1.10 Existing Buildings, Maintenance & Retrofits

Retrofitting mechanical insulation in existing buildings is also a critical issue for practitioners and building owners/operators to be aware of. Most common is a failure to properly replace the insulation after removal when servicing/ replacing a pipe or valve.

Many existing buildings also have insufficient insulation installed, or other insulation deficiencies. This creates opportunities for a positive return on investment through retrofitting, while addressing other objectives such as protecting building components.

The following figure provides an example of a mechanical insulation retrofit process that includes assessment of energy savings.

Figure 1.11.1 - Example Retrofit Project Process 

Three key elements for a successful mechanical insulation retrofit project include:

  • Hiring mechanical contractors and insulation installers qualified in mechanical insulation
  • Assessing the retrofit business case and recognizing the longer term risks of failing to maintain original mechanical insulation or correct deficiencies
  • Timely and informed inspection and sign-off of the completed work.