09. December 2012

Construct Canada: Changes in Building, Why Now?

from Bill Chihata

Construct Canada is one of Canada’s largest building design and construction shows. Held in Toronto, Canada in conjunction with Home Builder, Concrete Canada and DesignTrends, the show hosts over 1000 exhibits, and more than 24,000 visitors.

I attended the show this year to present to over 70 architects, builders, contractors, engineers, specifiers and facility managers.  The room was packed with attendees interested in learning more about thermal break solutions for building envelope.  The presentation was ideal for the audience, covering concepts for reducing energy loss, and avoiding moisture issues associated with thermal bridging.

Areas of thermal bridging and energy loss.

Many questions were asked during the interactive session. One attendee asked, “Why change the way we build, Why now?”

This was a great question, yet an easy one. The codes are changing. We have to 1) keep up with building codes, 2) build more energy efficient, 3) avoid moisture, and 4) thermal comfort. We need to change the way we do things. Experience allows us to become more intelligent, with this experience and knowledge we become innovative and learn new ways. We must build better and build smarter.  We can simply learn from the Germans as they have higher energy codes and standards for buildings.

Other questions were on the general benefits of thermal breaks.  A key benefit is the 90% reduction in thermal conductivity, such as realized from Isokorb® type CM, in comparison to non-insulated concrete slab connections. This means economic $$$ benefit, from energy reduction and avoiding early deterioration from condensation…. leading to costly renovations. Then you have health benefits, also associated with the avoidance of moisture and resulting mold. And user comfort by avoiding the cold floor syndrome associated with thermal bridging. Nobody likes cold feet!

We also touched on the building physics associated with thermal bridging.  I previewed some of the research we are working on, showing preliminary results from the energy modeling research. We covered the ease of Isokorb® installation, how the thermal break modules are placed at the jobsite.

Isokorb installation for concrete connetion.


One of the core points that came out of this dialogue with the audience is that they need to know that this is not something new, and wee are not experimenting with in Canada. Schӧck invented the first generation of Isokorb® 25 years ago. We have seen an evolution of Isokorb® develop into the solution is it today. We have installed through the world, and we have seen it all. Canada is just learning about thermal bridging and the Isokorb® solution, yet Isokorb® has a long track record. Installation is not something new for Isokorb®.  Finally, I can say that our Schӧck engineers have seen it all.  I mean all kinds of building applications and unique designs…


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