Building Science

Bautex Block – Energy Efficiency

Continuous Insulation Eliminates Thermal Bridging

There are three main per­for­mance fac­tors to con­sid­er when look­ing at the ener­gy effi­cien­cy of a wall sys­tem: 1) con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion, 2) ther­mal mass, and 3) air tight­ness.

The stat­ed R‑value of the insu­la­tion used in a wall sys­tem is only one pre­dic­tor of ener­gy per­for­mance. For exam­ple, in a con­ven­tion­al­ly framed wall sys­tem, areas with fram­ing rather than insu­la­tion act as a ther­mal bridge” allow­ing ther­mal ener­gy to migrate more rapid­ly through the wall. Ther­mal bridg­ing is more pro­nounced in met­al-framed sys­tems because steel con­ducts heat more than wood does.

In many cas­es, both com­mer­cial (IBC) and res­i­den­tial (IRC) build­ing codes now require con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion sys­tems on the exte­ri­or of wall fram­ing mem­bers to elim­i­nate ther­mal bridg­ing. In fact, under the 2012 Inter­na­tion­al Ener­gy Con­ser­va­tion Codes (IECC), com­mer­cial projects uti­liz­ing light-gauge met­al-framed sys­tems are required to have exte­ri­or con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion sys­tems. Insu­lat­ed Con­crete Block (ICB) walls like the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem offer high lev­els of con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion to elim­i­nate ther­mal bridg­ing and dri­ve exem­plary ener­gy effi­cien­cy.