Meeting Your Education Needs for 2012

February 1, 2012

Need to bring yourself or your employees up to speed on mechanical insulation systems, installation, or maintenance? The National Insulation Association (NIA) offers many cost-effective options, from attending a training course to using free online tools for self-directed learning. Below are some resources to consider when planning your 2012 education efforts.

NIA’s Training Courses

NIA offers the following courses in various locations around the United States. Individual companies may sponsor a class at their facility to cost-effectively train numerous employees. For more information about these classes, e-mail or call 703-464-6422.

Insulation Energy Appraisal Program

The Insulation Energy Appraisal Program (IEAP) is a 2-day course that teaches students how to determine the optimal insulation thickness and corresponding energy and dollar savings for a project. The program was designed to teach students the necessary information to give facility/energy managers a better understanding of the true dollar and performance value of their insulated systems. To give facility managers the most accurate information, students will gain skills in the following areas:

  • Interviewing customers
  • Conducting a facility walk-through
  • Using the 3E Plus® Version 4.0 software
  • Determining the amount of greenhouse gases saved through the use of insulation
  • Analyzing and completing the appraisal spreadsheet
  • Completing and presenting a final customer report

Students who pass the course exam—certified by the National Inspection Testing Certification Corporation—become Certified Insulation Energy Appraisers. The certification is valid for 3 years, after which the individual must recertify. All course attendees receive 1.5 continuing education units (CEUs).

To learn more, visit

National Insulation Training Program

NIA’s NITP course reviews and reinforces why we insulate mechanical and process systems, presents a process for designing an insulation system, and familiarizes and provides students with information and tools that make insulation system design and specification easier and more accurate.

This course was previously offered as a 2-day program but has recently been condensed into a 1-day course offered as an in-house sponsored class to NIA member companies. The curriculum includes principles of insulation, system design criteria (insulation materials and properties), insulation thickness determination, general insulation system installation considerations, specification development and available resources, insulation system maintenance, and a summary and resource review.

Insulation Education and Awareness Course

This half-day course introduces the concept of mechanical insulation as a proven and time-tested but undervalued and underappreciated technology. Course objectives include discussion of insulation’s ability to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, be part of a safety program, increase manufacturing productivity, eliminate or reduce corrosion under insulation, and provide a quick return on investment. This presentation also demonstrates comprehensive web-based resources.

Online Tools

This fall, NIA offered its first online training course. The following online resources may be beneficial to those with smaller training budgets.

Summing Up the Financial Value Webinar on CD

NIA’s first Members Only webinar, Summing Up the Financial Value, was presented in two parts in October and December 2011. These presentations demonstrated the free Simple Calculators available on the Mechanical Insulation Design Guide and how to apply them in your business building strategies. Fortunately for those who missed it, archive CDs will soon be available, so you can learn how to use simple tools to calculate the energy and cost savings of insulation projects whenever and wherever you like.

Part 1 covers:

  • Mechanical Insulation Design Guide Overview
  • Simple Calculator Demonstrations:
    • Energy Loss, Emission Reduction, Surface Temperature, and Annual Return for Equipment
    • Energy Loss, Emission Reduction, Surface Temperature, and Annual Return for Piping
    • Financial Returns/Considerations
  • Tips for Using MIDG and the Simple Calculators to Benefit Your Customers and Grow Your Business
  • Overview of Industrial and Commercial Building Case Studies
  • Question and Answer Session

Part 2 covers:

  • Review of Part 1
  • Simple Calculator Demonstrations:
    • Condensation Control
    • Personnel Protection for Horizontal Piping
    • Time to Freezing for Water in an Insulated Pipe
    • Temperature Drop for Water in an Insulated Hydronic Pipe and Air in Ducts
  • Tips for Using MIDG and the Simple Calculators to Benefit Your Customers and Grow Your Business
  • Question and Answer Session

For more information, contact

E-Learning Modules

NIA’s new e-Learning Modules are scheduled for launch in 2012. These modules were developed as part of the Mechanical Insulation Education and Awareness Campaign funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and were designed to provide a basic education about mechanical insulation topics. The five modules are:

  • Educational Series Introduction and Defining Mechanical Insulation
  • Benefits of Mechanical Insulation
  • Mechanical Insulation Science and Technology
  • Design Objectives and Considerations
  • Mechanical Insulation Maintenance

For more information, contact

Mechanical Insulation Design Guide

The Mechanical Insulation Design Guide (MIDG) is the most comprehensive mechanical insulation resource on the web. Designed to assist the novice or the knowledgeable user alike in the design, selection, specification, installation, and maintenance of mechanical insulation, the MIDG is continually updated with the most current and complete information.

