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How to Construct Energy-Efficient Buildings- Part 2

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April 28, 2015

Energy-Saving Choices for Pre-engineered Steel Buildings

In part one of this series, we discovered energy-efficient buildings must start with a tight building envelope. To further reduce energy consumption— and reduce energy costs—choose energy-saving building products that diminish air infiltration.

Sealing the Envelope with Energy-Saving Products

A square, tightly formed building envelope begins with the frame, like a rigid-frame pre-engineered steel building. However, high-performance energy-efficient buildings also require sufficient insulation, insulated windows and doors, proper ventilation, and eco-friendly exteriors to help seal the building envelope.

Energy Efficent BuildingsINSULATION. The insulation package is the most important factor in energy-efficient buildings. Without sufficient insulation, huge amounts of energy— and money— are simply wasted.

Even structures without heating and air conditioning— like barns or storage buildings— are more comfortable when insulated.

Rigid-frame steel buildings create deep wall cavities. This allows the use of much thicker, more energy-efficient insulation without any compression.

RHINO’s optional Pro-Value Insulation Packages contain economical fiberglass insulation up to nine-and-a-half inches thick (R-30) for walls and twelve inches thick (R-38) for the roof.

In addition, the Pro-Value Insulation Package includes a second layer of insulation, which acts as a thermal break— and an extra-strong fabric vapor barrier. Our buyers report the Pro-Value system cuts their energy bill by fifty percent.

ROOFING. All RHINO buildings use purlin bearing roof (PBR) panels. PBR panels provide more overlap between panels for a stronger, tighter seal.

Choosing a white metal roof over a darker color makes a significant difference in energy consumption in hot southern climates.

Even greater benefits come with cool-coated steel roofing. Cool-coated roofs reflect forty to fifty percent of the sun’s heat away from the building. Reflective cool-coated roofing saves up to fifteen percent on summer utilities. Cool-coated roofing retains ninety-five percent of its original reflectivity for the lifetime of the roof.

RHINO offers cool-coated roofing panels in sixteen vibrant and attractive colors.

WALLS. Steel buildings are usually clad with durable steel exterior panels. Heat-reflective, cool-coated exterior panels from RHINO add to the energy savings.

However, steel cladding is just one exterior choice for energy-efficient buildings. Finish your steel structure with brick, stone, insulated steel panels, blocks, wood, or glass. (For optimal energy efficiency, keep glass areas to a minimum.)

SEALING. A building’s performance starts with sealing every joint and seam to minimize air infiltration.

All RHINO steel building packages include die-formed ridge caps and tape sealant for an airtight, watertight seal. A caulk-like tape mastic installed between the PBR panels further seals of the building envelope. Self-drilling screws with long-lasting washers assure no air or water leaks.

RHINO buildings also include formed-based trim and eave closure strips. These strips offer ultimate protection from drafts and leaks where the walls join the foundation and the roof.

WINDOWS. Order energy-saving insulated vertical-slide windows with your RHINO steel building package. If residential windows would best suit your project, purchase energy-efficient double-paned, triple-paned, and glazed windows locally.

DOORS. All RHINO’s heavy-duty steel entry doors come with an insulated core. These doors are available in 30”, 40” or 60” widths. Weather sealing and heavy-duty locks are included.

OVERHEAD DOORS. People often fail to consider the importance of installing overhead doors with insulation. RHINO offers a large selection of insulated overhead door styles. We supply simple garage doors to heavy-duty hydraulic hangar doors— and everything in between.

VENTILATION. All structures require some air exchange. Fresh air needs to enter the structure, humid air needs to leave.

In structures without heating and air conditioning, ventilation helps avoid condensation problems.

In addition to opening doors or windows, vents allow you to control airflow in and out of the structure. RHINO offers both louvered and ridge vents as accessories.

SKYLIGHTS. Increasing natural lighting automatically decreases the need for artificial lighting, thus saving energy. Skylights work particularly well in open-air structures like pavilions, agricultural structures, and horseback riding arenas.

Energy-Efficient Buildings Start with Steel

Versatile steel structures create affordable, strong, durable, energy-efficient buildings for all types of low-rise building projects, including:

• Aircraft hangars
• Backyard offices, man caves, or hobby huts
• Barns
• Big box stores
• Churches
• Commercial enterprises
• Farm and ranch storage
• Homes
• Industrial business
• Manufacturing plants
• Medical and veterinarian complexes
• Office buildings
• Oil and gas buildings
• Recreational buildings and gymnasiums
• Residential garages, RV Garages, or storage structures
• Restaurants
• Retail outlets
• Self-storage businesses
• Storage buildings
• Warehouses
• And much more

Call RHINO now. Our toll free call is 888.320.7466.

Ask for more information on RHINO’s energy-efficient steel buildings and accessories. Get a free on your next project. Find out more about the RHINO Difference in steel framed buildings.

- by Bruce Brown,
Steel Building Systems, Inc

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