Prepared by the Armstrong Cork Company, makers of Industrial Insulations, in cooperation with the National Association of Building Owners and Managers

Below ground, a modern office building is a beehive of activity. There you’ll find electrical, plumbing, and carpenter shops, employees’ locker rooms, control centers, and even a garage. Down deep in the basement, too, are the boilers and compressors that supply heat and refrigeration for the entire building.

Delivering that heat and cold to every floor is a complex and expensive job. To cut the cost of these services and make them work more efficiently, modern office buildings depend on insulations. Many of the insulating materials they use are made and installed by the Armstrong Cork Company.

Elevators, telephone lines, electric wiring, along with pipes carrying steam, hot and cold water, and refrigeration travel from basement to top floors through an opening called the “service core.” This core is really a vertical highway through which move all the services that make a building livable.

Steam and hot water come from the boiler room (1), and are kept hot by 85% Magnesia insulation on the pipes that carry them. Right beside them are lines filled with a liquid refrigerant and insulated with Armstrong’s Cork Covering to keep it cold.

This refrigerant is used for air conditioning. It is pumped from compressors 2 to machine rooms 3 spaced at intervals all the way up the building. Here the refrigerant runs through bare coils or pipes, and the air is cooled by being blown over them. Then the cooled air is carried to each office through ducts 4 covered with Armstrong’s Corkboard to hold it at the right temperature.

Insulation works at other places, too. The boilers can generate steam with less fuel because Armstrong’s Insulating Fire Brick in their walls hold in the heat. Top floor offices are more comfortable because a layer of Armstrong’s Corkboard Roof Insulation helps keep temperatures steady.

All through a modern office building, as in hundreds of other industries and businesses, Armstrong’s Industrial Insulations keep the cost of controlling heat and cold within practical limits. If insulation can solve a temperature problem for you, there is a trained engineer in a near-by Armstrong office who will be glad to help you.


  1. Toronto says: April 30, 201011:57 am

    Quite the building – it has it’s own carpentry shop. And those poor SOBs working three stories below the subway and two below the sewers are wearing ties, down amount the barrels and such.

    The complex I work in was to have its own nuke for power and heat, at one point in the planning. They skipped that, but it’s heated and cooled by Lake Ontario.

  2. frnx says: September 12, 20119:09 am

    Wow! I never looked at an illustration by Frank Soltesz at such a super-high resolution, thank you very much!

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