Title:
SYSTEM AND METHOD OF INSULATION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An insulation system and method of insulation suitable for thermally insulating commercial buildings without the need to modify the building being insulated during installation of the insulation system. The insulation system includes a plurality of boards, at least two rails secured to supporting members of the building and adapted to secure opposite ends of each of the boards between the supporting members, and a plurality of trim pieces between adjacent boards and adapted to connect the adjacent boards.



Inventors:
Wadsworth, Robert Lee (Crown Point, IN, US)
Boulding, Michael (Davenport, FL, US)
Application Number:
13/938013
Publication Date:
01/09/2014
Filing Date:
07/09/2013
Assignee:
Innovative Energy Inc. (Lowell, IN, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/479, 52/741.4
International Classes:
E04C2/20; E04B1/76
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HERRING, BRENT W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARTMAN GLOBAL IP LAW (VALPARAISO, IN, US)
Claims:
1. An insulation system for thermally insulating a building, the insulation system comprising: a plurality of boards; at least two rails secured to supporting members of the building and adapted to secure opposite ends of each of the boards between the supporting members; and a plurality of trim pieces between adjacent boards and adapted to connect the adjacent boards.

2. The insulation system of claim 1, wherein the boards are formed of a thermally insulating material.

3. The insulation system of claim 1, wherein the boards comprise a core material with a reflective thermal resistant layer exposed on a first side of the core material.

4. The insulation system of claim 3, wherein the boards comprise an ultra violet light resistant layer exposed on a second side of the core material opposite the first side.

5. The insulation system of claim 3, wherein the reflective thermal resistant layer is formed of a reflective metallized polymeric film or aluminum foil.

6. The insulation system of claim 4, wherein the reflective thermal resistant layer is formed of a reflective metallized polymeric film or aluminum foil, and the ultra violet light resistant layer is formed of a white polymeric film.

7. The insulation system of claim 1, wherein each of the rails comprises a rail support portion adapted to be secured to the supporting member of the building and a pair of board support portions that define a cavity configured to receive and secure ends of the ends of each of the boards.

8. The insulation system of claim 1, wherein each of the trim pieces comprises a pair of supporting portions connected by an intermediate portion defining a pair of cavities on opposite sides of the trim piece and configured to receive and secure edges of the adjacent boards.

9. The insulation system of claim 1, wherein the supporting members are purlins of the building.

10. A method of installing the insulation system of claim 1 in the building, the method comprising: securing the rails to the supporting members of the building; securing the boards with the rails between the supporting members of the building so that the boards are suspended by the rails; and securing the adjacent boards with the trim pieces to connect the adjacent boards.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein the building comprises an existing insulation material and installation of the insulation system encloses the existing insulation material between the insulation system and a roof of the building.

12. The method of claim 10, wherein the boards comprise a reflective thermal resistant layer exposed on a side of the boards facing a direction towards a roof of the building.

13. The method of claim 10, wherein the boards comprise a UV resistant layer exposed on a side of the boards facing a direction away from a roof of the building.

14. A method of installing an insulation system in a building, the insulation system comprising: a plurality of boards; at least two rails secured to supporting members of the building and adapted to secure opposite ends of each of the boards between the supporting members; and a plurality of trim pieces between adjacent boards and adapted to connect the adjacent boards; the method comprising: securing the rails to the supporting members of the building; securing the boards with the rails between the supporting members of the building so that the boards are suspended by the rails; and securing the adjacent boards with the trim pieces to connect the adjacent boards.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the building comprises an existing insulation material and installation of the insulation system encloses the existing insulation material between the insulation system and a roof of the building.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein the boards are formed of a thermally insulating material.

17. The method of claim 14, wherein the boards comprise a reflective thermal resistant layer exposed on a side of the boards facing a direction towards a roof of the building.

18. The method of claim 14, wherein the boards comprise a UV resistant layer exposed on a side of the boards facing a direction away from a roof of the building.

19. The method of claim 14, wherein securing the rails to the supporting members comprises securing a rail support portion of each of the rails to a corresponding support member and securing the boards with the rails comprises securing ends of each of the boards within cavities defined by a pair of board support portions on each of the rails corresponding to the ends of the boards.

20. The method of claim 14, wherein securing the adjacent boards with the trim pieces comprises securing edges of the adjacent boards within cavities defined by a pair of supporting portions connected by an intermediate portion of each of the trim pieces.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/669,515, filed Jul. 9, 2012, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/816,478, filed Apr. 26, 2013, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to materials and methods of insulation. More particularly, this invention relates to an insulation system for thermally insulating buildings, sheds, houses, and other structures.

Commercial buildings generally are required to meet regulatory thermal code requirements. Although these buildings can be constructed in many different configurations, common configurations include pre-engineered metal buildings having a roof supported by a plurality of metal C or Z purlins generally supported by metal beams and post frame buildings having a roof supported by trusses.

