Tag Archives: Thermal bridging

Assessing thermal performance and resiliency of contemporary buildings

Energy and thermal performance requirements are growing and playing an increasingly significant role in building codes throughout North America. However, understanding and meeting these requirements has also become complex for designers. At the same time, it is clear important decisions regarding basic enclosure assembly design and window area need to be made early in the project to achieve the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, and comfortable building.

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Meeting the building and energy codes with EIFS

Energy efficiency, green construction, increased insulation, net-zero—all these terms imply the same expectation: to improve the performance of buildings and minimize their impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, conserving natural resources, and maximizing the service life of all building systems—all while maintaining comfortable and functional buildings.

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Thermal bridging at brick ties

Insulation placed in the exterior air cavity between brick veneer and a backup wall is now common practice; however, accounting for the reduction in thermal performance as a result of thermal bridging at brick ties is not. As the building enclosure’s actual thermal performance becomes more important and integrated into the overall design of other building systems, a clear understanding of thermal bridging and its impact on effective R-values is needed. Brick ties are only one example of a thermal bridge in the building enclosure, but a close look at their significance illustrates how important it is to account for thermal bridging.

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EIFS and thermal bridging

A study by Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC) showed significant reductions in centre-of-cavity R-value for steel-framed wall assemblies, reducing it by as much as 56 per cent when a framing factor (i.e. thermal bridging) was taken into account to measure R-value.

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