Using spray foam insulation in school designs
An essential criterion for school districts who are building new schools is energy efficiency. Often limited by ever-shrinking budgets together with an increasing demand by their school community, these clients are faced with having to create a positive and modern learning environment for their students.
Recently we spoke about how older school buildings are fraught with inefficiencies due to their design, air leakage and overworked small HVAC systems. Although air leakage in these designs plays a significant role in energy inefficiency so too does location. Finding the best school insulation that suits the local climate zone does play a role in achieving a comfortable teaching and learning environment. Depending on the building codes within your local area, the best school insulation can be a matter of using open-cell spray foam insulation, closed-cell spray foam insulation or a combination of both in different areas of the building. Spray foam insulation, such as Icynene, is considered a modern material because it helps achieve energy efficiency, air sealing as well as helps to improve indoor air quality.
Climate zones and local building codes will often direct architects in understanding which insulation specifications for schools they need to refer to. Icynene’s Building Science team can also help architects understand which insulation is the best school insulation for their individual projects as well as provide the specifications.
Understanding where to use spray foam insulation within the building design is also an important consideration as it can affect how efficient a building is. For instance, specifying the product in the roof space/ceiling space is a smart idea particularly if the HVAC equipment is located there since the system will be able to work far more efficiently because the air ducts are not losing as much energy. Another example is ensuring that the building has continuous insulation since it helps create an energy efficient building. Continuous insulation creates an air seal that keeps the warmth and comfort inside the building for a positive learning environment for students. In colder, northern climates or hurricane-prone climates, it may be worthwhile considering a rigid, closed-cell foam because it adds extra structural strength, whereas warmer, southern climates may use an open-cell foam.
Including insulation specifications for schools into an energy efficient design will help school districts achieve their goals of creating an energy efficient building, establishing a positive and comfortable learning environment all while maintaining their limited budgets. Insulation specifications for schools and other commercial buildings as well as LEED information for schools can be found online.
Icynene spray foam insulation can help create a comfortable and positive learning environment in schools.