How to install Commercial Insulation

Follow the following guidelines for installing mineral wool and fiberglass insulation in commercial buildings.

Batt insulation materials

Fiberglass, rock and slag wool batts are the readily available a variety of R-values, thicknesses and pre-cut widths and lengths.
Batts are available plain without facing or with kraft paper facing or other types of vapor retarder facings.

Tabless batts or commonly known as friction fit snugly in the wall cavity and stay in place without any fasteners until the wall is completely installed are available with stapling flanges for holding them in place.

Both tabless batts and the type with stapling flanges are suitable according to the ICC building codes and ASTM, ENERGY STAR, and RESNET standards.

Preparation for suitable insulation of batt insulation

How to install commercial Insulation

Commercial insulation preparation

Before starting your batt insulation project:

  • Make sure you have the right R-value to meet code or ENERGY STAR supplies
  • Make sure you have the combination of materials and associated tools needed to complete the project.
  • Find out if vapor retarders are necessary

Advanced commercial wall framing saves money and increases the energy efficiency of commercial building insulation

Advanced wall framing techniques, as outlined by the, increase the amount of insulating material in walls (and other building components) and reduce the amount of wood framing. Reducing the amount of wood or number of studs in the walls using these framing techniques can save cost expenses on lumber and increase the energy efficiency of a building.

Perform a Pre-Insulation Inspection

Inspect your walls and ensure all cavities where insulation will be done will have six sides after the wall finish is installed. That means there will be an exterior sheathing, such as an insulation board or OSB, wood studs on the four sides, and the wall finish on the interior. Because loose-fill or batt insulation on the attic floor and batts installed beneath the floors are not exposed to significant air movement, they do not require to be covered on the exterior side. ENERGY STAR requires the installation of air baffles at the eaves to minimize the amount of air entering through the edges of the insulation in the attics.

Make sure an effective air barrier system is installed

Minimizing air infiltration depends on the air barrier system and not the insulation technique. The most important thing to do before installing rock wool and fiberglass batts in walls, and other parts of the building envelope, is to ascertain that there is an effective air barrier system in place.

About Air Sealing Materials

Air sealing materials that can be used for seams, joints, and penetrations in the air barrier vary according to air barrier materials and manufacturer’s instructions. Weather-resistive barriers may be either taped or sealed with caulking, rigid sheet-good materials may be sealed with caulk or specialty sprayed-on air sealing systems. Having a second air barrier installed, such as sealing the interior, may increase the air-tightness of the commercial building and increase energy savings.

Installing commercial Insulation

Air Sealing Material installation

Efficient techniques to commercial insulation

Common air barrier systems can be achieved using:

  • Properly sealed house-wrap—installed in accordance with the developer’s instructions. House-wrap commonly requires taping or sealing lap joints/edges and attaching the house-wrap to the wall sheathing with cap nails.
  • Specialty sealing systems or caulking —where high pressure is used to spray flexible sealants into all the gaps, joints, and cracks in the building envelope.

Usually, air barrier systems are a combination of house wrap and various sealants such as caulk and spray foam insulation materials applied where they are most effective in achieving a continuous air barrier.

Resources and References: