A Thermal Bridge is caused by a ‘thermally conductive’ building material which penetrates or bypasses an insulation system; such as a metal fastener, concrete beam, slab or column.
Heat will flow the easiest path from the heated space to the outside – the path with the least resistance. And this will not necessarily be the path perpendicular to the surfaces.
Very often heat will “short circuit” through an element which has a much higher conductivity than surrounding material, which can be described as a thermal bridge.
Typical effects of thermal bridges are:
• Decreased interior surface temperatures; in the worst cases this can result condensation problems, particularly at corners.
• Significantly increased heat losses.
• Cold areas in buildings
This photo shows a thermal bridge caused by a construction beam below a window.
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