Managing thermal bridging using continuous insulation 07 April 2021


In an effort to mitigate the Australian construction industry’s impact on the environment, the Australian Building Codes Board is aiming to increase the energy efficiency of Australian buildings by up to 40 per cent by 2030.

In May 2019 the National Construction Code (NCC) was updated to reflect this, setting new requirements for the energy efficiency of buildings (Section J, Volume 1). These requirements specifically referenced a New Zealand Standard – NZS 4214: 2006 – as the method to determine the total thermal resistance of parts of the building. The introduction of this method means thermal bridging between building elements must be accounted for in thermal calculations, directly impacting the Total R-Value of the building elements.

What is thermal bridging?

Thermal bridging is defined as a weakness (break) in the thermal envelope of a building. It is the path of conductivity between one side of the building envelope to the other, where heat can travel or be lost through building materials.

The impact of thermal bridging on internal comfort and energy efficiency is negated through the installation of a continuous barrier of insulation. This combats the effects of thermal bridging limiting the amount of heat escaping or entering the building envelope via thermal bridges, along with achieving a higher energy efficiency rating.

To demonstrate how the total thermal resistance of parts of the building impacts different types of insulation materials, Kingspan Insulation enlisted Norman Disney & Young to conduct a thermal performance comparison assessment. The assessment compared the performance of a traditional wall lining system with bulk insulation against Kingspan Kooltherm K17 Insulated Plasterboard wall lining system.

The assessment identified that using Kingspan Kooltherm K17 insulated plasterboard as a continuous layer of insulation helps manage the effects of thermal bridging and reduces wall thickness. This in turn delivers a high thermal performance solution with a more efficient use of space while reducing energy costs.

Download the full white paper here.


About Kingspan Insulation

Kingspan Insulation is a market leading manufacturer of innovative ultra-thin flexible insulation products and super high performance rigid insulation products for building fabric and building services applications.


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This article was originally published in the April edition of Efficiency Insight.