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Print Works Bistro, Greensboro, NC

AP Armaflex Quiets Noise Problem for Print Works Bistro –DAYS Before Opening!

Project: Print Works BistroPrint Works Bistro
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
Objectives: Block noise of air handler fan and rumble of air through interior ductwork in upscale urban bistro on the eve of its opening.
Contractor: Superior Mechanical, Inc.


PROBLEM: Greensboro’s first LEED® restaurant was about to open, but HVAC start-up revealed an unacceptable noise level that was certain to detract from the ambience and override patrons’ conversations.

SOLUTION: Insulate rooftop air handling unit and exterior of exposed restaurant ductwork with closed-cell elastomeric foam AP Armaflex insulation.

It was less than 48 hours before the scheduled opening of Print Works Bistro in Greensboro, NC when owner Dennis Quaintance heard a problem.

He was standing between the bar and the dining room, directly below an air handler which sits on the rooftop of the restaurant, which, along with the adjacent Proximity Hotel, is on track for LEED Platinum Certification. What he heard was the not-so-restful whine of the air handler fan and the rumble of air through the interior ductwork. Joe Millikan, PE, President of Superior Mechanical, Inc. and Quaintance’s right-hand man through the design and construction of Greensboro’s first LEED hotel and restaurant, promptly postponed his pending vacation to return to the jobsite and try to work out this problem.AP Armaflex SA Duct Liner and Wrap

Print Works Bistro had been a challenging mechanical design for Millikan. In keeping with the elegant yet industrial decor, the metal ductwork in the ceiling had been left exposed. While the look was perfect for the restaurant’s unique interior, it also meant that patrons might be competing with the HVAC system during their dinner conversation. How significant this problem might be was not clear until start-ups occurred.

For a fast solution, Millikan immediately thought of Armaflex closed-cell insulation. Although he had never had the opportunity to use the product in a restaurant application, he was familiar with it. He knew it had excellent thermal properties, that it was fiber-free, and that it didn’t absorb moisture. He also knew something that many contractors don’t: it provides excellent sound reduction.
“I knew it would work. It was just a matter of getting the product installed and painted in time for the opening of the restaurant.”

By 4AM the next morning, Millikan had a crew installing AP/Armaflex elastomeric foam insulation inside the rooftop unit and also on the exterior of the ductwork that hung from the ceiling inside the restaurant. By 5 PM the same day, the installations were complete. More importantly, the noise was gone. “Armaflex saved the day,” said Millikan. “There’s really no other product out there that does everything this product does.”

AP Armaflex was also an excellent choice for the restaurant because its impressive IAQ benefits actually complemented the LEED construction standards used throughout the hotel and restaurant. It doesn’t release any particulates into the atmosphere, and its smooth service won’t absorb moisture or attract dirt or debris, both of which are known to facilitate mold growth. It can also be installed using Armaflex 520 BLV adhesive which is low in VOCs, toluene-free and hexane free.

AP Armaflex SA Duct LinerAP Armaflex is ideal for exposed installations because it can be painted to match any interior décor. In the case of Print Works, it was painted with a few coats of white latex paint to match the ceiling and the airy curtain panels that are hung from the 16 ft. ceiling. In fact, it provides an elegantly subtle architectural element to the dining space.

“I will definitely use the product again, not just for exterior applications like this, but also for liner inside the ducts,” said Millikan, whose experience with the Proximity Hotel and Print Works Bistro have made him keenly aware of indoor air quality issues and the “green” construction options that exist for public spaces.

Download the Job Story PDF here.

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