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What Does Insulation R-Value Mean?

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January 16, 2018

How Important is Insulation R-Value in a Metal Building?

Before buying an insulation system for your metal building, you need to understand insulation R-value.

At its simplest, insulation R-value indicates the amount of heat flow through an insulation product. The higher the R-value number, the greater that product’s resistance to heat transference. The more effectively the insulation works, the greater your energy savings.

Typically, insulation ranges from two-inch-thick R-7 to nine-and-a-quarter-inch-thick R-30.

However, just buying thicker insulation and stuffing it into a wall does not increase energy efficiency. The more air pockets in insulation, the better insulation works.

Squashing insulation actually reduces its effectiveness. The R-value number indicates the insulation heat resistance at full thickness only.

Why is the Insulation R-Value Important?

Steel buildings have many benefits over other framing materials. However, steel has one weakness: thermal transference. In an uninsulated metal building, summer heat and winter cold can follow through the framing, affecting interior comfort.

However, a first-class insulation system renders steel’s thermal transference moot. For example, RHINO’s Pro-Value Insulation Package breaks heat and cold transfer through the steel, creating a comfortable, cozy inside interior.

Of course, the Pro-Value Insulation System starts with high R-value fiberglass batt insulation. Options range from single-layer six-inch-thick R-19 batts to a twelve-inch thick double-layer with an R-38 value.

However, that’s just one part of the package.

RHINO also includes a second layer of insulation to act as a thermal break, plus an extra-strong vapor barrier that serves as the facing for the interior.

Pro-Value Insulation also saves you big bucks on climate-controlled steel buildings. RHINO customers who choose the Pro-Value Insulation find they save 50% on heating and cooling.

Is Your Building Tightly Sealed?

A high insulation R-value is only part of the energy efficiency equation. If the structure leaks air, it gobbles up too much energy in spite of high R-value insulation.

As an organic material, wood framing twists, warps, creeps, and sags with changing humidity. As a lumber-framed building ages, nails start to pull out and loosen, creating air leaks and drafts.

On the other hand, a pre-engineered steel building creates a very tight building envelope. The steel framing will never move or change in shape. The high-strength bolts and screws hold tightly. Consequently, a metal building stays tight and draft-free for the lifetime of the structure.

Can You Insulate a Steel Building Later?

Customers sometimes consider cutting corners by eliminating insulation from their steel building order. They think they can add insulation to the building later.

While insulation can be added to an existing metal building, it is much more labor-intensive than installing insulation during construction. Some of the structure requires disassembly. Removing and replacing placing steel panels could lead to leaks, if screws are not placed in exactly the same locations.

Consequently, smart buyers install insulation during initial construction.

Call RHINO Today!

Discover more about the RHINO Pro-Value Insulation System. Speak to a steel building specialist about your upcoming construction project or steel building R-value. Call us toll free at 888.320.7466 now!

- by Bruce Brown,
Steel Building Systems, Inc

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