Less than 48 hours before the scheduled opening of Print Works Bistro, which, along with the adjacent Proximity Hotel, was vying for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification (Page 20), Dennis Quaintance, chief executive officer of Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants & Hotels, noticed a problem.

Standing between the restaurant's bar and dining room, directly below a rooftop air handler, Quaintance could hear the not-so-restful whine of the air-handler fan and the rumble of air through the exposed metal ductwork.

For a fast solution, Joe Millikan, PE, LEED AP, president of Superior Mechanical Inc., thought of Armaflex closed-cell insulation. Although he had never had an opportunity to use it on a restaurant project, he knew of its effectiveness in attenuating sound.

“I knew it would work,” Millikan said. “It was just a matter of getting the product installed and painted in time for the opening of the restaurant.”

By 4 a.m. the next day, Millikan had a crew installing AP Armaflex elastomeric-foam insulation inside of the rooftop unit and on the exterior of the ductwork inside of the restaurant. By 5 p.m., installation was complete, and the noise was gone.

AP Armaflex does not release particulates into the atmosphere, and its smooth surface does not absorb moisture or attract dirt or debris, both of which are known to facilitate mold growth. Also, it can be installed using Armaflex 520 BLV adhesive, which is low in volatile organic compounds, toluene-free, and hexane-free.

AP Armaflex is well-suited for exposed ductwork because it can be painted to match any decor. In the case of Print Works, it was painted with a few coats of white latex paint to match the ceiling and curtain panels hanging from the ceiling.

“I will definitely use the product again — not just for exterior applications like this, but also for liner inside the ducts,” Millikan said.


Information and ductwork photograph courtesy of Armacell LLC.
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