BRE looks to make improvements to thermal bridging levels

breBRE is to launch a new certification scheme intended to reduce the level of thermal bridging that can cause heat loss in building and homes.

Typically occurring where there is a break or weakness in the continuity of insulation, thermal bridging can account for as much as 30% of a building’s overall heat looses. It is currently calculated using the BRE guide BR 497 ?Conventions for calculating linear thermal transmittance and temperature factors’, with the resulting thermal performance values used within National Calculation Tools, such as SAP and SBEM.

However, at present the industry allows for ?self-certification’ with no formal scheme in place, which BRE says can lead to potential inaccuracies.

The new BRE Certified Thermal Details and Products scheme will certify the ?as designed’ thermal performance of thermal junction details, products like doors and windows, and major elements such as flooring and roof systems. It is intended that this will enable suppliers to demonstrate to customers that their products and services meet the appropriate standards.

Under the new initiative, an assessment of the detail or product will be carried out by BRE before its certification company BRE Global will certify the assessment. The approved product or detail will then be uploaded onto an online database, which provides free access for manufacturers, suppliers, specifiers and designers.

Graeme Hannah, BRE Scheme technical manager, said:

“The new scheme is a significant step forward in tackling an important issue within building performance that is often overlooked. The development of Government Accredited Construction details was a good starting point, and we are aiming to build on this by providing the industry with a wider range of accurate and independently assessed, readily accessible and searchable performance values in which they can have confidence in.

“This could really make a significant difference to the way in which we move forward as an industry.”

The BRE Certified Thermal Details and Products Scheme will be launched at Ecobuild (March 3-5 at Excel London) at stand N4120 / N5214, with the online database for the scheme to go live in the summer.

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