For two years, work at Concrete by Design in Montgomery, Ala., has been accomplished, often under brutally hot conditions. Employees in the metal building were regularly dealing with heat up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit on hot summer days. When the heat started to affect the color quality of his architectural pavers, owner Bert Loab knew he had to do something.
After considering spray foam insulation on the bottom side of the roof and even tearing up the roof to add insulation, a conversation with a mutual friend led Loab to Kelly Myers, sales manager at Covertech, the manufacturer of r-FOIL reflective insulation. Myers suggested using the company’s recently released Retrofit MBI System designed for use in metal buildings.
The Retrofit MBI System features a patented clip and pin system combined with rFOIL’s reliable insulation to provide a cost-effective and energy-efficient way to insulate all types of metal buildings. The MBI Retrofit clip is installed to the bottom of the exposed roof purlins and inside the wall girts. The system is lightweight, and easy to handle and install. With its unique attachment system, the insulation can be quickly installed with minimal interruption to the facility’s operation.
“It was originally built as a storage building for a construction company, so it really didn’t need insulation,” Loab says. “We started working here in May of 2017 and honestly, it’s been murder. I brought in some exhaust fans to get the air moving, but really, it was just blowing hot air around.”
Not only were the conditions unbearable for the employees, but Loab’s Perfect Pavers were showing a little discoloration from the heat within the building.
Reflective insulation is designed to reduce heat gain or loss in commercial and residential applications. The bubble core and metalized film provide the perfect combination of heat reflection and thickness that outperforms materials which rely solely on mass (thickness) for thermal performance.
Once Loab discovered that reflective insulation could be added to the underside of the roofing – and that it would be easier and less expensive than spray foam or tearing off the roof to add insulation – it seemed like the best choice.
Local contractor Freddy Pettiway, owner of Pettiway Erectors in Montgomery, Ala., installed approximately 32,000 square feet of rFOIL’s Single Bubble Foil reflective insulation in the half of the building Concrete By Design operates in. Even with this being his first time installing the product, the job was completed in just more than three weeks.
“We put the clips up first and then went back to install the insulation,” Pettiway says. “The clips are a time-saver. We had to maneuver around tables and some other equipment, but the installation went great. We had to make some cuts for lights and some skylights, but you’d have to do that with any insulation. It all went great.”
The other half of the 30,000 square foot building is leased by a pallet company and there is simply too much equipment and inventory within their half of the building to retrofit with reflective insulation.
“Those poor pallet guys,” Loab says. “They come over to our side of the building and they can’t believe the difference. I’m a believer! The fact that a 1/4-inch thick material can make that much difference, well, obviously, I’m pleased with it.”
Loab says he will install the Retrofit MBI System on the other half of the building whenever it can be done. He says he also plans to install reflective insulation from rFOIL under the roof in his home to reduce heat gain.
rFOIL insulation is a single or double layer of polyethylene bubbles bonded to and sandwiched between a highly reflective surface and a white polyethylene sheet. rFOIL is recognized for its thermal performance, easy installations, versatility and environmental friendliness and offers a number of advantages over traditional insulations. Its unique construction is specially designed to reduce radiant heat gain or loss in residential, commercial, post-frame, metal frame and HVAC applications. More information can be found at https://www.rfoil.com.