In Process - Arts Trust IR and enclosure design

The Northampton Arts Trust building project is a retrofit of a steel framed building originally built in the 1980s as a drive-through lumber yard. When complete, it will be a lively downtown space for the performance and visual arts. A primary goal of the project is a building with very low energy costs; after a large capital investment, the non-profit requires low operational expenses. Energy modeling is being completed to inform thermal enclosure design and to leverage utility rebates and incentives. 

The images below are from a basic infrared scan completed on Feb. 13, 2014. The insulation approach for the walls, roof, foundation walls, and slab are still being determined. The eQuest model will be completed soon to help assess the performance improvements of several enclosure system options. 


Existing Wall

  • Steel frame with 2x8 stud walls to the interior. Metal cladding is fastened directly to frame, there is no sheathing.  'Bag 'n Sag' vinyl encased fiberglass was the original insulation strategy. Visual inspection shows this to be in decent condition with few rips. Estimate R-value (not accounting for wind-wash loses)  R-2 - R-5
  • Very poor fiberglass batts were installed in the 2x8 stud cavities. IR images mostly convey the performance of this material.  R-2 - R-5 estimate thermal resistance value. 
  • There are significant connections through rim band areas to the basement. There are also major outside connections through exterior wall cladding above the drop-ceiling, the current very poorly defined 'boundary'.  Significant air leakage is compromising existing batt insulation. 

Existing Roof

  • Steel frame with 'bag and sag' was the original insulation strategy.  A drop ceiling was installed, about 4' below roof deck, with 6" fiberglass batts and mechanical equipment and distribution system in the cold attic space.  
  • Roof structure is an original metal (or fiberglass?) roof with a standing seam metal roof later installed. It is assumed there is sheathing and the appropriate membrane materials under the standing seam roof. 

Proposed wall

Remove existing metal panel cladding 4-6" of polyisocyanurate to exterior of existing wall. R-26- R-39

Optional: With frame of building exposed, remove existing fg batt, and 'bag and sag' insulation from exterior and insulate 2x8 framed cavities with mineral wool batts . R-24

Proposed Roof

Remove drop ceiling and remove existing standing seam roof and install 6"- 8" of polyisocyanurate on exterior of existing roof. Install sheathing, continuous WRB, air control membrane, and new standing seam roof.    R-39 - R-52

Optional - remove 'bag and sag' and install 3-4" of closed cell rigid foam to the interior of roof deck.