The Occurrence of Thermal Bridges in Hemp-Lime Construction Junctions
Thermal bridges increase heat losses in buildings and reduce the temperature of the internal envelope surface, causing moisture condensation and mould growth. This is an important issue for building materials based on organic components such as a hemp-lime composite, as they are particularly susceptible to biological degradation.
The hemp-lime composite is used as a filling in timber frame construction. The increased cross-section of wooden elements together with the geometry change in the construction joints can form thermal bridges. The paper presents numerical analyses of temperature distribution in the area of construction elements connections, taking into account several variants of junctions: external walls, corners, and window placement in a wall. The thermal parameters of hemp-lime composites used in the analyses were obtained from the authors’ own research.
Despite relatively good insulating properties, timber elements have a noticeable influence on the local increase of the heat transfer in hemp-lime composite structures, forming thermal bridges in the partitions themselves and in the construction nodes. However, the linear thermal transmittance coefficients in the presented joints were not very significant (in the range of 0.026 ÷ 0.092 W/(m·K) depending on the type of connection), proving the usefulness of this type of construction in energy-efficient buildings.