An insulation designer?s basic questions can be summed up as follows:

  • Why am I insulating this?
  • What am I insulating?
  • Where am I insulating and what are the ambient design conditions?
  • What materials and systems are best for this job?
  • How much will this cost and what is the best way to implement this solution?

The MIDG is divided into sections that answer each of these questions:

  • Design Objectives
  • Materials and Systems
  • Installation
  • Design Data
  • Resources
  • Case Studies
  • Glossary

Users will also find helpful tools such as a product selection chart, searchable by temperature, and simple calculators:

  • Condensation Control Calculator for Horizontal Pipe: estimates the thickness of insulation required to prevent condensation on the outer surface of an insulation system.
  • Energy Calculator for Equipment (Vertical Flat
    Surfaces): estimates the performance of an insulated vertical flat surface given the operating temperature, the ambient temperature, and other details about
    the system.
  • Energy Calculator for Horizontal Piping: estimates the performance of an insulated horizontal piping system given the operating temperature, the ambient temperature, and other details about the system.
  • Mechanical Insulation Financial Calculator: determines the simple payback period, the annualized rate of return, and the NPV from an insulation project.
  • Estimate Time to Freezing for Water in an Insulated Pipe Calculator: estimates the time for a long, water-filled pipe or tube (with no flow) to reach the freezing temperature.
  • Temperature Drop Calculator for Air Ducts: estimates the temperature drop (or rise) of air flowing in a duct.
  • Temperature Drop Calculator for Hydronic Piping: estimates the temperature drop (or rise) of water flowing in a pipe.
  • Personnel Protection Calculator for Horizontal Piping: estimates maximum contact exposure times on the outer surface of a horizontal pipe insulation system based on the potential for contact burn injuries.

MIDG also links to NIA’s MTL Product Catalog (, the only online library of technical literature for the insulation industry, searchable by product or company. The MTL Product Catalog makes the most up-to-date product information available in one convenient place.

MIDG was developed by the National Institute of Building Sciences and the National Insulation Association with contributions from 15 organizations, 60 manufacturers and fabricators, and 12 contractors, as well as the involvement of more than 100 individuals. MIDG is intended to be an unbiased, comprehensive, living document and vertical portal resource to assist specifiers, facility owners, and other users of mechanical insulation systems for a wide range of industrial and commercial applications. Visit the MIDG at

NIA Technical Publications

The Insulation Science Glossary, Guide to Insulation Product Specifications, and Insulation Materials Specification Guide are all available for free download at These publications are regularly updated by NIA’s Technical Information Committee and contain easy-to-use, unbiased, detailed information.

Educational Materials

NIA also offers resources for a more formal company training program, including 29 CFR 1926 OSHA Construction Industry Regulations either stand-alone or as a 3-year
subscription. For more information, or to order this or the following products, visit, e-mail, or call 703-464-6422.

Contren (formerly Wheels of Learning)

Developed by NIA and the National Center for Construction Education and Research, Contren provides competency-based, task-driven, modular training. It also meets the standards set by the U.S. Department of Labor for use in formal apprenticeship programs. It combines illustrated instructional materials for the trainee with structured classroom activities conducted by craft instructors. This product comprises complete training materials including trainee manuals, instructor guides, and tests. Trainees who successfully complete the program will be entered into the National Craft Training Registry. This program has a total of 360 training hours.

Craft Training Instructional Compilation DVD

Developed by NIA, this DVD features all 10 types of insulation installation applications:

  1. Mineral Wool/Fasteners/Laggings
  2. Insulation for Ducts With Fiberglass Blanket and Board Insulation
  3. PC Foamglas Adhered Systems To Horizontal Vessels
  4. PC Foamglas Insulation Systems For Underground and Direct Burial
  5. PC Foamglas Pipe Application
  6. Metal Jacketing
  7. Installing Fiberglass Pipe Insulation
  8. Insulating With Calcium Silicate And Perlite
  9. How To Install Flexible Foam Insulation
  10. Fiberglass Pipe Fittings, Valves, and Flanges.


Proper training can provide you or your company with a competitive advantage during difficult economic times. NIA hopes you will take advantage of its variety of educational offerings to help educate employees and improve the quality of the industry.

For more educational products, visit NIA’s online Bookstore at, where you can browse all the print and video materials available. Also, don’t forget the archives of Insulation Outlook articles at, a wealth of mechanical insulation information on a wide variety of topics available at no cost. You can search by author, title keyword, or issue for everything printed in Insulation Outlook in the past decade. To suggest topics for future issues, e-mail