XPS Floor Insulation for Commercial Refrigeration and Cold Storage Facilities

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Cold storage facilities must maintain consistent temperatures in order to be effective. This means not only having the right refrigeration equipment, but also having the right insulation.

One of the primary areas of concern is thermal transfer--energy and heat entering the building through the studs in the walls and through the floor. Most traditional flooring options, such as concrete, are ineffective at helping maintain proper indoor temperatures.

Adding the right type of floor insulation to cold storage buildings can go a long way toward keeping the required refrigeration levels, while helping to prevent thermal transfer and increased energy bills at the same time.

Thermal Insulation in Cold Storage Facilities

Refrigeration is only one component necessary to maintain the proper temperature in a cold storage facility. Insulation is equally essential: It helps maintain consistent temperatures throughout the space, eliminating warm pockets and helping to keep energy costs down.

Insulation used in cold storage facilities has evolved over time as insulation techniques have improved. In the past, EPS—expanded polystyrene—insulation had been used. EPS does an adequate job of insulating, but because of the way it’s made, the panels are large, unwieldy and can’t be installed everywhere in the building.

For this reason, XPS—extruded polystyrene—insulation has begun to take its place. XPS can be used continuously over the building envelope to prevent thermal transfer at the studs, as well as beneath flooring.

EPS cannot be used under flooring, as it is too large and loses its insulating properties when compressed, such as when heavy equipment is driven over it. XPS insulation, however, can be compressed. So for facilities that rely on heavy equipment to move their goods, XPS can be used to provide additional insulation to the floor area.


There are many types of XPS insulation available. Kingspan’s GreenGuard line offers three different insulation boards that can be used beneath the floors to provide superior protection against thermal transfer.

All GreenGuard XPS insulation boards have an R-value of 5 per inch of thickness and offer moisture control as well as insulation. Moisture control is important in areas where there is a significant difference in temperature from inside to outside which can cause condensation to develop.

GreenGuard XPS boards help prevent condensation from developing inside the facility by creating a barrier against thermal transfer and moisture. With a barrier between the cool interior and warmer exterior, no condensation has a chance to develop. This creates a better environment for the facility, with the added bonus of reducing energy bills.

With three different types of boards, GreenGuard offers a solution no matter what your facility’s needs are. 

Type IV has a compressive strength of 30 psi and can be used under floors in storage areas, freezers and along walkways to create a continuous, tight building envelope.

Type VI has a compressive strength of 40 psi, which makes it ideal for high load application areas, such as low-temperature freezer floors and rack-loaded cold storage facility floors. Using Type VI insulation means you won’t lose any insulation value even if you have a slightly heavier than usual load.

For areas that use heavy equipment and need superior compressive strength, there is GreenGuard Type VII, which can be combined with a drainage system to help control thaw and allow moisture to drain, rather than collect to refreeze later.

Insulate Against the Heat

While residential properties are likely using insulation to hold heat in, commercial refrigeration and cold storage facilities need to keep the heat out. That’s why using continuous insulation over every surface is so important.

Give your cold storage facilities continuous insulation and tight building envelope with GreenGuard XPS insulation boards from Kingspan to get the best protection possible for your cold storage building.

Kingspan Insulation North America

Head Office & Sales Office – North America

Kingspan Insulation LLC

2100 Riveredge Parkway, Suite 175

Atlanta, Georgia



Call: +1(800) 241 4402