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During the past few years, more and more companies have found the solution for keeping the desired temperature inside their buildings while keeping energy cost down. The solution is reflective insulation products. Reflective insulation products are gaining popularity for their energy savings benefits, ease of installation and competitive pricing.
Because metal buildings conduct heat, maintaining desired temperature during the summer and winter months can be ongoing and expensive. The insulation reduces the transfer of heat across a building’s air spaces and is manufactured with a highly reflective surface. Since 95-97% of the radiant heat that strikes the surface is reflected, only 3-5% of the heat is emitted through the insulation.
The major benefits of reflective insulation is that in the summer, heat that radiates through the roof will reflect off the insulation’s surface back to the roof- not to the inside of the building- keeping temperatures inside the building cooler. In the winter, the heat inside of the building is reflected off the insulation’s shiny surface to retain the heat.
To achieve maximum performance, the reflective insulation must be properly installed with an air- space facing one foil side of the product. In addition to its energy saving capabilities, reflective insulation has many other features;
• Lightweight and features easy installation which can reduce labor costs
• Can be cut-to-size
• It can be installed over previous insulation to increase insulating properties, or to improve a building’s appearance.
• Requirements for indoor lighting can be cut by up to 35%, which can help reduce electricity bills.
• The lower moisture transfer improves the overall thermal performance of the buildings
While reflective insulation materials can be used in any climate, it is most effective in southern states where excessive heat can send energy cost soaring.
Reflective insulation materials are tested under the ASTM 1224 Standard Specifications for Reflective Insulation for building applications. Included in these criteria is a fire test – ASTM E84-10 and ASTM E2599 require reflective insulation to have a flame spread rating of 25 or less and a smoke development rating of 50 or less.
John Starr is the vice president/partner of Covertech/rFoil.
Millennials today make up about a third of the workforce globally and Forbes reports that by 2025, that number will jump to more than 75 percent. Millennials are tech-savvy and creative, and many times reject the traditional nine-to-five work schedule. In order to recruit and retain this group, human resource professionals are working closely with facility managers, interior designers, architects and construction personnel to tailor the modern office space to the millennial preference. Incorporating an open layout with a modern design can help to attract and retain this group of future leaders.
Design and Furniture
Millennials seek out forward thinking companies to work for and office spaces that reflect a similar attitude. The physical layout of the office is the first clue into company culture, so instead of traditional cubicles, they may look for contemporary furniture and a design that mirrors the company’s creative mentality. Millennials also tend to prefer open floor plans where they can sit and engage with fellow team members. An open floorplan mentally eliminates the concept of a strict organizational hierarchy and instead presents a high level of transparency that provides new employees with a first-hand look at how the organization operates. Portable desks and chairs are easy ways to cultivate collaboration between team members or provide a simple change of scenery.
Break Out Areas
Millennials have a distinct work style, mostly in that it differs from many generations before them. Conventional conference rooms and meeting areas don’t convey the progressive and flexible atmosphere they crave. Rather, designate break out spaces that foster spontaneous brainstorms or meetings to encourage innovative approaches and boost productivity in the workplace. Furnishing these spaces with comfortable seating and the necessary technology promotes easy and relaxed communication. From group work to private work, these break out areas can cater to all daily activities of the millennial employee.
As the social generation, it is important for millennials to recognize a social element in the workplace. Coffee bars and accessible kitchen areas provide gathering places for employees to socialize and create a sense of community between all generations in the office. Allow employees to contribute to the design of the office with a photo wall or place to showcase inspirational articles. The millennial wants to feel at home in their office space, especially catered to their odd hours of work.
Millennials will continue to influence and bring changes to traditional office spaces for many years. The trend of contemporary, modern and millennial-designed office space is likely here to stay and those companies who can successfully execute them will have an attractive advantage as the place to be for the working millennial.
Andy Hehl is the sales manager at Pine River Group, the North American distributor of Kebony.
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