Low-E Insulation and the Mattoon Pride Den
IN THEIR OWN WORDS...
The task of installing Low-E Attic Wrap was started on October 19, 2007 and was completed on November 3, 2007.
The Mattoon Pride "Den", softball practice facility, was constructed in 2005. We began utilizing it for softball practice in November 2005. The Mattoon Pride is a girls fast pitch softball organization which is entering our 15th season in 2008. Over the years, we have several high finishes in Illinois State Tournaments (5 State ASA & NSA State titles) and NSA World Series (three top 4 finished); here is a link to our website, http://www.mattoonpride.com/. In addition to softball, we have utilized the facility for basketball practice utilizing swing-out backboards on the back wall.
Here is a view of the main entrance of the building.
The basic footprint of the building is 60' wide by 84' long by 20' high (60' is the distance between bases and 84' is the distance from home plate to second base and are very important softball dimensions) with 2 wings (12' wide) on the side where we have 2 batting cages on the south end and 1 batting cage (+ entry, bathroom & storage) on the north end.
Our walls below the upper rafters are insulated with normal 4" insulation and covered with 1/2" fire-rated plywood to meet code. The ceilings was initially insulated with R-13 white insulation and the end caps above the rafters were about 60% covered with R-13 insulation and bubble insulation from the initial construction of the frame. The rafters are on 8' centers. The main area lighting is eighteen 6-bulb high-bay fluorescent light fixtures suspended from the purlins supporting the roof.
We chose to heat the building with eight 10KW electric space heaters mounted about 10' high on the posts located in the middle. They are the brown object attached to the main posts.
They are controlled by 2 thermostats; one controlling the outside 4 and one controlling the inside 4. We normally leave them set on 37 degrees and turn them to 61 when we are practicing (historically has taken about 10 minutes to get it comfortable enough to begin practice).
Following the first winter of operations, we had a fairly good handle on the usage and the electric bills for the facility. As it turned out, we used the building a lot more than our previous facility which was smaller, not as convenienctly located, and not as effective handling the cold weather.
In 2007, Illinois electric rates experienced a significant increase after many years of frozen rates; this put them more with the national average for electricity costs. We looked at the need for additional insulation in the ceiling area to reduce our electric bills as we plan on using this facility for considerable time in the future.
In investigating our possibilities for doing this, I cam across Low-E information on the internet. Because we already had a vapor barrier from the initial insulation, we were concerned with condensation. This is why Attic Wrap was recommended and installed.
With about 75 girls in the organization, we have several handy parents who volunteered their time to do some work in the initial finishing of the building as well as this modification to install the Attic Wrap.
We utilized both scaffolding (with rollers where we did not have to change height) and powered lifts as you can see in the pictures. One particular obstacle for our construction was the lower 2 X 4 stabilizing the rafters. There was just enough room for the powered lift to go up between.
Because of this, we decided it best to put up the Attic Wrap in about 20' strips (which caused a couple of places of overlap which caused my miscalculation on material). We would first staple and then use cap nails to attach the insulation to the purlins as it was recommended (could not find 1/2" screws with plastic washers) spaced about 15" apart as you can see. The guys probably utilized a lot more aluminum tape than was necessary, but we felt better safe than sorry. Our only injuries were from the hammer.
We are hoping for about a 4-6 year payback on our insulation investment. After this winter, we will have a better handle on the annual savings from this insulation work. We will be replacing the carpet in a year or two to gymnasium carpet.
After the building was completed, I asked the folks to let me know if the building was giving back the way it was expected. The reply was... "Been fairly warm; getting down to 36, the temp has gotten down to 57 and last year in similar weather, ti would get down to 50. It was warm enough up in rafters."
Here are some pictures of how it looks with everything in place.