The Benefits of Insulating Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
May 03, 2016
The benefits of insulating a multi-unit residential building are basically bottom-line benefits, with residents and owners both saving money. For the most part, this is work that will require the services of a professional insulation contractor. It's work that requires expertise with building structures, and with high performance insulation products. To ensure the best long-term results for the life of a MURB building, premium insulation products should be professionally installed.
Effective Sealing of the Exterior
Effectively sealing the building envelope (including doors, windows, and exterior joints) prevents air infiltration in cold weather and air leakage in summer. This will reduce seasonal heating costs, improve thermal comfort in apartment suites, and enhance the resilience of the building.
Sealing off Paths of Air Leakage
Spray foam sealants are ideal for blocking air leakage around window frames, floor seams, and electrical receptacles. Reduced air filtration (winter and summer) results in lower energy costs, as well as much-improved comfort for occupants. Proper ventilation should not be ignored.
Insulating around the AC Units
"Through-the-wall" AC units require proper sealing and insulating around the "sleeve". Here, the benefits are several: reduced air infiltration; reduced condensation; enhanced AC operation (less energy cost); less outside noise pollution; and decreased drafts, improving resident comfort.
Effectively Insulating a Floor
Floors that are exposed to unheated spaces can be very effectively insulated on the underside. In an apartment building, there is no shortage of these spaces. Spray foam insulation can provide an airtight space, effective R-Value insulation, and an efficient vapor barrier - all in one application.
Insulating During Retrofits
Insulating and air sealing is a productive retrofit during wall repairs and/or renovation activities. This is an ideal opportunity to address any corrosion in the walls; increase structural resilience; and otherwise make necessary repairs. The installation dramatically reduces energy costs.
Insulate the Interior Walls
When building repairs and/or refinishing include interior walls, properly insulating wall cavities is both opportune and profitable. And since apartment walls account for some 20% of total heat loss, the savings on seasonal energy costs are substantial. A proper air seal is also essential.
Insulating Accessible Attics
In low-rise MURBS, where attics are accessible, air sealing, insulation, and ventilation can make a big difference in overall energy efficiency. There are substantial savings on heating/cooling costs, improved seasonal comfort in the upper apartment suites, and better-controlled moisture levels.
Insulating with Roof Work
Here again, it's an ideal opportunity to insulate or re-insulate a roof, during a roof replacement or retrofit. Professionally managed, this is a project that must be comprehensive, with air sealing, insulation, and ventilation all contributing to maximum energy efficiency for the entire building.
Sealing Vertical "Chases"
Buildings usually suffer from cold air that enters the lower levels, and warm air that escapes from the higher levels. Professional insulation contractors effectively minimize this "stack effect". This dramatically reduces heating costs, reduction undesirable drafts, and prevents odor transfer. Properly insulating multi-unit residential buildings results in measurable cost savings for both residents and owners. With the right approach to sealing, insulation and ventilation, the energy efficiency of a building can be quantifiably improved - and that means dollar savings all around.