Category: Design Break
Design Break is a monthly solution for thermal bridging. Each month will focus on different application and types of the Isokorb thermal break element.
Condominiums and apartment buildings can be designed with corner, wrap around balconies to provide dramatic views. These corner balconies are most commonly cantilevered concrete balconies which are a slab extension from the building’s interior slab surface.
Corner balconies provide heightened aesthetics designs as well as ensure optimal sun exposure on the balcony. This is especially important when your balcony faces east, to allow a corner section on the south to provide additional sun exposure during the day. In dormitories, balconies are often used as loggia walkways around the building as an evacuation scenario for a fast and secure escape.
Architects and Engineers often ask about the design considerations when the connection of the window wall glazing system closely intersects with the structural thermal break connection at the balcony.
This Design Break will take a look at the considerations when preparing the details of the glazing system with a structural thermal break connection for concrete, such as you see in the J22 project in Edmonton. … read more
Normally cantilevered slabs and edges are considered extensions of the floor or roof levels of a structure. Often times however, conditions require a connection along vertical walls or areas where interiors floors are omitted because of stairways or mechanical shafts. These areas have the same potential problems with thermal bridging since there is an interruption in the continuous insulation layer.
Steel is the most popular framing material for non-residential buildings in the US. As the AISC’s slogan goes, “There is always a solution in steel.” It is sustainable and readily available, strong in both compression and tension, and allows acceleration of project schedules making it a cost effective construction option.
Cantilevered balconies are common in residential structures, yet their traditional design is a slab of continuous concrete passing through the building envelope. This concrete slab balcony creates one of the most significant thermal bridges with excessive heat loss.
As buildings improve with higher performance walls and windows, the amount of heat loss at the balcony slab is increased. Therefore, designers are looking for solutions to thermally separate the interior slab from the exterior balcony slab.
From a structural point of view, balconies have to resist several loadings conditions like permanent loadings (dead load), variable loadings (live loads, wind loads, snow loads) and rare loadings resulting from earthquakes. Seismic considerations could have a relevant influence on the design of buildings depending on the geographic location of the building (seismic hazard), soil characteristic, stiffness and weight of the building, the assemblies and so on. … read more
If you are familiar with Schock Isokorb® you may associate it with products that limit thermal bridging in the wall portion of the building envelope in such areas as balconies or canopies. These solutions provide a continuous insulation layer in the vertical plane of the wall. As we look at the building envelope in a holistic approach, we can focus on other problematic areas that can be resolved with additional Isokorb® products.
Parapet walls, much like balconies, are thermal bridges that allow conductive materials to transfer energy through the thermal barrier. The two differ, as balconies are typically added as an aesthetic, giving the appearance of an extended living space within a unit, yet parapet walls are designed as part of the structural integrity of the building.
Parapet walls are designed to resist variable wind pressure differences, protecting mechanical units and other roof assemblies mounted on top of buildings. As an integral part of the building structure, parapets can prove problematic in many forms, such as: lateral failure, membrane failure, water intrusion, and improper water drainage. Therefore, when considering all of these possible setbacks, continuity of thermal insulation may be a secondary thought. The current, traditional practice to remedy such problems is to wrap the parapet with insulation. However, this application could become complicated in areas where the parapet wall is adhered to insulation, and the insulation is adhered to the roofing membrane.
As Yogi Berra once said, “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”
View pdf of traditional Parapet without thermal breaks for cast-in-place concrete
Every balcony, penetrating the building envelope with scenic window walls, has three main issues to be addressed: thermal bridging, forces at the balcony/slab connection, and water intrusion. The Schöck Isokorb® Type CM is the effective solution for these obstacles, reducing the heat flow from the inside to the outside, while also conserving full structural integrity.