One of New York’s largest and most prestigious universities, which sits on roughly 230 acres and spans over 100 buildings, is home to approximately 28,000 undergraduate students that are housed in more than 20 residence halls. Skyline Restoration and Superstructures Engineers + Architects worked with the university to update perimeter conditions of one of its student housing buildings using Kingspan’s OPTIM-R vacuum insulation panels.
The 15-story student housing building was built in 1987 and houses approximately 740 students. Its roof and terraces needed to be brought up to code and waterproofed for leaks due to issues with door thresholds and parapets with a fast turnaround time of between six and 10 days.
Between 1,500 and 1,800 square feet of Kingspan’s OPTIM-R vacuum insulation panels were used in the retrofit project for the student housing building. Kingspan’s OPTIM-R is a next-generation insulation comprising rigid vacuum insulation panels (VIP) with a microporous core, which is evacuated, encased and sealed in a thin, gas-tight envelope to give outstanding R-values and an ultra-thin insulation solution.
“The existing roofing system’s insulation thickness was minimal and the doors and through-wall air conditioning units were very low,” says Michael Stripunsky, senior associate, Superstructures Engineers + Architects. “The distance from the top of the existing concrete deck to the bottom of the air conditioning unit wall penetration was less than 8 inches. If traditional insulation had been used, the top of the new roofing system would have been just at the level of the wall opening.”
OPTIM-R’s high level of thermal efficiency—up to R-28 on 1 inch and R-57 on 2 inch using calculated edge thermal resistance properties—combined with minimal thickness, provides an ideal solution for applications like that of the student housing building, where a lack of construction space or depth was an issue. OPTIM-R made installation fast and easy because of its ultra-thin nature and its effectiveness for when space is tight.
“In a case like this, using OPTIM-R was a cost effective and efficient solution. We saved the client money and time, and allowed for normal building operation,” remarks Stripunsky. “Using OPTIM-R also allowed us to avoid costly modifications to the existing perimeter conditions.”