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Pipe Insulation

As hot or cold water has quite a long way to travel throughout a building, it is crucial it maintains its required temperature as much as possible. During this process, it passes many spaces where additional heating or cooling is unavailable, meaning non-insulated pipes can heat up or cool down – with all the negative consequences that can cause.

Pipes require different performance levels to keep water hot or cold:  

  • Warm water – insulation prevents heat loss, when water travels between a boiler or heating system to central heating units.
  • Cold water – insulation keeps the temperature low, ensuring it is delivered at its required temperature.
  • Rain/waste water – cold water piping insulation avoids water heating up.

In any case, effective insulation means HVAC systems don’t have to work as hard to maintain the operating temperature of the unit, thereby reducing energy consumption.

Discover more about HVAC pipe insulation, and how ROCKWOOL applications can benefit you today.

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Why do we need pipe insulation?

Heating and cooling buildings accounts for around half of all energy consumption1. Reducing the required energy demand can cut both operating costs and carbon emissions for many large constructions – such as airports, apartment blocks, warehouses and schools. 

HVAC pipe insulation improves the operating efficiency of heating and cooling units to keep temperatures comfortable with minimum energy usage.

The fire resilience properties of our stone wool insulation are also important – especially for hot pipes – as they can run throughout a building at high temperatures.

Acoustic absorption also limits the impact from sometimes-noisy pipes and HVAC systems on building occupants, minimising daily disruption.

Calculator and savings

Applying insulation for cold pipes can lead to energy savings of up to 50 percent, while insulation for hot piping can result in energy savings up to 20 percent2. There can be differences between countries, but in general pipe insulation can create a return on investment within three years.

Our aluminium faced and aluminium laminate faced piping products are designed for hot and cold sections respectively. Both are available at a medium density (up to 100kg/m3). 

Insulation thickness is determined by the:

  • Temperature range at which the HVAC unit operates.
  • Medium temperature of the piping or duct.
  • Additional measurements to take into the calculation (Legionella prevention or increased energy performance).
  • Environment conditions (humidity in % and temp in °C).

Use our ROCKWOOL U-value calculator to determine the thermal performance of the building’s walls/roofs, and possible cost savings. For more details on technical specification, visit our ROCKSPEC Specification Toolkit

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ROCKWOOL products are dimensionally stable. They do not shrink or wear out under the influence of temperature, and they maintain the same level of performance. We use all our knowledge to produce and provide our customers with the best possible solution.

Rob Kooiker

ROCKWOOL Group Product Manager

Case studies

The challenge4

Amager Bakke is an innovative energy-from-waste plant in Copenhagen, Denmark. It turns waste from around 700,000 households into electricity and heating. It also doubles as a leisure facility (with ski slope and climbing wall), as the builders were so confident of its green credentials.

However, to further reduce its emissions and create a safe working and leisure environment, it required high-performance insulation.   

The solution

To achieve high energy efficiency levels, while also protecting workers and local residents from any risk of fire, ROCKWOOL insulation was installed around pipes and elsewhere within the facility.

The results

The properties of stone wool are helping the plant achieve its high environmental goals – improving the plant’s thermal efficiency, protecting workers from heat, and enhancing fire protection.

Amager Bakke/Copenhill

Sustainability and energy efficiency

We achieve results through the use of stone wool, which means all our pipe products are fully recyclable. They can be removed from a building at the end of its life and used again – providing circularity and preventing landfill6.

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Financial support

There may be local schemes and tax incentives available in your country, supporting the use of insulation to boost energy efficiency.

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