What is thermal bridge assessment?
Thermal bridges exist anywhere in buildings that the otherwise uniform shape of the building, or the heat flowing through it, changes for any reason, for example where the building turns a corner, is anchored to its foundation, a window is installed, or a roof constructed on top of it.
So thermal bridges cannot be avoided. But they can be quantified, reduced & optimised by means of numerical analysis.
Thermal bridges can also present a risk of internal surface condensation, interstitial condensation, or mould growth. We assess thermal bridges using 2D and 3D software, as required, which has been fully validated in accordance with ISO 10211, in order to achieve minimum heat loss at junctions and guarantee zero risk of mould growth and surface condensation.
Do you need it?
Are you working on the design or construction of a new building?
All new buildings, as well as retrofit projects on existing buildings, are required to comply with the requirements of Technical Guidance Document Part L with regard to minimising energy losses from thermal bridges as well as having no risk of mould growth or condensation.
Many designers and energy assessors currently assign default values to account for thermal bridging in buildings. In the vast majority of cases, these default values are punitive and conservative. They also provide no information whatsoever on whether any risk of condensation or mould growth exists at building junctions.
Thermal bridge assessment allows you to benefit from the quality of your designs rather than having to account elsewhere in your specification, and therefore costs, for the use of default values.
What does the analysis & report look like?
We can provide linear thermal bridge (psi-value) calculations, point thermal bridge (chi-value) calculations, as well as mould growth risk assessment (fRsi-value). Your report is generated in accordance with the exacting standards of ISO 10211 & BRE document BR497. Your report will illustrate the heat flow pattern, isothermal pattern, finite element network mesh and construction detail. It will outline the U-values of all elements, total heat flow, psi-value, chi-value, fRsi-value (as applicable), and all material and boundary condition data.
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Need your results in a hurry? For 48 hour turnaround on 1-2 details, use our Rapid Results Service
We carry out U-values calculations for every construction type from the most straightforward to the most complex.
Standard U-value calculations are carried out in accordance with ISO 6946 & BR443, as required under Technical Guidance Document Part L. Modern construction methods are becoming increasingly complex, and there are many items which commonly bridge construction elements which must be included in the U-value. These can include wall ties, helping-hand brackets & rainscreen support systems, structural steels, concrete columns, relieving angles, roof halter clips, metal studs (SFS) and a variety of other components.
It is now increasingly common for U-values to require calculation by numerical modelling in 2D and 3D in accordance with ISO 10211, rather than standard calculation. We also provide U-value calculations for basement floors and walls in accordance with ISO 13370. This service includes advising you on how best to achieve your target U-value, insulation thicknesses & specification required, potential use of thermal breaks etc. We are Ireland’s foremost independent experts in providing these calculations.
To discuss your requirements further, contact us today, or for 48 hour turnaround on a complex U-value calculation, use our Rapid Results Service.
CONDENSATION RISK ANALYSIS
Do you need a vapour barrier? Or a vapour control layer? Do you need an intelligent membrane? Do you need to ventilate your roof or façade?
If your current answer is ‘I don’t know’, you may need some analysis completed. As we continue to increase insulation levels in construction and make use of a myriad of new products and materials, so increases potential risk of condensation or mould growth occurring unless supported by proper analysis of your design. We carry out hygrothermal risk assessment in accordance with ISO 15026 using WUFI Pro, as well as 1D, 2D & 3D condensation risk assessment in accordance with ISO 13788, as required in order to demonstrate compliance with Technical Guidance Document Part L.
WUFI Pro analysis provides dynamic hygrothermal assessment of your construction based on the specific climate location of your project, and includes driving rain & solar gain effects on facades, as well as vapour diffusion & capillary action. It is the most advanced condensation risk analysis tool available. We have over 5 years of experience in the use of WUFI and have completed formal training in its use from the Fraunhofer Institute and Technological University Dublin.
Interstitial condensation risk assessment is carried out in accordance with ISO 13788. We use a suite of softwares for this assessment, selecting the one most appropriate to your project needs. This analysis is also climate-specific, however it is more suitable to non-organic, capillary-inactive/non-hygroscopic materials, and assesses only thermal and vapour diffusion resistance properties and behaviours.
We can help you select the most appropriate analysis for your project today. Feel free to contact us to discuss your needs and we’ll be happy to guide you. For 48-hour turnaround on a condensation risk assessment in accordance with ISO 13788, you can also avail of our Rapid Results Service to avoid project delays. Please note, WUFI analysis is more complex and is not included in this service.
Is your building or project suffering from excess heat losses, mould growth issues, surface or interstitial condensation issues? We can help.
We can visit your site to assess the possible causes for these issues, as well as provide environmental monitoring services. Building failure can be down to occupant behaviour & poor building management, as well as failure in building services plant or failure of the building fabric due to poor specification, design or construction. We can install sensors which are installed for a number of weeks at a property, and provide an excellent overview of the building & occupant performance. We can also provide live remote monitoring of a number of air quality indicators, including temperature, relative humidity, CO2, NO2, PM10, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide.
We commonly combine on site testing and assessment with desktop thermal and hygrothermal studies to provide powerful reporting to support theories on sources of building failure and advice on remedial works.
We also offer support to assigned certifiers in assessing on-site construction of details in accordance with the design. As NSAI-accredited thermal modellers, we are uniquely qualified to help with value engineering during the construction phase, and determine whether a constructed detail will provide compliance with Technical Guidance Document Part L.
Contact us today to discuss your needs.