Conventionally, these buildings may be insulated with an insulation material, such as a fiberglass spray foam or a low emissivity reflective film facer laminated on a variety of substrates, such as bubble wrap, polystryrene (EPS), or EPS foam boards. The insulation material is typically laid across the top of the trusses or purlins. Over time, the insulation material may become degraded by age or defect of manufacture, reducing the its thermal insulation capabilities and/or resulting in an eyesore. Replacement or removal of the insulation material can be labor intensive and expensive as the insulation material is often pinned between the roof materials and the trusses or purlins during construction. Generally, the roof deck must be removed to replace the insulation material which may lead to leaks when it is reinstalled.

In view of the above, it can be appreciated that new insulation systems are continuously sought and it would be desirable if new systems and methods of insulating commercial buildings were available that are capable of thermally insulating the buildings without the need to modify the building being insulated during installation of the insulation system.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an insulation system and method of insulation suitable for thermally insulating commercial buildings without the need to modify the building being insulated during installation of the insulation system.

According to a first aspect of the invention, an insulation system for thermally insulating a building includes a plurality of boards, at least two rails secured to supporting members of the building and adapted to secure opposite ends of each of the boards between the supporting members, and a plurality of trim pieces between adjacent pairs of the boards and adapted to connect the adjacent pairs of the boards.

According to a second aspect of the invention, a method of installing an insulation system in a building includes a plurality of boards, at least two rails secured to supporting members of the building and adapted to secure opposite ends of each of the boards between the supporting members, and a plurality of trim pieces between adjacent pairs of the boards and adapted to connect the adjacent pairs of the boards. The method includes securing the rails to the supporting members of the building, securing the boards with the rails between the supporting members of the building so that the boards are suspended by the rails, and securing the adjacent pairs of the boards with the trim pieces to connect the adjacent pairs of the boards.

A technical effect of the invention is the ability to install the insulation system from the inside of a building being insulated without the need to modify the building. In particular, it is believed that, by suspending the boards from support members of the building with the rails and trim pieces, the insulation system can be installed without the need to remove the roof of the building.

Other aspects and advantages of this invention will be better appreciated from the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1 through 4 are side (FIGS. 1 and 2), end (FIG. 3), and bottom (FIG. 4) views representing an insulation system installed in a commercial building in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a side view representing a rail secured to a support member of a commercial building and supporting a board in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a side view representing two trim pieces supporting a board in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a schematic view representing the layers of a board in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to materials and methods of insulation generally relating to the insulation of buildings, particularly metal and post frame commercial buildings that are required to meet certain regulatory thermal code requirements. The invention will be described in relation to a commercial building having a roof supported by a plurality of purlins, as is common in the art, although the insulation of other types of buildings with the present invention is foreseeable, such as, but not limited to, houses, garages, sheds, and other types of residential buildings. It should be noted that the drawings are drawn for purposes of clarity when viewed in combination with the following description, and therefore are not necessarily to scale.

FIGS. 1 through 5 represent an insulation system 10 comprising a plurality of boards 12, rails 14, and trim pieces 16, although the insulation system 10 may include as few as at least two boards 12, at least two rails 14, and at least one trim piece 16. FIGS. 1 through 4 represent the insulation system 10 installed in a commercial building. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the building includes beams (not shown) that run lengthwise in a first direction within the building and purlins 18 that are supported by the beams and run lengthwise in a second direction within the building perpendicular to the first direction of the beams. The purlins 18 provide support for a roof 20 of the building. An existing insulation material 22 is represented as being located between the purlins 18 and the roof 20. While it is not essential to the present invention for the existing insulation material 22 to be present in the building, such insulation is commonly pinned between the purlins and the roof of commercial buildings of the type described herein. FIGS. 1 and 2 represent the purlins 18 as Z purlin and C purlins, respectively. Importantly, while the boards 12 are represented as being flat, it is foreseeable that they have other shapes than those shown in the figures, such as an upward curvature towards the roof 20 to prevent downward deflection that may cause the boards 12 to become disengaged with the rails 14.

The rails 14, each represented as having an F-shaped cross-section, provide the support for the insulation system 10 and are secured to a supporting member of the building. For example, FIGS. 1 through 5 represent the rails 14 as being secured to sides of the purlins 18. Depending on the type and size of the building being insulated, it may be desirable to secure the rails 14 to the beams, trusses, or any other portion of the building that is capable of supporting the weight of the insulation system 10. Referring to FIG. 5, the rails 14 preferably include a rail support portion 32 and a pair of board support portions 30. The rail support portion 32 provides a region of each rail 14 adapted to be secured to the supporting member of the building. Preferably, the rail support portion 32 may be positioned flush with a region of the supporting member of the building and secured with an adhesive, staples, screws, bolts, or any other type of securing device known in the art. The board support portions 30 are adapted to secure ends of the boards 12 of the insulation system 10. As represented in FIG. 5, the board support portions 30 may define a cavity 34 configured to receive and secure the ends of the boards 12. The boards 12 may be secured within the cavity 34 by gravity, friction, or a securing device such as, but not limited to, adhesives, staples, screws, or bolts. The rails 14 are used to support opposite ends of the boards 14 and suspend the boards 12 between supporting members of the building. The rails 14 may be formed of any material known in the art capable of supporting the boards 12, preferably a polymer material.

