Thermal Efficiency in Canada
With how bitterly cold the winter months can be, it’s important to keep your home energy efficient, retaining as much heat as possible whilst still providing an essential escape to the outside environment where needed. Solutions to thermal efficiency in Canada come in the form of intelligent thermal break design, using anchors cast into the building incorporating a thermal break can keep high-rise buildings capable, economical and warm throughout the stoniest weather.
Understanding thermal efficiency
Thermal efficiency is the measure by which we understand the rate of heat loss. There is a common misconception that a balcony will do very little to impact the energy efficiency of a building, but this is far from the case. A glazed balcony, for example, can be beneficial for colder climates by creating a retention of heat, which can be particularly useful for buildings in the centre of built-up areas with less clean air. By sustaining thermal efficiency, the apartment’s resident can keep their home as warm as needed and spend less on their energy bills.
The risk of thermal bridging
Heat will always travel by the path of least resistance – if there’s a way to find new fuel and spread as far and wide as possible, you can be sure that fire will find a way to do so. This is how thermal bridging can occur. If the materials surrounding an object are more conductive than the object itself, the heat can jump through, creating the risk of a thermal bridge.
Homes in North America have traditionally been built with 2×4 wooden studs surrounding fiberglass batt insulation in the cavity. Whilst the fiberglass may have an R-value of R-15 or higher and reduces energy loss, it can only be placed between the wooden studs. Wood is an incredibly conductive material and so can act as a path of least resistance – a thermal bridge over the insulation. Whilst the insulation might reduce energy loss, the thermal bridge means there may not be a break in energy conductivity.
The thermal break solution
Sapphire aims to maximise thermal efficiency whilst maintaining a rigid structure within our balconies. We incorporate thermal breaks in tactical locations throughout our builds in order to reduce total heat loss – these can be located between the floors and ceilings of the apartments in question, acting as an extra layer of insulation around the arms our balconies are fitted to. The insulation materials we use to form the thermal break often will help to insulate the small area in question, though architects should also consider good ceiling and flooring insulation around these junctions.
By maintaining a focus on energy and thermal efficiency in Canada for our builds, we hope to contribute positively to Canada’s Carbon NETZERO 2032 policy by keeping apartments warm in the cold months and cool in the hotter months – keeping a comfortable temperature in a resident’s apartment can be the difference between an extra tonne of carbon emissions and an extra few dollars per month in your pocket.
With globally rising energy bills, the consumer needs to take every action they can to reduce costs and keep their homes warm. By increasing thermal efficiency in every aspect of a person’s home – even their balcony can contribute to their wellbeing both financially and physically.