Thermal bridge calc error rate is way too high Online opportunity to fix that; course starts 10 Aug

2 August 2023 by Jason Quinn

I estimate nearly half the thermal bridge calculations we see during pre-construction review are wrong. Newly minted Passive House designers and consultants are not wholly responsible. The Sustainable Engineering Ltd team is finding errors in the maths provided by experienced designers too.

Lifting skills and confidence in thermal bridge modelling—and slashing that error percentage—is our motivation for organising an online course on this topic, led by our own expert Jessica Eyers. It’s aimed at people who have completed Kara’s certification course, so know what a thermal bridge is and can select one from a catalogue eg the High-Performance Construction Details Handbook

By course end, participants will be able to model thermal bridge details from scratch. There will be homework! If you want to master this, you need to apply the theory and use it in practice to bed in your understanding.

This example of a slab floor edge above an unconditioned space thermal bridge isn’t something you can pull from a catalogue. It was a solution for a specific project. Image (c) 2023 Sustainable Engineering Ltd

Accurate calculation of thermal bridges is vital for predicting heating demand, which in turn drives a lot of choices about levels of insulation and design. These numbers have far-reaching impact. A lot of the errors we are detecting err on the conservative side: the extent of heat loss is over-estimated. This is still a problem because it can lead to buildings that are over-insulated or in other ways over-designed, wasting client money and putting high performance out of reach of others.

(Note I’m not talking about deliberately building in a small amount of margin into the model, to give the project wriggle room if there are problems during construction. That is good practice, and is done deliberately with full understanding of the implications. Instead we’re seeing errors due to the maths not being done properly.)

Flixo is the easiest software for modelling thermal bridges from scratch so the course is a two-for-one. Participants will learn how to use Flixo as well as extend their understanding of thermal bridge modelling. Registration includes an extended trial version of the software. The course covers the highest-impact thermal bridges: slab edges, window installs and mid-floors. Any building has many, many lineal metres of these junctions so their cumulative impact is high.

Register here.

Comments 2

  1. Dang, I missed this.
    Would you release a replay, by any chance? Or, would you consider to repeat the course?
    Kind Regards and Thanks for educating the high-performance building industry!

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