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Is there a minimum insulation required under slabs for snowmelt tubing?

mrB6HhaEkt | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Is there a minimum insulation required under slabs for snowmelt tubing? I have looked in the energy code under commercial buildings but can not find any reference to insulation values outside the building envelope. Any info on where to look would be helpful.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    You're opening a can of worms here. As you might expect, snowmelt systems are controversial among green builders -- you can't expect global-warming activists to endorse systems that heat the great outdoors.

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the snowmelt system you're talking about is necessary because of handicapped tenants (rather than able-bodied tenants who are too lazy or too rich to use a snow shovel). Let's hope that's the case.

    I imagine you would want at least R-10 insulation under a snowmelt system. As with most insulation recommendations, more is always better than less.

    According to one source, "Many manufacturers of snow melting systems recommend insulating the slab with rigid polystyrene foam 1 to 2 inches thick."

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