The trim pieces 16, each represented as having an H-shaped cross-section, are adapted to provide further support to the insulation system 10 by securing the boards 12 to one another. FIGS. 3 and 4 represent the trim pieces 16 as being located between adjacent boards 12 along the lengthwise edges of the boards 12. Referring to FIG. 6, the trim pieces 16 may include a pair of supporting portions 26 connected by a web or intermediate portion 24. The supporting portions 26 and intermediate portion 24 together may define a pair of cavities 28 on opposite sides of the trim pieces 16 and separated by the intermediate portion 24. The cavities 28 are configured to receive and secure edges of the adjacent boards 12. The trim pieces 16 may be formed of any material known in the art capable of supporting the boards 12, preferably a polymer material.

In combination, the rails 14 and trim pieces 16 provide a support system adapted to suspend the boards 12 in a manner that promotes the thermal insulation of the roof 20 of the building, as represented in FIGS. 1 through 4. The boards 12 may be any size, shape, and composition known in the art. In a preferred embodiment, the boards 12 comprise at least three layers including a core material 38 with an ultra violet light (UV) resistant layer 40 exposed on a first side of the core material 38 and a reflective thermal resistant layer 36 exposed on a second side opposite the first side, as represented in FIG. 7. The core material 38 may be any material known in the art capable of being formed into the boards 12 and sufficiently rigid to be suspended with the rails 14 and trim pieces 16. Preferably, the core material 38 is a polystyrene foam. The UV resistant layer 40 may be formed of any UV resistant material, coating, or combination thereof known in the art, preferably a white polymeric film adapted to reduce UV degradation of the boards 12 and provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The reflective thermal resistant layer 36 may be formed of any reflective material, coating, or combination thereof known in the art, preferably a reflective metallized polymeric film adapted to provide an emissivity that meets the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) definition of a reflective insulation. The components may be bonded together by heat, an adhesive, or other means known in the art, depending upon the characteristics of the materials utilized.

The insulation system 10 is preferably installed to have the UV resistant layer 40 facing downward, that is, towards the interior of the building and/or away from the roof 20, and the reflective thermal resistant layer 36 facing upward, that is, towards the roof 20 of the building. Such a configuration is believed to provide increased thermal insulation to the building as well as a clean, white ceiling and/or roof line. Investigations leading to the present invention determined that the insulation system 10 having the above described arrangement and materials can increase the thermal performance of the building by up to R-10+ or more, and may be installed with a standard R-19 fiberglass batt to create a hybrid insulation system that meets the International Code Council (ICC) R-30 code requirement for metal commercial buildings, as may be required by American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1, and further meets the ICC code requirement for ASTM E-84-09 flame spread and smoke developed.

Installation of the insulation system 10 may include securing the rails 14 to supporting members of the building, placing the boards 12 in locations to be suspended or secured by the rails 14 between supporting members of the building, and securing the boards 12 to adjacent boards 12 with the trim pieces 16. Installation can be accomplished with a simple scaffold for many smaller buildings or with the use of a scissors jack or similar device for larger commercial structures.

The insulation system 10 is believed to provide an efficient and economical method of insulating not only newly constructed buildings, but existing metal commercial buildings as well. As previously mentioned in reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, buildings similar to those described herein often include existing insulation material 22, such as a fiberglass spray foam, foam board, or a low emissivity reflective film facer or an aluminum foil laminated on a variety of substrates, such as bubble wrap, polystyrene, or polystyrene foam boards. This insulation material 22 is typically laid across the top of the trusses or purlins. The insulation material 22 may be pinned between the roof materials and the trusses and/or purlins. If the insulation material 22 begins to degrade in appearance and performance, removal and replacement of the insulation material 22 by conventional means may be difficult and expensive. Generally, the roof 20 of the building must be removed, the insulation material 22 may then be removed and replaced, and finally the roof 20 must be replaced. In addition to being very labor intensive and thus expensive, removing and replacing the roof 20 may promote roof leaks as it is often difficult to replace roof sheets in the same position with screws in the same holes as originally constructed. The insulation system 10 provides an economical and easily installable alternative to the above conventional insulation methods, since the insulation system 10 may be installed on the underside of the insulation material 22, thereby improving the thermal performance of the newly created insulation system without the need to remove the roof 20 or the insulation material 22. In addition to the above, the insulation system 10 may be used to cover existing appearance problems associated with roof lines of buildings, and can reduce eyesores resulting from the existing insulation material 22. Depending on the application, it may be desirable to install the insulation system 10 solely for aesthetic purposes. For such applications, the boards 12 may be adapted to improve the appearance of the building without necessarily providing any significant improvement to the thermal performance of the building.

While the invention has been described in terms of specific embodiments, it is apparent that other forms could be adopted by one skilled in the art. For example, the physical configuration of the rails 14, trim pieces 16, and boards 12 could differ from that shown, and materials and processes other than those noted could be used. Therefore, the scope of the invention is to be limited only by the following claims.