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.