Energy efficient answer to traditional ductwork provides opportunity

Training dedicated to phenolic board set for March 21-23, 24-26 in Cleveland

ALEXANDRIA, Va.  – To stay relevant, industries and businesses alike must constantly reinvent themselves. For the sheet metal industry, this reinvention comes in the form of expanding its services to include phenolic board.

Used to make duct work more energy-efficient, phenolic board is pre-insulated, so there is no particulate matter, is lighter to transport and decreases energy consumption over the life of the building.

To stay ahead of this emerging market, the International Training Institute (ITI) for the sheet metal and air conditioning industry is offering members of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) the ability to update their skills – and thereby increase their career opportunities – with two three-day courses from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 21-23 and March 24-26 at Local #33 JATC in Cleveland. The course is open to members in good standing from all over the country. The course is free, as it is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and members need only pay for their transportation and room and board.

Recent innovations and developments, like phenolic board, have changed the way the HVAC market specifies ductwork systems. Energy use is under constant scrutiny, and building and energy codes are more stringent while costs remain under pressure. The demand for energy-reducing solutions has increased in recent years, and the gap between design and actual performance is closing. As a result, building products are dramatically improving to satisfy the changing demands of the HVAC industry and individual business.

“Phenolic board doesn’t just let me sell to more customers,” said Fran Lanciaux of Commercial Comfort Systems, Inc. in Toledo, Ohio. “It lets me sell more to the customers I have.”

Phenolic board is thermally efficient and fabricated using non-fibrous modified resin rigid thermoset insulation panels. It not only cuts energy costs but provides a reduction in air leakage. Replacing traditional glass fiber-insulated sheet metal ductwork with phenolic board decreases air leakage by up to 80 percent, and up to 30 percent less embodied energy is required for operation.

“The guys in the field really like the product because it’s light and easy to install,” said Ralph Carver of McDonald Air and Sheet Metal, Inc. in Orlando. “It’s the next generation of product.”

Phenolic board also allows contractors another option for their clients. As many contractors bid on new and renovation projects that demand higher energy efficiency, competent workers are needed who understand new materials and emerging technology.

“It provides life cycle savings to the client while offering my company the opportunity to be more diverse and more profitable,” said Lance Herlong of National Sheet Metal Company in Jacksonville, Fla.

More than 15,000 apprentices are registered at training facilities in the United States and Canada. The ITI is jointly sponsored by Sheet Metal Worker’s International Association (SMWIA) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA). ITI supports apprenticeship and advanced career training for union workers in the sheet metal industry throughout the United States and Canada. Located in Alexandria, Va., ITI produces a standardized sheet metal curriculum supported by a wide variety of training materials free of charge to sheet metal apprentices and journeymen.

For more information about the contest or ITI, visit or call 703-739-7200.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Cleveland, Ductwork, Energy-Efficiency, HVAC, Phenolic Board, Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Industry
Previous Post
Annual International Sheet Metal Apprentice Competition comes to Las Vegas March 6-10
Next Post
Sheet metal welders urged to prepare for certification despite status

Related Posts