Whether you make pipe insulation support systems, as we do, or use pipe insulation, it’s important to stay informed and on top of the latest relevant standards.
As you might know, ASHRAE publishes standards related to all aspects of HVAC equipment, and regularly revises the standards in order to make consistent improvements to energy efficiency. As an example, according to ASHRAE, “the 2013 edition, if followed for a new building design, will result in at least 50% less energy use, by design, than the 2004 edition (with the 2007 and 2010 editions each successively leading to less energy use than the previous edition).”
Standard 90.1, relating to standards for energy-efficient design of high-rise residential, commercial, and institutional buildings, was recently updated, and parts of the revisions refer specifically to insulation. Some requirements were not changed—including the minimum required insulation thicknesses and R-values for pipe, equipment and ducts, which were increased in the 2010 version.
The 2010 standard requires insulation with a certain K-factor performance to be applied at a thickness of 5 inches on pipes with an operating temperature greater than 350° F, and a diameter greater than 3/4 inch NPS. “In these circumstances,” according to ASHRAE, “meeting this requirement with mineral fiber insulation requires a double layer.”
In general, some of the changes to 90.1-2013 include greater roof and wall R-values, greater use of triple-glazed windows, more tightly sealed envelopes, more efficient HVAC equipment, better control over fresh air ventilation dampers and fans, greater mechanical insulation thicknesses and R-values, and more.
Additionally, ASHRAE has updated chapter 23 of their handbook, which covers “Insulation for Mechanical Systems.” The 2013 edition is the second revision of the chapter, and the changes include increased minimum pipe insulation thicknesses for hot and chilled pipes; an update on minimizing corrosion under insulation (CUI) problems along with recommendations; recommendations on the use of lower permeance insulation systems; findings on a research project testing CHW pipe insulation and the increased thermal conductivity of pipe insulation with a condensed water content, and more.
If you’d like to read standard 90.1-2013 in its entirety, you can find it here, and the handbook, with updates, can be viewed here. If you have any questions regarding these changes, feel free to contact us; as insulation equipment specialists, we’re happy to help.