I’ve been asked about improving the performance of larger buildings. This often requires an external insulation facade solution but getting it right is not always obvious.
I’m a fan of timber. But if you are retrofitting a concrete, steel or brick building, continuous external insulation is one way to improve performance. This can be done with external foam insulation and render system on concrete or brick (check out a detailed case study for more about that). If you don’t like foam or have a steel frame building, high-density mineral wool is a common solution that addresses considerations of cost, environmental impact and fire risk.
Often the solution is to use a low-conductivity thermal clip and galvanized steel rails. Using medium-weight cladding like brick slips is possible but a full veneer brick requires a relieving angle on standoffs to reduce the thermal bridge. It can be done but it’ll be expensive. The arguably better option of thermal clips is common and here are several examples.
These were used in the Candela Lofts in Hoboken, the first multifamily Passive House project in New Jersey in the US.
Example Armatherm Z Girt Structural Thermal Break
Cladding attachment solutions for external insulated commercial walls: full report (2015)
—11 June 2020