Category: Technical Services
Incorporating structural thermal breaks (STBs) into your high rise with the greatest efficiency requires clear, thorough communication and coordination between all team members — architect, engineer, supplier, contractor/installer — from the onset of the project. Otherwise, incomplete information can add unnecessary time and expense, potentially delaying the project.
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.
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.
It was nice to have some good weather for the drive:
The Isokorb® thermal break modules are used to isolate large beam overhangs along the main promenade next to the building.
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
Steel beams which penetrate the exterior wall (and break the continuous insulation layer) represent a detrimental thermal bridge in the building envelope. This situation often occurs in the structural details when a continuous steel canopy or balcony beam cantilevers out from the interior structure.
This penetration to the continuous insulation (CI) layer, is being further considered and addressed in energy building codes such as the ASHRAE 189.1 and 90.1 and the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), which guides codes and standards for both baseline and high-performance green buildings.
Since steel is a highly conductive material (k=50W/mK) / (R-0.003 per inch), a thermal break solution is necessary to reduce energy loss, prevent condensation on the surface, and avoid damaging results to the building. … read more
Schöck-efficient…That’s what we were called from our partner in Australia, when working on a recent project. You think Schöck is only providing high performance, quality products? There’s more than that. Providing our innovative building products always includes high quality service as a part of the package.
We want to make your project efficient, and we want to see you satisfied! There are many building envelope details where solutions to thermal bridging are possible with our standard Isokorb® product range. Yet other times, various applications require a custom thermal break solution to be designed. Schöck accepts these challenges with your building envelope and we want to find the right solution for your structural connection. That’s were our technical support team is in demand. They are the ones getting in contact with you to clarify the technical details, ensuring all information is considered, weighing up the possibilities and providing a technical proposal for your project.
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
Even though structural thermal breaks were developed for cold weather conditions, design firms in Texas and the Southwest have been eager to learn about this technology. During the first five months of 2013, APCS (independent representative of Schöck) has presented the course on Structural Thermal Breaks 9 times, for medium and large architectural and engineering firms in Texas and Arizona. Many of these firms design commercial and institutional projects nation-wide, as well as for international. These firms have opened their doors to APCS and Schöck to learn more about the causes and effects of thermal bridges, and how to minimize these effects. Architects, Civil, Structural, and Mechanical engineers have been interested in the scope of thermal bridge consequences such as excessive energy losses, cold slabs, condensation, and even mold occurrences.
Last month, Schӧck in the UK was contacted by an American engineering firm wanting to find out some information on a nonmetallic concrete reinforcement product.
The UK office immediately forwarded this inquiry to our offices in Baden-Baden Germany. Germany which in turn notified the offices in Canada and the contact information was provided to myself here in the United States. … read more
I am excited to attend the 17th International Passive House Conference in Frankfurt, Germany on April 17-21. With 16 session and 90 presentations this is the world’s largest Passive House Exhibition. With a focus on energy efficiency and renewables, the conference will cover a wide range of topics from regional concepts, energy refurbished projects, and the use of renewable energy sources.
This years conference will include presentations on large number of US projects, a trend that is growing as energy use continues to become a greater focus in buildings.
Just last month, Schock received Passive House certification of the very first “thermal bridge free” construction for balconies while attending the BAU show, the World’s leading fair for Building and Design.
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.
Everyone wants to know The Real Cost of an Energy Efficient Building Envelope. Now you can learn more by joining the panel of experts in Vancouver, BC at BuildEX, for a session to explore the various costs associated with implementing an energy efficient building envelope.
Research results will be present on energy modeling assessments of thermal bridging, examining the impact on annual energy consumption, cost implications, and thermal comfort. In addition, recent project installations with thermal break technology will be presented and analyzed.
The Real Cost of an Energy Efficient Building Envelope (W11)
Wednesday, Feb. 13th 10:30am – 12:00pm … read more
Annual Ontario Concrete Awards Banquet honors the most creative and visionary projects that have made concrete their construction material of choice. This year it was held on the 28th of November at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, in Toronto.
Awards are given for the following categories: Architectural, Structural, Materials & Constructability, and Sustainability. ComBAR® GFRP, as an innovative material, provided points to the Whitemans Creek Bridge project, which received the Structural Design Innovation Award, in the Structural Category.
On November 6th 2012, Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), Mississauga Chapter in joint efforts with Brampton Chapter, offered a Technical Seminar in the 244-seat Noel Ryan Auditorium at the Mississauga Central Library on Advancements in Glass Fibre Reinforcement.
The Central Library of the Mississauga Library System is one of the busiest libraries in Canada. The building officially opened on October 2, 1991 and was designed by Shore Tilbe Henschel Irwin Peters who also designed the Peel Board of Education headquarters and the police building in downtown Toronto.
Gathering in Toronto were the intellectual elite, as it pertains to the application of concrete in North America. To say that I was out of my element is the understatement of the decade. For the layman such as myself it was like watching paint dry in super slow motion. The conversations so technical, the subjects dissected down to the most minuscule detail. The questions of where to change a period at the end of a statement, or to move details from the opening of a specification to the middle were all lost on this humble Sales Associate. … read more
Last week I had the chance to attend two important conferences in Toronto and Mississauga.
The first one was the ACI Fall 2012 Convention, at Sheraton Centre in Toronto. ACI (The American Concrete Institute) is one of the world’s leading authorities in concrete technology. It conducts two conventions a year and this Fall the event was held in Toronto. Domenico and I attended the Convention for two days, the 22nd and 23rd of October, where we introduced Schöck and our products to several potential clients. An important event was the ACI 440 Committee meeting. ACI 440 is an ACI Committee focused on fiber-reinforced polymer reinforcement. During this meeting we heard good news about the Committee’s plans with regard to further developments of codes and guidelines related to the FRP reinforcement in concrete structures. At the end of the meeting we talked to Mr. Busel, a director at ACMA (American Composites Manufacturers Association), and Dr. Shield, the ACI 440 Committee Chair. We have an application in process for becoming a voting member of this Committee, in order to have our say as a local FRP supplier on the future development of codes published by this prestigious institute. … read more