Thermal Bridging Solutions
We are a collaborative, design-build partner who can assist in determining the extent of thermal bridging heat loss on building envelope performance including thermal modeling and connection design calculations. We look forward to working with you.
- The insulation efficiencies of the wall assemblies increase significantly.
Some as high as 98%.
- Higher, effective wall assembly R values are achieved using lower values
of external insulation. For example, to obtain an R value of R-13 minimum
to meet ASHRAE zone 1, steel girts require and external R 20; whereas
Armatherm girts require only R 10.
- Cladding wall assemblies can meet the R value requirements of ALL
geographical zones for both ASHRAE 2013 and NECB 2011 energy codes
using Armatherm Z girts.
- Reduction in thickness and cost of insulation.
- Reduces energy consumption.
Armatherm™ 500 (Thermal Insulation Material - TIM)
Reducing heat flow within a building's thermal envelope reduces energy consumption as well as potential condensation issues. Armatherm™ 500 thermal break material (TIM) significantly reduces energy lost from thermal bridging in building envelope connections.
Armatherm™ 500 structural thermal break material is a high strength, thermoset polyurethane manufactured in several densities. Armatherm™ 500 is able to transfer a wide range of structural loads with a range from 20 psi - 4000 psi. This wide load range enables designs to keep deflection and creep at a minimum in thermal break connections.
Armatherm™ 500 has R values as high as 3.8 per inch which is superior to the properties of aerated concrete and wood blocking.
Armatherm™ FRR structural thermal break material provides a combination of low thermal conductivity and high compressive strength and has been used in hundreds of structural steel framing connections transferring load in moment and shear conditions.
Armatherm™ FRR thermal break material can support up 40,000 psi and has an R value of 0.9 per inch. The material is made of a reinforced, thermoset resin which is ﬁre resistant and has very limited creep under load, making it the ideal material for use in structural steel and faCade thermal break connections.
Continuous insulation is almost always compromised by metallic structural connections such as clips and girts which create thermal bridging when connected to steel stud framing. These connections in conjunction with the steel studs have a significant impact on the U value of wall assemblies. Insulation effectiveness can be reduced by as much as 50% due to these heat flow paths. Armatherm™ Z GIRTs improve the U value of cladding and wall panel assemblies by eliminating the use of highly conductive metal girts and aluminum brackets creating wall assemblies that are up to 98% efficient.
Cladding Thermal Break
Armatherm cladding attachments significantly reduce thermal bridging and improve wall assembly thermal performance. Armatherm FRR Z Girt, clip and structural thermal break materials provide a combination of low thermal conductivity and high compressive strength transferring load and reducing heat loss. The thermal break material is made of a reinforced, thermoset resin that is fire resistant and exhibits very limited creep under load, making it the ideal material for use in structural and faCade thermal break connections.
Internal steel columns traditionally extend through the building envelope floor slab and insulation at their base. In low temperature buildings such as freezer rooms and cold storage facilities, this creates a thermal bridge and point transmittance (heat loss) at the steel column base. This is also the case for exterior columns which support floors or roof overhangs. The column to roof connection interrupts the continuous insulation creating heat loss due to thermal bridging.
Column Base Thermal Break
Armatherm™ 500, structural thermal break material can support and transfer column loads while providing an effective thermal break at the column connection. With R values as low as R 3.8 per inch, Armatherm™ 500 can help to meet the ASHRAE requirement for continuous insulation as well as the baseline insulation requirements for floors in refrigerated storage facilities.
Thermal Bridging at foundation wall transitions creates heat loss at the foundation perimeter. This reduces the exterior wall's effective R Value. Foundations are part of a buildings' thermal envelope. The intersection at a slab on grade to foundation wall and exterior wall to foundation transition are both areas where heat flows out of a building. This is due primarily to non-continuous insulation details.
Foundation Wall Thermal Break
The linear transmittance (heat loss) at the base of the foundation wall can be reduced by as much as 60% by using an efficient, structural thermal break. Armatherm™ 500 is a load bearing, thermal break material manufactured in several densities to provide a range of load capacities with R values as high as R 3.8 per inch.
Thermal bridging at a foundation wall transition can be reduced further by increasing the length of the slab insulation.
Masonry veneer walls require tie-backs and shelf angles which form signiﬁcant thermal bridges and can reduce a walls' R value by as much as 50% making it difﬁcult to meet energy codes. Shelf angles transfer the masonry load back to the buildings' structural steel or concrete slab edge interrupting the continuous insulation of the wall assembly creating a linear thermal bridge.
To improve the U value of a masonry wall assembly, the shelf angle can be connected to the structure at discreet, evenly spaced points such as plate “blades" allowing the insulation to pass behind the steel angle, thus reducing the effects of a continuous thermal bridge. However, building the shelf angle outwards requires larger geometries and additional material to support the cantilevered load.
Masonry Shelf Angle Thermal Break
Alternatively, Armatherm™ FRR structural thermal break material can be used directly behind the masonry shelf angle as a thermal break within the insulating layer. The Armatherm™ thermal break signiﬁcantly reduces the linear transmittance (heat loss) of the shelf angle connection. Rigid, metal ﬂashing used as waterprooﬁng can also be replaced with a non-conductive, self-adhered membrane to reduce the effects of thermal bridging further.
The roof is part of the building envelope where penetrations such as davits, anchors and supports for dunnage extend through the thermal envelope and roof insulation creating non-continuous insulation. These interface details are typically connected to interior trusses or structural elements creating a thermal bridge and point transmittance (heat flow). The R value of the roof can be reduced by up to 40% in these areas.
Parapet Roof Penetration Thermal Break
A structural thermal break at these locations will improve the U value of the roof assembly and prevent potential condensation problems at the structural connection. Armatherm™ FRR and 500 series thermal break materials can transfer the loading conditions at these locations while significantly reducing heat flow, creating continuous insulation. The heat loss can be improved by as much as 80%.
The most common interface details for structural framing are canopies and balconies that use cantilevered steel or aluminum elements. These elements are typically connected to slab edges or spandrel beams on the interior side of the thermal envelope passing through insulation and air barrier layers. The R value of a wall assembly can be reduced by as much as 60% due to thermal bridging at balcony and canopy connections.
The point transmittance (heat flow) at these connections can be reduced by as much as 70% by using Armatherm™ FRR structural thermal break material.
Balcony Thermal Break
Armatherm™ FRR is capable of transferring load in moment and shear connections without creating signiﬁcant rotation. In structural testing, Armatherm™ FRR has been evaluated in balcony connections for creep, rotation and any impact on bolt force.
A structural thermal break must maintain the structural integrity of the balcony or canopy connection, while also minimizing heat flow.
Last Update: 2021-03-04