Trending Topic: Thermal bridges – energy weak spots in the building envelope

01/03/2017

Increasingly stringent insulation standards put the focus on thermal bridges

Initially, thermal bridges sound harmless. Bridges are normally practical and allow us to move between two separate areas thanks to the connection they provide.

In construction, a thermal bridge represents a weak spot in the building envelope from an energy perspective. Unlike what the term initially leads us to assume, a thermal bridge does not provide a building with heat. Quite the opposite is in fact the case. What’s worse: a thermal bridge can be the cause of mould formation!

Thermal bridges explained

Thermal bridges are areas within the building envelope in which heat travels from inside to outside more rapidly than in neighbouring areas. This leads to a fall in surface temperatures of the affected building components in the room's interior. Heating requirements and heating costs increase while energy efficiency decreases.

Problems with condensation and mould formation often arise as a result of the warm, damp atmosphere. This puts a dampener on how healthy the living environment is! It can also result in long-term structural damage to the building, too.

Thermal bridges receive greater attention

The standards for energy-efficient buildings have been significantly increased in recent years. The industry is also dealing with the ever-increasing stringency of the provisions of the German Energy Saving Ordinance. There is therefore a much stronger focus on heat-related weak spots such as thermal bridges than a few years ago.

The critical look at thermal bridges is however by no means unjustified. The key is to reduce the influence of thermal bridges on energy consumption. Only in this way can high energy losses and building defects be minimised. Read more.

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