Case Study: Blackwater Refinery – Westwego Office Space With an Energy Loss Problem
Spray foam insulation can save you 10% on energy by sealing up weak spots where cool air can escape.
Blackwater Refinery knows a thing or two about energy. After all, they specialize in the safe storage of petroleum in their Westwego facility. Naturally, they were equally concerned about conserving the energy that helped power their offices with commercial insulation, which were housed in a metal commercial structure.
During summers, offices in metal buildings can become unbearably hot, and during the winter, they provide little warmth. This meant, of course, that either heating or cooling was running continuously year round, a practice that neither conserves energy nor makes sense financially.
Eric Chatagnier of Blackwater Refinery did some research to determine the best way to save energy and money, and he quickly identified spray foam insulation as a means of solving both problems while providing a comfortable space for employees to work.
Spray polyurethane foam seals energy leaks while insulating
After speaking with Cleair, one of our certified BPI analysts, Chatagnier was convinced that spray foam would remediate the energy loss the Westwego offices were experiencing.
Chatagnier was impressed by Sunlight’s quick response, stating, “I called Sunlight Contractors to spray a metal building on Tuesday. I needed it done by Friday, but they were actually able to get it done the next day, a Wednesday.”
The first step in any spray foam job is to cordon off the area to prevent passersby or employees from accidentally wandering into the spray zone. While cured spray polyurethane foam is completely non-toxic, in its liquid stage, it can cause coughing and other minor irritations. Corey and the rest of our crew of trained and experienced installers are prepared with PPE, or personal protective equipment, that keeps them safe from any floating particulates; cautionary signs warn others who do not have PPE to keep their distance during spraying.
Once the area was secured, the team set up the necessary scaffolding to gain access to the space between the ceiling and the roof also laying down plastic on the floors and exposed surfaces in order to prevent spray foam from causing any stains to carpeting and furniture.
Five inches of open cell spray foam insulation was applied to the underside of the roof deck via heated hoses connected to a state-of-the-art Graco reactor in Sunlight Contractors’ specially equipped rig. The reactor precisely combines the chemicals used in the spray foam at the exact temperature required to produce an insulation that is fluffy, safe, and consistent in quality.
Because it clings to just about any surface and will mold to nearly any shape, the spray foam encases pipes and and fills odd corners, sealing any cracks that might allow the escape of conditioned air. That makes spray foam a multi-tasking product that provides insulation and energy efficiency.
Once our job was done, we cleaned up our workspace. This is not just a matter of courtesy but also of safety. Leaving equipment or chemicals behind could pose a danger to people who come into the office after us.
Temperature control leads to energy control
By keeping the metal office space insulated and sealing up air leaks using spray foam insulation, Chatagnier managed to get the extreme temperatures in the building under control. That means his employees and his clients will be more comfortable no matter what the weather is like outside.
However, it also means that he’s conserving energy. Because temperatures remain more consistent, it is no longer necessary to leave the HVAC system running constantly. Conserving energy in an office building is another way to cut overhead costs as heating and cooling make up a significant portion of monthly utility bills.
Chatagnier was impressed with the savings and the improved comfort, and he had this to say about Sunlight Contractors, LLC, “The guys on the job were extremely professional, and I’ll probably be calling them for an energy audit on my house really soon.”