The community on thermal bridges offers focused information such as publications, news, events, relevant cases and tools with specific attention to thermal bridges. It will enable the community members to share knowledge, discuss on publications, project results and national approaches to include thermal bridges in energy performance standards and inform each other on new developments for building component joints. The final aim is that the design and the realisation of component joints in buildings will be further developed in order to reduce the transmission losses and the danger of moisture and mould. Buildings of the future should have no additional thermal losses due to thermal bridges.
An analysis of the IEE project ASIEPI has shown that many countries have already included the assessment of thermal bridge impact in the national energy performance standards for new buildings. Much less calculate the impact of building joints at existing buildings. There are different possibilities for including the impact of thermal bridges in the energy performance: detailed calculations, default values, comparisons with thermal bridge atlases, etc.
The issues to be discussed in the community are:
• How do EU Member States include the assessment of thermal bridges in their national EP calculations? What are the advantages and drawbacks of the chosen solution?
• Are there specific requirements to reduce thermal bridge effects in the Member States?
• Are building joints checked for compliance during design and realisation?
• What kind of computer tools for thermal bridge calculation exists?
• Which thermal bridge atlases or good practice examples are used in the countries?
• Which new developments by the industry are offered?
• Can good solutions developed in one country be transferred to others?
The reduction of thermal bridges may be just one topic for improving the energy performance of buildings, but detailed analysis and realised building projects have shown that in high performance buildings, the relative impact of thermal bridges can be very significant for both winter (transmission losses) and summer situations (cooling load). Efforts to improve the energy efficiency of building by reducing thermal bridges of joints can be as important as further increasing the insulation thickness or a solar collector for domestic hot water.