Creating spaces where hotels, restaurants, retail businesses, and residential apartments exist in harmony means that we have begun shifting our lives from enduring long commutes and storied shopping experiences to immediate deliveries and rapid mass transit. With these transformative shifts in our living and working experience comes advanced design techniques and technologies for managing the acoustic comfort, indoor climate, and resources of legacy HVAC and plumbing systems. Armacell’s Office/Mixed-Use Solutions Portfolio was design with energy efficiency in mind.

A condensed environment where individuals, families, work colleagues, and neighbors can live and work comfortably provides specific challenges when designing climate controlled spaces. While baseline HVAC and plumbing technologies are readily available, controlling the efficiency of these technologies, while accounting for space constraints and multi-use requirements, bring significant challenges to the forefront of design.


Heating and cooling challenges within mixed-use buildings are numerous. Although heating and cooling requirements will vary per building and room in mixed-use design the end-goal of meeting efficiency and space requirements is key. A building may be required to operate with a particular program during the day and then an alternate setting at night.

Mixed-use buildings could require a number of heating and cooling solutions operating as an integrated system. Within the same building, a condenser water system could service residential floors via water-source heat pumps with VAV (variable air volume) in the office floors. Additionally, VRF (variable refrigerant flow) could be used to cool hotel floors while the resultant hot and cold water is used to heat and cool the lobby area via radiant technologies. A top priority for mixed-use building design is management and reliability of these systems.

Given the increased usage of varied ducting and plumbing within vertical mixed-use structures, issues of moisture intrusion can reach unmanageable levels during operation if not properly accounted for. If, for instance, insulation gets wet then that moisture could lead to mold problems that may go undetected for months or even years. Additionally, refrigeration lines are a constant culprit for condensation build up and even refrigerant leaks over time. As this piping traverses the inner workings of a multi-use building, the risk of moisture damage increases exponentially. Designing a system with the most protective insulation reduces future headaches.

While insulation can be used to preserve air quality and temperature, the acoustic benefits are welcome in buildings employing many different air-conditioning technologies. Air-handling units cooling a restaurant could cause uncomfortable vibrations for occupants in an adjoining residential floor. Lining ductwork with closed cell insulation helps manage low frequencies specific to noisy air-handlers.

The impetus on building mixed-use facilities can be seen as a symptom of larger trends, such as urbanization and energy efficiency. As mixed-use construction projects employ more ducting and plumbing, they must also increase reliability to satisfy the demand on larger populations operating within a smaller physical footprint.


One building material supporting all design variables in commercial office construction is energy-efficient insulation. Armacell’s insulation systems are ideal for insulating chilled water piping, chillers, cooling tanks and air handlers. Insulation not only promotes energy efficiency, but it also prevents condensation on below-ambient temperature surfaces—a critical issue for mixed-use facilities and communities.

Specifying Armacell’s Office/Mixed-Use Solutions Portfolio for commercial construction and the smart move. Offering three package levels each tailored to code compliance, system performance and budget make specifying the right insulation for the right systems easier. Our products are always fiber-free, formaldehyde-free and low VOC making them an excellent option for any environment, eliminating particulate that can jeopardize air quality and equipment. Its closed-cell structure also prevents moisture ingress and naturally resists the growth of mold and mildew. Building owners and occupants can rely on Armacell insulation retaining its thermal integrity over time, lasting well into the future.

Read more about the benefits of Armacell’s Office/Mixed-Use Solutions Portfolio in the eBook.