stud wall, creates a reduction in sound transmission by an impressive 48db.

What must be considered as criteria for the steel buildings insulation of the future?

We’ve made our mind up, spray foam is the current market leader of insulation, but if you’re still weighing up the options, the criteria you should be considering are:

  • Protection from condensation
  • Protection from mould
  • Protection from noise
  • Ability to reduce air and heat loss
  • Likeliness to sag, warp or settle over time
  • Price:effectiveness ratio
  • Irritability

If you are considering more cost effective solutions for your commercial building, speak to one of our experienced consultants. For a quick enquiry or to book free assessment, please use our Online Contact Form

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