Large community buildings require a lot of energy to heat. Thus, it's very important that they are well insulated in order to keep heating bills under control. Unfortunately, a lot of community buildings are historical structures that were built before the days when green living and energy-efficiency were primary goals of architects and builders. That does not mean communities cannot take action to increase the efficiency of these structures. One great way to do so is with spray foam insulation.
Spray foam insulation is a safe and sustainable insulating choice for most any structure. It comes as a liquid, which expands into a dense, insulating foam once sprayed onto a surface. Spray foam is quick and easy for a qualified applicator to apply, and it can last for decades. It offers several benefits specific to older community buildings:
At least part of the building can likely be left open for public access while the spray foam is being applied.
Depending on the size of the building, you may be able to keep at least part of it open for business while the contractors apply spray foam to other rooms and areas. There is some off-gassing that occurs during spray foam application, but contractors can use fans and other ventilation methods to ensure it is directed away from the part of the building that's kept open. Smaller structures may need to be closed temporarily while the insulation is applied, but since this process is quick and the foam only takes, on average, a day or two to cure, this closure will be short.
Spray foam insulation cannot sustain mold growth.
Mold growth in a public building such as a library or post office is a public health concern, since every person who enters the structure will be exposed to the spores. Workers will be exposed continually throughout the day. Unfortunately, mold growth is common in older buildings, since their walls may contain cracks through which moisture can seep. Traditional insulation may absorb this moisture and support mold growth, but spray foam is moisture-resistant and will resist mold growth, potentially preventing costly mold remediation efforts down the road.
Spray foam fits in thin spaces between walls.
One of the reasons many old buildings are tough to insulate is that there is not a lot of space between the exterior and interior walls. Regular insulation may not fit in this space, but spray foam will, and just a thin layer of spray foam is adequate to insulate most buildings.
By making an older community building more energy-efficient, you are reducing the number of tax dollars spent on heating and cooling. Consider using spray foam to insulate your inefficient community buildings, such as post offices, libraries, community centers and court houses. Many members of your community likely practice green living and construction in their own homes, and they'll be happy to see their community leaders showing similar concern when remodeling public structures.