Continuous Insulation – Is it just a myth?

Yes and No. With the ever-changing building codes and a desire to make all new buildings perform as well as possible, there is a push to figure out how to make envelopes both beautiful and thermally superior. However, oftentimes the drive for unique and innovative skin design makes it difficult for the thermal system to stay in touch from the footing, up to and through the roof.

Many traditional exterior skin systems have one flaw when it comes to continuous insulation: there is a break in the insulation plane at both the footing and the roof. This is usually due to the structural system that has to support them back to the building frame. Many times there is a ledge angle or a poured curb that these wall systems will sit on and a thermal break would naturally exist directly at or under that support. This is where insulated architectural precast wall panels and spandrels can make your life much simpler!

When looking at insulated wall panels, there is one thing that separates us from the rest: we are able to encompass all components of a wall assembly in one prefabricated product.

  1. The interior wythe of concrete is both a durable interior surface that can be painted and left exposed or furred out. It is also capable of being the perimeter structural element as well, able to handle roof loads as well as mid span beams or floors if needed.
  2. The insulation integral to the panel is designed to be continuous, edge-to-edge and corner-to-corner, and to eliminate any areas of reduced insulation.
  3. The exterior wythe of concrete has many talents.  When a joint sealant is applied between panels, it is both the air and vapor barrier.  It is a durable, maintenance-free exterior façade and the architectural options for finish and look are almost limitless!

If you are interested in learning more about how precast insulated wall panels/spandrels might be able to solve your continuous insulation ‘confusion’ please feel free to reach out to me directly!

Curt Gear
Director of Business Development
curt.gear@wellsconcrete.com