Employee discomfort leads to lost productivity

Troy Banks of New Orleans Public Belt Railroad says that employee complaints about the enterprise’s manufacturing facility have been ongoing for at least thirty years, and it’s no wonder. Inside the metal warehouse where five full time employees fabricate railroad ties, temperatures can reach as high as 120°F.

Between the hostile heat and the heavy equipment, it was hard to fault workers for seeking opportunities to rest and rehydrate on a regular basis. Even with a dozen fans running at full blast, the temperatures were out of control, and that had a direct impact on productivity.

Attempting to correct the situation, however, could have been a challenge. In the past, few insulation options were available that were both effective and affordable, and any prospective resolution would have to undergo intense scrutiny from the railroad’s structural engineers.

Nevertheless, Banks felt compelled to respond to the appeals of his staff, and so he began to do his due diligence, researching possible solutions to the fierce heat of the metal manufacturing mill. What he found were overwhelmingly positive reviews of New Orleans insulation experts Sunlight Contractors and the answer to his employees’ prayers: spray polyurethane foam insulation.

Certified insulation contractors with powerful industrial solutions

Banks contacted Sunlight Contractors who immediately came on-site to assess the situation. Sure enough, they found the building’s temperatures to far exceed comfortable conditions, leaving staff feeling sluggish and uncomfortable. Corey Yates, Sunlight’s owner, mulled over the problem and returned to Banks with a proposal that would immediately reduce temperatures within the building.

His thorough outline of the problem and solution was given to the railroad’s engineers for review, and they couldn’t argue with his detailed analysis. Unlike many Louisiana contractors, Yates is a spray foam specialist with mastery level certification from the SPFA as well as a Building Performance Institute and Gold Star contractor. His expertise and professional credentials streamlined the approval process, allowing his team to begin updating the NOBPR’s inhospitable metal building promptly.

The Sunlight Contractors team installed 1,626 sq. ft. of closed cell spray foam at a thickness of two inches in the warehouse’s metal walls. As the foam expands, it fills all voids, gaps, and odd-shaped cavities – around pipes, wires and cross bridging. This dense insulation helps to regulate temperatures throughout the day and over the course of each season. Because closed cell spray foam is highly durable, it can remain exposed, eliminating the additional expense of a finished wall covering.

In addition, Sunlight Contractors installed 3,978 sq. ft. of closed cell spray foam at a thickness of two inches at the roofline. As the foam is applied in layers to the bottom of the metal building’s roof deck sheathing and gable end walls, it seals the perimeter of the ceiling. This creates a super-insulated airtight cap on the top of the building to stop conditioned air from leaking out while simultaneously preventing heat from the roof radiating in during the summer.

Proper insulation leads to increased productivity

Within a day of having the spray foam installed, Banks and his employees noted a stark drop in the metal building’s temperature. The workspace that had only days before hovered in the triple digits had dropped overnight into the 80s. And that was without even turning the fans on.

The machine operators could tell a difference as well. Rather than feeling as though they were working in an inferno, they felt as if they were working in the shade, even in the heat of midday. This change improved morale and increased productivity while reducing the need for constant breaks just to be comfortable.

Banks and his crew were so pleased with the results, that they’ve already begun discussing the insulation of several other buildings. “I highly recommend Sunlight Contractors,” he told us. “The professionalism you get from them doesn’t get any better. I would like to thank Yates personally for all his help. This guy will go out of his way to please a customer.”