Metal Building Resources

Insulation Specification

Below is a sample architectural specification for NIA Certified Faced Insulation®. This specification covers the classification, composition, and the physical properties of flexible faced fiber glass insulation intended for use in walls and roofs of manufactured metal buildings.

Fiber glass shall be as outlined in the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA 202-96® [Rev.2000]) specification and laminated to the NIA Certified Faced Insulation® specification with a certified R-value of _______ after lamination. The fiber glass shall be faced with ______. The composite of fiber glass and facing shall have surface burning characteristics not to exceed 25 flame spread and 50 smoke developed when tested in accordance with the Underwriters Laboratories 723 test method or ASTM E84 test method.

This short specification is provided in text-only format so that you can easily adapt it to fit your metal building specifications.

ASHRAE 90.1-2016 Reference for Metal Building Insulation Best Practices

The following text specifies the recommendations of NIA's Metal Building Laminators Committee in regard to the fiber glass insulation referenced in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016.

This is intended to provide clarification relating to the fiber glass insulation referenced in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016 (Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings) for metal building roofs and walls. The assembly descriptions detailed in the Appendix A reference tables and the prescriptive options shown in Tables 5.5-0 through 5.5-8 should have specified the use of NAIMA 202-compliant fiber glass, which we believe to be a significant oversight.

Filled cavity systems, either Long-Tab Banded or Liner, are quickly becoming a necessity to meet current more stringent energy codes, and the use of NAIMA 202-compliant insulation in these systems is necessary to meet the prescriptive U Factors or “in-place” R-Values shown in the 90.1 Standard.

The reason for this is quite simple. Hot Box test reports submitted to ASHRAE for these filled cavity systems were based upon the use of high density NAIMA 202-compliant material.

The cavity within a metal building roof or wall system is limited by the depth of the secondary framing member (purlins or girts). Consequently it was determined to use NAIMA 202-compliant fiber glass in a “filler” application. NAIMA 202-compliant certified fiber glass has a lower K-Value than non-202-compliant material. Said differently, when not laminated, NAIMA 202-compliant fiber glass yields an advantage in performance compared to non-202-compliant fiber glass. As such, the use of non-202-compliant fiber glass (“filler”) will yield lower thermal performance than a comparable assembly insulated with NAIMA 202-compliant fiber glass.

In summary, for metal building projects subject to the energy conservation requirements of ASHRAE 90.1, all layers of insulation installed need to be compliant to NAIMA Standard 202-96. Rev. 2000, whose properties are summarized in Table A9.4.6.1 of this ASHRAE Standard.


Energy Code Tools

There are a few tools that can be used to figure out what energy codes are applicable in your state.

  • COMcheck: COMcheck helps specifiers, contractors, and other construction professionals find the building codes for their states, as every state is required to have a Commercial Building Energy Code. COMcheck provides a link for users to determine the current codes in their state, and lists a contact person who can give them further details and answer any inquiries. COMcheck includes both the ASHRAE standard and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). 
  • Energy Code Navigator: This tool will help users find out about the applicable codes based on their location.


National Insulation Association (NIA)

The National Insulation Association (NIA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing all the contractors, distributors, laminators, fabricators and manufacturers who provide thermal insulation, insulation accessories and components to the commercial, mechanical and industrial markets throughout the nation.

Since 1953, members of NIA have utilized the most advanced insulation technologies to significantly improve the performance of industrial processes; to increase the interior comfort of buildings; to help control energy wastes; to help protect workers in hazardous work environments; and to help their customers save billions of dollars in energy.

The insulation products and services provided by NIA members constitute the most cost-effective, energy-saving technology available for reducing CO2 emissions, the major cause of global warming.

North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA)

NAIMA is the association for North American manufacturers of fiber glass, rock wool, and slag wool insulation products. Its role is to promote energy efficiency and environmental preservation through the use of fiber glass, rock wool, and slag wool insulation, and to encourage the safe production and use of these materials.

Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA)

Association of metal building and roofing system manufacturers who have been working together since 1956 to promote the use of steel systems in the low-rise, non-residential building and roofing construction marketplace.