04. November 2014

The Intersection of Glazing Systems with Structural Thermal Breaks

from Mike Lemen

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.


Balcony window and thermal bridge connection

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.


Glazing Systems with Thermal Breaks


The typical modern glazing systems are 4 1/2 to 6 inches in depth and adequately span the distance to completely cover the structural thermal break connection. Schӧck Isokorb® thermal break elements are commonly 3 3/20 inch (80 mm) in depth and is typically located in same vertical alignment of the insulation layer of the façade.

When designing the glazing system with a balcony thermal break involved, it is important to allow in design an adequate amount of surface area for the fasteners to properly secure a structural connection to the glazing system to meet the building’s wind load requirements at both the head and sill of the system. This coordination is required by the architect, engineer of record and the installation team for the glazing system to address these issues during design.

Although these connections are the responsibilities of others, the Schöck team will assist in the process of providing options of positioning the Isokorb® structural thermal break.

Here is an example which includes a direct intersection from window-wall with Isokorb®.

Isokorb type CM


Visit the Schöck North America website for more information about structural thermal breaks for concrete and steel connections. Explore the full range of Isokorb® products for balcony, canopy, steel beam, exposed slab edge, parapet and rooftop connections.

Considering structural thermal breaks for an upcoming project? Have a Schöck Engineer call you to answer your specific design questions.  


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