The 85 acre redevelopment of Wembley Park, in North West London, one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects continues apace. And one of the latest buildings to be completed is The Alameda (Spanish for ‘walkway shaded by trees‘), which sits next to the tree-lined Wembley Park Boulevard. The Alameda comprises two blocks, 10-storey and 15-storey, which provide 340 new residential apartments with cafes and restaurants planned for the ground level. The slide-on balconies, both at the front and rear of the buildings, are a striking feature of the new development – but critical to their structural and long–term insulation performance is the incorporation of Isokorb structural break units from Schöck. The type used in the detailing on the Alameda is a load bearing thermal element with 80 mm insulation thickness. Early involvement was necessary to ensure that the connectors were accurately cast into the building during the mainframe construction phase. A stub bracket was attached to the Isokorb units and the balcony cantilever support arm was then attached (same depth as the balcony) to the stub and the fully pre-assembled balcony chassis slid on to the cantilever arm and locked into position.
Thermal bridging is a critical issue
If there is ineffective insulation at the connection points, especially with so many balconies involved, there will be local heat loss, resulting in more energy being required to maintain the internal temperature of the building. This is a major consequence of thermal bridging, but there are other issues too. Low internal surface temperatures in the area of the thermal bridge can cause condensation, which leads not only to structural integrity problems with absorbent materials such as insulation products or plasterboard, but It also encourages mould growth, which can have serious health implications for residents, particularly older people and children, in the form of asthma and allergies. So for any project involving balcony connectivity the prevention of thermal bridging is a critical issue.
Construction dependability and freedom of design
As the leading international supplier of structural thermal breaks, Schöck has almost limitless variants available in its main Isokorb range, offering planners complete construction dependability and enormous freedom of design. The comprehensive Schöck Isokorb range offers solutions for concrete-to-concrete, concrete-to-steel, steel-to-steel, a thermally insulating connection for reinforced concrete walls – and even a maintenance free alternative to wrapped parapets. All products meet full compliance with the relevant UK building regulations; have NHBC approval; offer LABC Registration and independent BBA Certification. The temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk (fRSI) which must be greater than, or equal to, 0.75 for residential buildings, is also easily met by incorporating the Isokorb.
For a free copy of the Schöck Thermal Bridging Guide; the Schöck Specifiers Guide or to view the range of downloadable software, contact Schöck on 01865 290 890 or visit the website at www.schoeck.co.uk