Insulation on heating and cooling system piping NOW IN EFFECT!

Monday, July 1, 2019 6:00 AM


To our Valued Customers,


PURPOSE This brief has been developed to address issues with providing adequate insulation value on piping formingpart of a heating or cooling system exposed to the exterior as stipulated in Sentence 9.36.3.4.(2) of the 2014 ABC and2019 NBC-AE.

DISCUSSION The objective of insulation on the piping is to reduce the environmental impact due to heat transmissionto/from the atmosphere where lines are outside of the building envelope. The intent statement associated withNBCC2015, ABC2014:B:9.36.3.4.(2) and NBC2019-AE:B:9.36.3.4.(2) is: 

To limit the probability of insufficient insulaiton around heating and air conditioing pipes, which could lead to excessove thermal transfer through system components, which could lead to excessive use of energy for heating and cooling, which could lead to an unaccceptable effect on the enviroment. 


The intent of insulating the pipe is, per F93, "To limit the amount of uncontrolled thermal transfer through the systemcomponents", which system components includes the piping. Under Section 9.36. of the 2014 and 2019 editions, thisobjective is achieved.

Nevertheless, the application of the amount of insulation required to achieve the minimum prescriptive requirement isreported to be proving challenging for some system installers, and a request has been made to/by Municipal Affairs (MA)to reduce the requirement. MA has provided the following findings: "In accordance to the AHRI 210/240 standard fortesting of Air-Conditioning units, testing is done with 0.5” (13 mm) of insulation. We can discern from that if an installationwas to use 0.5 inch (13 mm) thick insulation it would meet the certified performance values that are stated in the AHRIcertificate for the SEER ratings. As well, ASHRAE Standard 90.1, Table 6.8.3.B also requires 0.5” (13 mm) insulation tomeet energy efficiency requirements. Additional insulation would not change the SEER rating of the unit and wouldappear to be inconsequential towards any benefit to the system."

Some installers feel the current piping insulation code provision is excessive, though not jeopardizing the availability ofair conditioning as an option for Albertans. HVAC and electrical industry members have expressed a view that the currentpiping insulation provision is more than what is needed for meeting energy efficiency objectives. We understand MAsupports this perspective and intends to consult with the National Research Council (NRC) to recommend an appropriateinsulation rating that will allow for air conditioner installations while also supporting Alberta’s energy efficiency goals.Meanwhile, this brief outlines an alternative to the specific provisions under 9.36. for use in 9.36.3.4.-related installations,supported by the Provincial Building Administrator of Alberta. It is important to note that this variance will not remove theinsulation requirement from Section 9.36., but will allow, as an alternative, less than the RSI 2.97 (~R16) insulation where9.36.3.4.-related exterior heating and cooling system piping is installed.

continued...

VARIANCE This has been deemed to provide approximately equivalent or greater safety performance withrespect to persons and property as that provided for by the Safety Codes Act, to meet the objective of ABC2014:B:9.36.3.4. and NBC2019-AE:B:9.36.3.4. :

1. Manufactured new approved pre-insulated line sets supplied with insulation

  • ●  of minimum 0.5" ( 1⁄2” or 13mm) thickness,

  • ●  of type and conductivity range set out in ASHRAE Standard 90.1, Table 6.8.3.B,

  • ●  factory-installed on suction and liquid lines, and

  • ●  properly sealed and from the exterior environment per manufacturer’s recommendation for UV

    or weather exposure.
    2. When not factory insulated, lines sets shall be

  • ●  insulated in conformance with NECB 2017:B: 5.2.5.3., (equating to 1" of insulation of conductivity range0.030-0.039 (W/mC) at rating temperature of 24O C), and

  • ●  protected in accordance with NECB 2017:B: 5.2.5.4., (where it may be subject to mechanical damage orweathering).

both

protected

This applies in the City of Edmonton.1 July 2019

Chad Rich, SCO
GENERAL SUPERVISOR, INSPECTIONS
SAFETY CODES PERMITS & iNSPECTIONS
DEVELOPMENT SERVICES | URBAN FORM & CORPORATE STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT780 944 1227 OFFICE

David Flanagan, SCO
ADVISOR
SAFETY CODES PERMITS & INSPECTIONS
DEVELOPMENT SERVICES | URBAN FORM & CORPORATE STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT780 944 0112 OFFICE

Juan Monterrosa, P.Eng., LEED AP BD+C, CPHC
DIRECTOR
SAFETY CODES, PERMITS & INSPECTIONS
DEVELOPMENT SERVICES | URBAN FORM & CORPORATE STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT780 423 5348 OFFICE

3rd Floor, Edmonton Tower 10111 104 Avenue Edmonton AB T5J 0J4
To maintain relevance, this document is subject to periodic review and amendment