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Beating Thermal Bridging in Metal Buildings

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January 30, 2019

How RHINO Steel Buildings Defeat Thermal Transference

The only drawback to steel construction is the thermal bridging in metal buildings.

Like Superman, pre-engineered steel buildings are strong and fast.  Unfortunately, like the flying man of steel, metal buildings also have one weakness.  The chink in Superman’s armor is kryptonite; thermal bridging is the Achilles’ heel of steel buildings.

What is Thermal Bridging?

Icon representing thermal bridging in metal buildings.Any place where heat or cold pass through a building’s wall assembly is called a “thermal bridge” or a “thermal transfer.”  The more points where exterior heat or cold slips through the wall to the interior, the greater the energy loss.

All building materials conduct energy at different rates.  For example, wood conducts considerably less energy than metal or concrete.  Therefore, the more conductive the building material, the more energy inefficient the wall.

Thermal transference dramatically reduces the R-value of exterior walls.

Thermal Bridging Problems

Unaddressed, poor thermal performance results in these problems:

Solutions for Thermal Bridging in Metal Buildings with RHINO

Fortunately, RHINO steel buildings offer the cure for thermal conductivity woes experienced by lesser metal buildings.

As we said earlier, the more “bridges” available for heat to travel, the greater the energy loss.  Consequently, the first line of defense is to keep the number of bridges at a minimum.

While it is true that wood conducts far less heat and cold than steel, lumber-framed structures also space wood studs only 16-inches apart.  That provides too many opportunities for outside temperatures to sneak through the wall.

Light-gauge steel faces even greater challenges.  It is a far greater thermal conductor than wood.  And, typically, light-gauge steel construction sets studs at 24-inch intervals.

On the other hand, RHINO’s structural steel is so strong that columns are spaced 25-feet apart, not inches.

In addition, wood framing walls are only 3.5-inches thick.  Light-gauge steel construction typically creates 6-inch thick walls.

However, RHINO’s commercial-grade steel creates wall cavities nine-inches deep— or more!  The deeper wall cavities allow room for far thicker insulation.  Thicker insulation equals lower energy bills— and reduces outside noise from penetrating the outer wall, too.

RHINO’s Bridge-Breaking Insulation System

The Pro-Value Insulation System available from RHINO starts with extra-thick fiberglass batt insulation— but it does not stop there.

Pro-Value also includes a second layer of roof insulation as a thermal break in the roof.  Thermal break tape is applied to stop heat transference in the walls.

As an added bonus, the Pro-Value System includes a super-strong fabric vapor barrier.

Breaking thermal bridges reaps three times the reward.  It saves energy, eliminates condensation problems, and creates a more comfortable interior.

Chop heating and cooling bills in half with the RHINO Pro-Value Insulation System! 

Why would you build with anything less than RHINO— especially if you are building in climates with excessive heat, cold, or humidity?

Don’t Delay! Call RHINO Today at 940.383.9566 .

- by Bruce Brown,
CEO of RHINO
Steel Building Systems, Inc