Archives for September 2012



Thanks for all your support

WHEREAS the proper application of mechanical insulation including the material used, thickness, and installation techniques, has been shown to improve the energy efficiency, reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, and provide other benefits for both new and retrofitted building;

AND WHEREAS given possible code changes in 

the near future, it is a timely opportunity to advocate to the provincial government to consider including additional information and requirements regarding mechanical insulation in any code updates:THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request that any future updates or amendments to
the BC Building Code include specific, up-to-date requirements on mechanical insulation, including the reproduction of any specifications, such as thickness tables, that may be referenced from other sources, and also include reference to mechanical insulation best practice standards.




This was submitted to UBCM in 2011 as a late resolution, but did not meet the criteria to be admitted for debate as an emergency resolution. In keeping with UBCM policy, the resolution was forwarded to the Area Association for consideration as part of the 2012 resolutions cycle.

The Resolutions Committee notes that the UBCM membership endorsed resolution 2011-B136, which requested that future amendments to the BC Building Code include specific requirements on mechanical insulation including the reproduction of specifications and reference to mechanical insulation best practice standards.

In response to the resolution the provincial government indicated that it was “considering increasing energy efficiency requirements for all new buildings and substantial building renovations, which may include such requirements as mechanical insulation”. However, the provincial government also pointed out that it would consider factors such as cost, benefit to climate change mitigation, technical feasibility, and enforcement feasibility, before deciding whether to include specifications for mechanical insulation in the BC Building Code.

Conference decision: 

New Mechanical Insulation Resolution B46


Resolution B46 will hit the floor at this year’s UBCM September 24-28 in Victoria BC and we are looking for support from municipalities from across BC. Last year there was unanimous support for resolution B-136 which outlined the need to support building code change


Cold Climate HVAC Conference Clagary November 12-14

The BC Insulators will be in Calgary to speak with industry professionals about mechanical insulation HVAC Systems and Equipment
Mechanical Insulation—A New Approach to an Overlooked Problem
Bud Fraser, P.Eng.1, Micah Lang2 and Jeff Besant, P.Eng.3, (1)Golder Associates, Vancouver, BC, Canada, (2)Golder Associates (formely HB Lanarc), Vancouver, BC, Canada, (3)Besant and Associates Engineers, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Mechanical insulation is a critical element of the design, operation, maintenance and safety characteristics of mechanical systems. Because of the importance of these systems, there are established standards and guidelines in place. Yet, we have found through research and interviews that mechanical insulation is often poorly managed on job sites and throughout of the life of mechanical systems. Through these efforts, we identified some of the reasons why mechanical insulation systems are often not installed properly and we have recommended solutions for these problems. Further, we have provided empirical evidence that buttresses the justification for the proper application and maintenance of insulation systems in terms of energy, service life and maintenance savings.
Our purpose is to provide information that will lead to an ultimate goal of having every section of pipe, duct and mechanical equipment insulated correctly. We have structured our documents in a top down definition system that can work in conjunction with existing standards and specification systems. We define assemblies through performance starting at a concept level then progressively refine the information, ultimately describing specific products and application methods. We developed a tool which owners, property managers, engineers, designers and capital planners can use to help make timely and effective decisions about their insulation needs, and what upgrades may be required to optimize the application of their mechanical insulation systems. At a meta level, we found
methods for engineers to communicate complex technical information to lay people with enough content and detail so that they can make informed decisions. We incorporated these methods into our tools. Developing effective communication strategies is a challenge that all engineers encounter at various times in their career.

New Guide and Specification for Mechanical Insulation Take a Look

Mechanical insulation (MI) is insulation applied to pipes, ducts, and mechanical equipment (such as boilers, storage tanks, and air handling equipment). It is different from the insulation found in the walls, basement floor, and roof of a building.

Mechanical insulation is found in both industrial facilities, as well as larger commercial, institutional and residential buildings—typically referred to as ‘Part 3’ buildings.

New Guide and Specification for Mechanical Insulation is available for review.

New 3 E Plus Version 4.1

Free Insulation Thickness Computer Program

The 3E Plus® Insulation Thickness Computer Program is an industrial energy management tool developed by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) to simplify the task of determining how much insulation is necessary to use less energy, reduce plant emissions and improve system process efficiency.

The 3E Plus program can:

  • Calculate the thermal performance of both insulated and uninsulated piping, ducts and equipment
  • Translate Btu losses into actual dollars
  • Calculate greenhouse gas emission and reductions

Click here for specific program features

Designed for facility managers, energy & environmental managers, industrial process engineers, and industrial plant managers, the program is a valuable tool for determining the return on investment of an insulation upgrade on pipes, ducts, tanks, and boilers.

What’s New

The latest version of 3E Plus (Version 4.1) features:

  • Runs on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7
  • All calculations involving money or economics, such as the Cost of Energy calculations are now in the ECONOMICS section.
  • Able to retain user installed data when updating the program
  • Simple payback calculations
  • New user interface
  • Automatically calculates thickness tables
  • Improved report formats
  • Calculates in both metric and inch-pound units
  • Ability to add custom fuels
  • Calculates multiple insulation layers
  • Updated thermal curves and new insulation materials

Click here for more program details and calculation features.

Click here if you are already a 3E Plus User (Versions prior to 4.0)

Program software can be downloaded for FREE from this site