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Understanding the value of mechanical insulation.

A quick sample of an energy audit that demonstrates the value of mechanical insulation:

A typical 4-story hospital measuring 450,000 square feet contains approximately 85,000 insulated linear feet; this breaks down to 17 miles and 400,000 square ft of ductwork, equating to the size of 6.2 football fields. The National Insulation Association estimates that between 10% and 30% of mechanical insulation on an average project of this size is either damaged or missing.

The Environmental Impact

Releasing 4436

lbs./ft/yr. of CO2

Releasing 2

lbs./ft/yr. of CO2 MT

Wasting 3431

BUTs/ft/hr

Releasing 4436

lbs./ft/yr. of CO2

Releasing 2

lbs./ft/yr. of CO2 MT

Wasting 3431

BUTs/ft/hr

Compounded with the environmental issues listed in the example above are the economic and health-related impacts that often co-occur with poor insulation. The Economic Impact of this example is $185.47 per year per foot that is not insulated. Recognizing the implicit connection between energy efficiency, environmental impacts, and cost savings proves the value of properly installed insulation. Wet insulation will propagate mold and bacteria in the air and water systems it envelopes. Gaps left during installation or perforation from ordinary wear-and-tear over the years can create cold spots that lead to condensation and surface mold growth. A safe building has a proper vapor barrier installed and maintained.

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