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Steel Frame Buildings Can Now Achieve an Effective R-34

Posted: September 8, 2016 | Project Management

Steel-frame buildings are known for their aesthetic design flexibility. However, most steel buildings are challenged to provide enough space for typical batt-type roof insulation. Varco Pruden, in conjunction with parent company BlueScope Buildings North America, have developed a unique new product for optimizing energy efficiency on steel-framed metal buildings, using standard roll insulation.

Varco Pruden’s new ThermaLift™ Insulation System allows owners of steel buildings to achieve R-34, the highest R-value in the industry, using regular roll roofing by, “Literally raising the roof cavity so that you can double the amount of insulation capacity,” according to John Brewer, Product Manager for Varco Pruden.

Brewer explains that, “With older roof systems using rolled insulation, it’s literally impossible to meet the R-values of future building codes. The ThermaLift™ System offers a unique approach for getting more insulation into the cavity.”

Featuring the unique insulation bridge design, ThermaLift allows for more insulation to be installed above the structural secondary framing. Thermal performance testing, in accordance with ASTM-C1363, has resulted in U-factors as low as 0.029. The result is a cost-effective roof system that meets today’s and tomorrow’s more stringent energy codes, including IECC 2015 and Canada’s NECB 2011 code.

Developed to work with Varco Pruden’s SSR (Standing Seam Roof) system, ThermaLift includes a proprietary 5” x 48” insulation bridge (patent pending) to provide additional space for insulation between the roof panels and the building structure.

Made from sturdy 22-gauge galvanized steel, the bridge, when combined with VP’s SSR clip offerings, lifts roof panels by up to 7” above the secondary structural – creating enough space for two layers of blanket insulation for a U-factor performance as low as 0.029. BlueScope owns its own Hot Box testing facility to confirm the thermal achievement. VP’s SSR Roof meets IBC-2015 and ICC-ES2527, as well as Factory Mutual and UL-90 requirements.

As part of the complete system design, the insulation bridge also helps to maintain panel alignment for a more efficient installation and an attractive finished roof.

VP’s ThermaLift insulation system is compatible with a variety of structural options including purlins, VP’s WideBay Trussed Purlins™, and bar joist.

Engineered to be installed above the building structure, ThermaLift eliminates the need for banding, and reduces installation time and costs when compared to other alternatives. Additionally, once the roof is installed, structural members are accessible to other trades for attaching items such as duct work and sprinkler systems. ThermaLift works with Sky Web II™ to provide additional protection for workers during construction.

There are four sizes of clips for varying insulation thickness: 3½”, 4”, 4½” and 5” tall. The system is cost effective to install and maintain, and it installs above the secondary framing.

The ThermaLift system provides higher thermal performance for year-round comfort and energy efficiency, achieves compliance in climate zones with high thermal demand, and it provides energy performance and long term weather protection – backed by warranties. It saves building owners money on initial construction and continues to save over the life of the structure.

Brewer pointed out that each ThermaLift package is custom engineered and made to order for specific buildings, so installation is swift and easy. So far, builders seem very happy with the results.

“My crews love it,” said Shawn Schulte, president of Missouri-based Curtiss-Manes-Schulte Inc. construction firm. “We did a test installation with very little advance coaching. My crew found ThermaLift bridging and insulation to go down quicker and easier than other systems we’ve used before.”

ThermaLift is compatible with VP’s PrisMAX™ SL daylighting product, DuraCurb™ and roof accessory items.

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