Thermal bridging from concrete or metal elements such as steel studs or concrete balconies can significantly reduce the effectiveness of insulation, create cold surfaces where mold can grow, and can significantly reduce the lifespan of finishes. In high performance buildings in particular the mitigation of thermal bridges is vital and primarily the responsibility of the architectural team.
Increasingly, building codes are also requiring that designers incorporate a quantification of these thermal bridges into their energy modeling and accounting when seeking approvals. Understanding thermal bridges and their effects is fast becoming a critical skill for any designer working on the building envelope.
This session will introduce architects to the concepts, physics, and simulation tools for the evaluation and mitigation of thermal bridging in building envelopes. This half-day session will cover both the physics of thermal bridging and some common design solutions, as well as the tools to simulate thermal bridges using a free software designed for this task (LBNL THERM). Representative calculations for several typical situations such as corners, parapets and windows will be illustrated in step-by-step fashion.
Ed May, LEED Green Associate, Partner, BUILDING-TYPE, LLC