At Energy Rating Perth, we aim to educate our clients on building defects and how to detect and correct them. In our previous article about thermal bridging we defined the term, why it occurs and the effect it has on your thermal performance.
The very first step would be to assess where thermal bridging is occurring in the building by placing thermal imaging cameras on the exterior of a building. Usually it is around door and window frames and balcony slabs that most thermal bridging occurs. The ideal goal should be to achieve a seamless and gapless insulation system in an assembly, which does not allow materials of high thermal conductivity such as metal objects, beams, frames and reinforcement etc. to come in contact with the exterior and then the interior environment.
There are several solutions to prevent thermal bridging entirely but it is important to know is what is causing it. If it is due to load bearing components such being exposed at junctions of two materials such as floor to wall junctions or exposed rivets and beams. One can use thermal breaks that are materials of insulating properties that creates a thermally-broken assembly. They can also be load-bearing insulation element used at the perimeter of the slab to ensure thermal disconnection, which forms a thermal break between the balcony and the interior floor while transferring load and maintaining full structural integrity.
At design stage, our energy assessors at Energy Rating Perth usually suggest the use of lightweight framing or a building assembly of low thermal conductivity such as timber framing. Alternatively, the insulation could also be incorporated into the wall as ready to fit insulated panels that are easy and simple to construct and do not require any fasteners that can potentially create a thermal bridge.
Contact Energy Rating Perth for more info!