Mechanical insulation for building and industrial applications although important to facility operations and manufacturing processes is often overlooked and undervalued. National standards, universal energy policies or generally accepted recommendations as to what should be insulated, what insulation systems are acceptable for a specific use and application best practices do not currently exist. As a result, the value of mechanical insulation is not being realized to its potential in reducing our dependency on foreign energy sources, improving our environment, improving our global competitiveness and providing a safer work environment.
Insulation is applied but rarely engineered. With the best intentions, but not necessarily with thorough knowledge, many specifications have evolved over the years primarily based upon modification of old documents. This practice combined with the lack of mechanical insulation educational and awareness programs as to the value in having a properly engineered, installed and maintained mechanical insulation system has lead to the underutilization of mechanical insulation in energy conservation, emission reduction, process and productivity improvement, life cycle cost reduction, personnel safety and work place improvement applications.
In response, the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) has formed a Committee, referred to as the National Mechanical Insulation Committee (NMIC) for Building and Industrial Applications to bring together major governmental agencies, private industry and organizations that are concerned with the design, installation and maintenance of mechanical insulation. NIBS and NMIC offer the opportunity for a constructive public and private partnership in the examination of mechanical insulation practices, developing solutions or recommendations and providing education as to their findings and the merits and value of properly engineering and applied mechanical insulation.
NMIC will be a national forum for collecting and developing information and data on codes, standards, industry guides, published practices, test methods and educational programs related to mechanical insulation in building and industrial applications. NMIC will evaluate this information to determine the potential scope of consensus among the various aspects of the information and develop and implement action plans to address or clarify the differences. As necessary, NMIC will establish commissions or sub-committees to provide the best resources to find correct and equitable resolution of issues resulting from this initiative.
The overall objective of NMIC is to identify, develop and disseminate information related to mechanical insulation in building and industrial applications by examining current policies, procedures and practices; identifying research or testing needs; developing recommendations utilizing the best science and information available; providing education and awareness programs as to the merits and value of proper insulation systems and to establish a roadmap to implement improvements in design, insulation system selection and establish application best practices.
Should you have any additional questions about the National Mechanical Insulation Committee that were not answered on this site or you would like to comment on the site, please contact:
Richard Paradis, PE, BSCP, Bd. Cert. NCE
National Institute of Building Sciences
1090 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 289-1092 Fax
National Insulation Association