If you own a yoga studio, you have two main priorities: create an enjoyable space for your students, and keep your studio in top condition. Many factors go into supporting these priorities, but fundamentally it comes down to one thing, and it’s overlooked by so many yoga studios that it shocks us:
Here’s the ugly truth – hot yoga studios are a nightmare for HVAC designers. Few mechanical engineers specify the right equipment, and there’s hardly ever an installation that’s “problem-free”. It’s a huge liability for major furnace manufacturers. And, as a result, bad things have happened.
Hot yoga studios are responsible for fires, roof collapses, and code infringements. A studio owner was evicted in Florida because the foul odors were detectable from blocks away. Inside, it was “an infectious petri dish of mold, fungi and Legionnaire’s Disease”, according to the IAQ expert who was called in.
Your students will notice it, too. Two studios may have equal heating, but they could feel completely different for the student. One feels like a “healthy sweat”, the other feels miserable; this could mean the difference between a student coming back or deciding to check out other studios.
Now, if the atmosphere is that unpleasant, just imagine what it’s doing to your roof! Your attic is made of exposed wood. When wood is subject to condensation, and that moisture has nowhere to go…well, you know what happens next. The worst of this so far happened to a shopping center in Arizona – the roof collapsed, and it was allegedly caused by a hot yoga studio.
We don’t want that to happen again.
What’s been most successful is using spray foam, as a means of insulation. What spray foam ultimately does is keep the humidity from the wood, due to its vapor barrier properties and that’s a big piece of the game. No matter how technical the language gets, stopping vapor drive is all we’re doing.
One way looks is this: foam is applied to the exterior of the building, which keeps the air out. The inside of the building is lined with sheets of moisture-resistant Dow blue board, with taped joints one-inch thick. This acts as a substrate, a surface the foam can be applied to. Drywall is then installed over the walls and ceiling. All in all, the system works as a sealant for your building, and also minimizes thermal bridging, which is the uneven heat distribution that can reduce your insulation’s resistivity.
The drywall acts as a vapor barrier, which protects your walls and ceilings from moisture. Some studio owners will layer additional primer, which enhances the ability to resist vapor. Most hot yoga studios do not have these at all, and their wooden infrastructure is subject to mold and rot.
This process can be done over the weekend, and it could save your studio’s framing structure.
Yoga studios are a great source of health for the community, but they hardly do the job if the air is making your students ill. Proper ventilation and insulation is critical, though you need special designs to make that happen and take the proper steps described above.
If you have any questions about roofing, or need some expert advice, call Pacific West Roofing today to get the information you need!