Let’s play a word association game – what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see or hear “structural thermal break?”
There are two common responses to this question: … 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