Thermal bridging is a common occurrence in many mid-rise, high-rise, and multifamily structures, particularly if there are balconies. The effects of thermal bridging can range from occupant discomfort to the accumulation of mold and condensation to energy loss and inefficiency. By understanding the terminology associated with thermal bridging and learning how to identify where in a wall assembly thermal bridging occurs, specifiers can better mitigate its effects. One strategy that can help earn LEED credits, as well as adhere to code, is to include thermal breaks in the design strategy.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand and identify the causes of thermal bridging and where it most commonly occurs in wall assemblies.
  • Calculate effective wall assembly U-values as well as understand R-values and terms associated with thermal bridging.
  • Identify solutions to thermal bridging, such as thermal breaks that mitigate unwanted effects like condensation, mold, and occupant discomfort.
  • Examine relevant ASHRAE codes and LEED credits that pertain to thermal breaks.

Pre-Requisite: Basic knowledge of thermal bridging applications.