Insulation for steel structures

10 February

Insulation 101: Insulation options for steel buildings

The right insulation for your steel building will keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, reducing energy costs and making it more comfortable for you and your team.

When it comes to your shed design, your insulation requirements are something that should be taken into account at the beginning of the project. The purpose of the shed or its intended use, your environment, and the activities happening inside will all play a part in how hot or cold the interior is likely to get.

For example, a building that houses manufacturing equipment that generates a lot of heat will result in a different insulation requirement to a hay storage shed. Discussing the intent of your building is part of the discovery and design process that the Steelcorp team undertakes with all our clients, to ensure you’re getting the right structure for your needs.

To insulate or not to insulate

Good insulation is critical for some buildings, whereas for others it is an optional extra. The decision on whether or not to insulate, or where you can reduce the price of your shed by removing insulation, comes down to its ultimate purpose and your budget.

High-quality Australian made insulation costs more, and insulating the walls as well as the roof will increase the cost. Conversely, choosing a cheaper style of insulation and only insulating the roof, not the walls, will reduce the cost of your project.

Whilst opting for less insulation results in a price reduction, it can affect the amenity of your shed in the future. Think about your business plans and the potential for changes, growth and expansion in the future, and ask yourself if it’s worth saving a few dollars now to get a less than ideal shed.

We always suggest to our clients that they think long term: design it properly from the beginning and you’ll get a shed that is fit for purpose for many years to come.

Types of insulation for steel structures

The most common types of insulation we use are Kingspan Insuliner and Fletcher Permastop building blanket. Both types of insulation are designed for large industrial and commercial steel roofs and walls, helping to create a moisture-resistant and fire-resistant structure.

Popular choices for steel sheds

Kingspan Insuliner is made from a closed-cell core sandwiched between reflective foil facings to create the silver internal lining you commonly see inside a large commercial shed. Because it’s designed for warehouses and commercial or industrial sheds it’s our wall insulation of choice, offering excellent thermo-reflective insulation properties and advanced fire performance characteristics.

Permastop Building Blanket from Fletcher Insulation is a thick blanket-style product made from up to 80% recycled content. This building insulation is designed to provide effective thermal and condensation control for metal roofs, plus it has excellent acoustic properties and helps to reduce rain noise. It minimises condensation and like all insulation, it helps to reduce energy usage.

Building code requirements

The Class of your building has a bearing on its insulation requirements, and under the National Construction Code, sheds can fall under different classes depending on their purpose.

In general, any insulation should be moisture-resistant, compliant with the Code and with AS/NZS 4859.1, and have a low flammability index.

Larger sheds may also have different fireproofing requirements that come into play, so the size of your structure and the individual spaces within it also have an impact on its insulation needs.

Advice on the right insulation steel structures

The team at Steelcorp is here to support you through every aspect of your project, including weighing up the benefits of different insulation options. Get in touch with our team to find out more about insulating your structure for comfort, safety and energy efficiency.

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