Insulation Upgrades in Residence Halls

Recent renovations in Wilder, Mead and North Mandelle residence halls have greatly contributed to the energy efficiency of the Mount Holyoke College campus. As a part of the Enhanced Cap Insulation and Caulking Project, poor insulation, unsealed gaps in walls, floors, windows and pipe penetrations were identified and improved upon in order to create a tighter envelope to reduce heat losses from the building. To test the efficacy of these efforts, a “Blower Door Test” was performed both before and after the work was done. Pressurizing the entire building with smoky air, the test enables leaks to be seen where smoke escapes from floor to floor, the attic, or the outside. Steam use data from the test has shown that the work performed was extremely effective at reducing heat losses and lowering energy requirements for all three buildings.

This isn’t the first time that insulation work has been performed to reduce energy usage on the campus, nor will it be the last. All residence halls had cap insulation work done following the energy embargos of the 1970’s. Re-addressing insulation and caulking work, the Enhanced Cap Insulation and Caulking Project began in Wilder in during the summer of 2010, followed by renovation in Mead in 2011, and in North Mandelle during the summer of 2012. This project will be continued in campus buildings throughout the next several years in order to continue the exemplary energy-use reduction.