University of York / Berrick Saul Building

Schöck thermal breaks for £7.2m University development

£7.2m development is well under way at the heart of the University of York campus. The new Berrick Saul Building is being constructed primarily to house the Humanities Research Centre and Schöck Isokorb® thermal break modules have been incorporated to connect stairways and an escape bridge at the new development.

Cantilever construction elements which project through the building envelope, breaking the insulation layer in the process, are notorious for creating thermal bridges. This is where materials that are poor insulators allow substantial heat and energy loss to flow out of the building, and the thermal outflow is particularly extreme if the internal and external components are made from material with high thermal conductivity.

Another potential problem is that where internal surface temperatures are particularly low at the bridging points, condensation can form when the temperature reaches the critical dew point during the cold season. The condensed water is absorbed in the concrete and will probably lead to moisture problems and construction damage due to mould development. The result is not just an aesthetic problem, but a health hazard too as mould is often the cause of allergy and respiratory problems for the occupants.

Designed especially for connecting reinforced concrete and steel construction components, it is the type KS20 Isokorb® modules which have been installed in the new Berrick Saul building. Their thermal insulation properties dramatically reduce energy loss in connective areas by guaranteeing that there is uniformity between cantilever structures and the internal structure at the thermal envelope. The modules also transfer load and maintain full structural integrity, while at the same time enabling inner surface area temperatures to remain well in excess of those likely to cause mould formation and condensation.

The type KS modules meet full compliance with the relevant UK building regulations, which require that the temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk (fRSI), as described in BRE IP1/06 – a document cited in Building Regulations Approved Documents Part L1 and L2 and Section 6 in Scotland – must be greater than, or equal, to 0.75 for dwellings, residential buildings and schools. Furthermore it enables optimum compliance with the Building Regulations Ap-proved Documents by using numerical modelling to calculate the building’s energy performance.

The Berrick Saul Building is due to open later this year and in addition to the Humanities Research Centre, will also house the Institute for Effective Education (IEE); a number of interdisciplinary research centres including the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past; and the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. Other facilities in the building will include seminar rooms and a 150-seat auditorium equipped for remote conferencing.

The Humanities Research Centre itself will be housed on two floors and provide high-quality workspace for Arts and Humanities research postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers. Also offices for distinguished visiting fellows, and accommodation for research projects, interdisciplinary centres, and emerging research groups.

The Schöck Isokorb® is the only product range to provide thermal break solutions for connections between concrete-to-concrete, concrete-to-steel and steel-to-steel – and it is also able to offer BBA Certification for the concrete-to-concrete and concrete-to-steel ranges.

There are more than two hundred and fifty standard solutions available in the Schöck range and modules can be tailored to suit practically any application, with different types enabling the transmission of shear, bending moment and tension, as well as compression.

A 20 page ‘Specifiers Handbook‘ is available which provides an overview and introduction to the Schöck Isokorb®, and there is a thoroughly comprehensive 236 page ‘Technical Guide’ which displays in detail the complete range of thermal break applications for all construction types – concrete-to-concrete, concrete-to-steel, steel-to-steel and concrete-to-timber.

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