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RE: under-slab insulation for cooler building

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There is absolutely no need for underslab insulation in a cooler.


Sub-slab insulation is needed only around the perimeter of the slab where you are trying to prevent the “cooled” soil from effecting adjacent surfaces outside of the cooler footprint that would result in condensate problems.


D. Matthew Stuart, P.E., S.E.



Senior Project Manager

Structural Department

200 State Highway Nine

Manalapan, NJ 07726-0900

Phone: (732) 577-9000 (Ext. 1283)

FAX: (732) 431-9428

Cell: (908) 309-8657

Email: mstuart(--nospam--at)







-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Holcomb [mailto:bholcomb(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, August 05, 2005 3:26 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: under-slab insulation for cooler building


We are designing a cooler building which will be located in central Florida.  In an effort to reduce cost, the contractor wants to eliminate the under-slab insulation.  The building is approximately 170’ square x 80’ tall with (4) 2-million gallon tanks inside and the interior temperature is to be a constant 33 degrees Fahrenheit.  The foundation is a 2’-0” thick mat… basically a 2’-0” thick slab-on-grade and will have a vapor barrier under it.  Even though the owner can’t allow the contents to freeze (he’d lose a lot of money), we are concerned about a malfunction causing the interior temperature to drop below freezing (probably not extremely likely) or temperature variations allowing the temperature to be below freezing in certain spots.  Not to mention the problems that could arise if the building is someday converted to a freezer building.


Are we just worrying too much?  Should we go along with eliminating the under-slab insulation?



Bruce D. Holcomb, PE, SE

Structural Engineer & Vice President

Butler, Rosenbury & Partners

319 North Main, Suite 200

Springfield, MO 65806