Building Trends Make Obstacles for Ductwork

Today, many architects and engineers must run bulky HVAC ductwork on rooftops due to the value of interior space and increased cost of construction; however, placing ductwork on rooftops can create complications with the overall aesthetic of the building and with specifying insulation that can withstand the UV rays of the sun and other outdoor elements such as wind, rain, and birds (yes, birds love pecking at insulation and using it for nesting material!). These elements limit the selection of exterior insulation systems on the market, especially when looking for a product that combines thermal attributes with a superior protective and water vapor barrier system.

Hurdles with Installing Exterior Insulation

Most insulation systems recommend adding a protective jacket or applying a UV resistant coating on the exterior insulation to protect it from outdoor hazards. However, these products are labor intensive to install, as they can require cutting, riveting, clamping, painting, and caulking seams. Even after installation, these products usually need periodic checks for cracking, as well as, paint and seal maintenance.

Solution for Reducing Installation Time and Maintenance 

Armacell’s ArmaTuff® duct wrap can be a simple insulating solution for exterior ductwork without the installation and maintenance issues. With durability in mind, it’s made up of an elastomeric closed cell foam material coupled with a durable, 12 mil puncture-resistant cladding with a zero perm rating. The cladding not only provides physical and water protection, but also provides excellent UV protection with a 10 year warranty against degradation. ArmaTuff comes in pre-laminated sheets and rolls and is available with a self-adhesive backing for even faster installation. Sealing Joints and seams is easy using ArmaTuff Tape, a specifically designed laminated cladding adhesive tape used to ensure a tight seal and quick install.  Once ArmaTuff is properly installed, no further coating or maintenance is required. 

ArmaTuff in Action

It wasn’t enough to simply provide quality insulation for the rooftop ducts on Allan Hancock College’s 44,788 sq. ft. student services and 21,053 sq. ft. administration building. These buildings were designed to be architecturally significant, with high ceilings, seismic features and floor-to-ceiling windows that would resemble no other building on campus, or in the area. Plus, with associated on- and off-site improvements the project was targeting LEED® Silver Certification.

An important goal of the college’s administration was to ensure every aspect of the building, from the grounds to the roof, adhered to the architectural design. The rooftop duct insulation was no exception. The college required a solution that met every conceivable cost and environmental standard of the day, yet still complemented each building’s design.

Exceeded All Expectations

Combining all these objectives was the job of Soltek Pacific Construction, and they had their doubts that it was achievable. After investigating a variety of options they determined that one brand stood out at the top of the class: ArmaTuff elastomeric thermal insulation with heavy-duty 12 mil white laminate. Warren Oldfield, Project Manager for American Incorporated, was responsible for completing this project. “All of these factors were considered when we were researching our options,” notes Oldfield, “and ArmaTuff exceeded every one of them”.

To see more about Allan Hancock College’s success with ArmaTuff, read the full Job Story here.