Heat Transfer Numerical Modeling Perspectives: Steel-Framed Wall Analysis
In recent years, the building industry has established priorities to move towards the construction of highly energy-efficient buildings, including the prevention or mitigation of thermal bridges. In the past, thermal bridge problems were considered to be insignificant or negligible, given that the rest of the losses through a building envelope were dominated by the lack of insulation implementations, infiltration, etc. Today, as the industry improves the thermal barrier in those areas of the building denominated as “clear wall”—those parts which are free from doors, windows, or any other protrusion mainly for structural purposes—the thermal bridge effects tend to be more noticeable. Now that there is a more pressing need to determine how influential the thermal bridge effects can be at various building connection details, the computational modeling approach has been shown to be an attractive method. It can achieve reliable results that can’t be determined by physical measurements, such as temperatures inside a composite wall structure or within a building foundation. This article presents a number of methods for modeling thermal bridging.