Emperor penguins and efficient buildings. Using thermal breaks to prevent heat loss.

What do Emperor penguins and energy efficient buildings have in common? Both use thermal breaks to prevent heat loss.

Emperor penguins can survive Antarctica's frigid climate because — like efficient building envelopes — their bodies contain 1) an air and moisture barrier, 2) continuous insulation and 3) thermal breaks that prevent heat loss into the environment. 

These penguins prevent the escape of heat through their feet into the ice and water by means of thermal breaks in their legs—a vascular adaptation that thermally separates their rounded, well-insulated bodies (low surface-area-to-volume ratio), from their flat, poorly insulated feet (high surface-area-to-volume ratio).

In the same way, modern buildings mitigate thermal bridging between warm interior structures and cold exterior balconies, slab edges, canopies, parapets and rooftop connections using Isokorb® structural thermal breaks. 

Read the full article