Thermally Isolated Connectors and Reinforcements
Thermally-isolated connectors are specialized components that reinforce and/or connect assemblies making up the envelope or exterior structure of a home while preventing the transfer of heat from one assembly to another or simply conducting heat far more slowly that conventional materials we commonly use.
Reinforcements are elements within these assemblies that may quickly transfer a large amount of heat. For example, steel conducts heat very well, so steel reinforcing bars in concrete (“rebar”) can transfer heat far more quickly than the surrounding concrete. Alternative reinforcing materials will conduct heat slower. In some cases slower than the concrete they reinforce.
Connectors are commonly selected for their high strength. Thus, steel is a common connector for both heavy and light building assemblies. Thermally-isolating connectors provide strength, but conduct heat from one building assembly to another slower than conventional connectors.
To reduce winter heat loss or summer heat gain, it’s best to use low heat conductivity materials to reinforce assemblies where they join—and similarly, low heat-conductivity materials to connect two assemblies.