Insulation is a forgotten technology that can provide an unrivaled return on investment. The Citrus Industry is not an exception. Insulation is the ‘Rodney Dangerfield’ of the construction industry: It receives very little respect and is taken for granted. Insulation is a powerful resource when designed, applied, and maintained properly. Yet, this technology is often forgotten or put on the bottom of the list and ignored.

A recent survey conducted by the National Insulation Association of more than 160 industrial plants, manufacturing, engineering, and architectural firms found that:

• Most had no idea of the payback period, rate of return, with the use of insulation, nor a method to quantify costs versus savings

• Many acknowledged that numerous areas of insulation were in serious need of repair

• The majority did not understand that insulation had any real environmental “tie in”

• Some did not consider additional insulation necessary: “the plant is working fine”

• Many could not relate corrosion under insulation to having anything to do with the insulation

• Most acknowledged their specifications were outdated

• Many confirmed they did not have a dedicated job function to address insulation specifications or anyone who was the “insulation champion”

• Many did not think of insulation as a system or requiring any special design review or technical consideration

That survey confirmed the ‘Rodney Dangerfield’ characterization and formed the basis for the foundation of a major industry educational and awareness initiative.

The benefits of insulation are in many cases invisible and long lasting. This technology is not some mysterious myth. Possibly it is misunderstood and under appreciated due to lack of knowledge. Calculating the operational benefits and the return on investment can be relatively simple. However, an insulation system does not have any moving parts, computer chips, or fancy gauges, and it is certainly not sexy. Maybe that is why in many circles insulation is not an exciting topic of discussion, even though it is a time tested and proven technology that can often provide an annual return on investment greater than 100%. There has not been a more important time in recent history than now to think about insulation differently. The Citrus Industry is not immune to that thought process.

Paper published with permission.

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