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# Examples of U-value calculations using BS EN ISO 6946:1997

Prepared for: DETR/BR By: S M Doran and L Kosmina BRE East Kilbride December 1999 Report No 78129

(revised June 2000) Final approval on behalf of BRE : Final approval on behalf of BRE: Signed ________________ Date ________________

Mrs H J Cuckow, Director, BRE East Kilbride

BRE East Kilbride Kelvin Road East Kilbride Glasgow G75 0RZ Tel : 01355 576200 Fax : 01355 576210 Email : EastKilbride@bre.co.uk

© Building Research Establishment Ltd 1999

Examples of U-value calculations using BS EN ISO 6946:1997 S M Doran and L Kosmina, BRE East Kilbride December 1999 This document illustrates the procedures given in BS EN ISO 6946:19971 for calculating the U-value of opaque elements. The procedures are explained using examples of U-value calculations for some typical wall, roof and floor designs which contain repeating thermal bridges.

Contents 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Introduction Outline of the procedure Cavity wall with lightweight masonry leaf and insulated dry lining Timber framed wall Insulated cavity wall with metal wall ties Wide cavity wall with vertical twist ties Pitched roof with insulation between and over the joists Room in roof construction Room in roof construction with limited rafter depth Floor above unheated space Suspended beam and block floor Suspended timber ground floor 1 2 3 8 13 18 21 24 27 31 34 38 41 45

Appendix : Data tables References

1. Introduction For building elements which contain repeating thermal bridges, such as timber joists between insulation in a roof, or mortar joints around lightweight blockwork in a wall, the effect of thermal bridges should be taken into account when calculating the U-value. At present, Building Regulations specify that U-values should be calculated using the Proportional Area Method, which is described in the CIBSE Guide, Section A32. Future regulations, however, are likely to be based upon the method for calculating U-values defined in BS EN ISO 6946:1997, which includes the Combined Method for repeating thermal bridges and correction procedures for the effects of metal fixings, air gaps and unheated spaces. This paper illustrates the use of BS EN ISO 6946:1997 for some typical wall, roof and floor designs. Thermal conductivity values for common building materials can be obtained from the CIBSE Guide Section A3, 1999 Edition (especially for masonry) or from prEN 125243. For specific insulation products, however, data should be obtained from manufacturers’ declared values. A table is provided at the end of this document giving typical conductivities for some common building materials.

2. Outline of the procedure The following is an outline of the calculation procedure: 1. Calculate the upper resistance limit (Rupper) by combining in parallel the total resistances of all possible heat-flow paths (i.e. sections) through the building element. 2. Calculate the lower resistance limit (Rlower) by combining in parallel the resistances of the heat flow paths of each layer separately and then summing the resistances of all layers of the building element. 3. Calculate the total thermal resistance (RT) from RT = R upper + R lower 2

4. Calculate, where appropriate, corrections for air gaps (∆Ug) and mechanical fasteners (∆Uf). Examples of corrections for air gaps are shown in sections 3, 4, 10 and 12 and examples of corrections for mechanical fasteners are shown in sections 5, 6 and 9. 5. Calculate the U-value from U = (1 / RT) + ∆Ug + ∆Uf The standard permits ∆Ug and ∆Uf to be omitted if, taken together, they amount to less than 3% of the U-value. This has been done in the examples that follow.

3. Cavity wall with lightweight masonry leaf and insulated dry-lining In this examplea) there are two bridged layers - insulation bridged by timber and example). The construction consists of outer leaf brickwork, a clear cavity, 100 mm AAC blockwork, 38 89 mm timber studs with insulation between the studs and one sheet of 12.5 mm plasterboard.

102 mm brick (conductivity 0.77 W/m·K) 50 mm air cavity (thermal resistance 0.18 m²K/W) 100 mm AAC blocks (conductivity 0.11 W/m·K) bridged by mortar (conductivity 0.88 W/m·K) mineral wool (conductivity 0.038 W/m·K) between 38 × 89 mm timber studs (conductivity 0.13 W/m·K) at 400 mm centres 12.5 mm plasterboard, conductivity 0.25 W/m·K) (conductivity heat flow

Total thickness

354 mm

U-value

0.31 W/m·K

The thickness of each layer, together with the thermal conductivities of the materials, are shown below. The external and internal surface resistances used are those two thermal conductivities are given for each layer to reflect the bridged part and the bridging part in each case. For each homogeneous layer and for each section (expressed in metres) by the thermal conductivity.

Layer

Thickness (mm) -

1 3(a) 3(b) 4(b) 5

outer leaf brick air cavity mortar (6.6%) mineral wool (90.5%) plasterboard

conductivity (W/m·K) 0.77 0.11 0.88 0.13 0.25 -

resistance (m²K/W) 0.132 0.180 0.114 2.342 0.050

50 100 89 (89) -

a)

Due to requirements for sound insulation this wall construction may only be suitable for

R2. The method of combining differs in the two cases. Upper resistance limit considered to consist of a number of thermal paths (or sections). F3 and F4 are the fractional areas of sections 1.2 : Conceptual illustration of how to calculate the upper limit of resistance Resistance through section containing AAC blocks and mineral wool External surface resistance Resistance of bricks Resistance of air cavity Resistance of AAC blocks (93.050 = 0.Both the upper and the lower limits of thermal resistance are calculated by combining as illustrated below. The upper limit of upper.5%) = 0.4% × 90. is given by R upper = 1 F F1 F2 F + + 3 + 4 R1 R 2 R 3 R 4 where F1.909 = 2. 3 and 4 respectively and R1.342 = 0.4%) Resistance of mineral wool (90. A conceptual illustration of the method of calculating the upper limit of resistance is shown below:- F1 1 F2 external 1 surface F3 1 F4 1 2 3(b) 4(b) 5 2 3(a) 4(b) 5 2 3(b) 4(a) 5 internal surface 2 3(a) 4(a) 5 Figure 3.180 = 0. In this example there are four sections (or paths) through which heat can pass. 2.130 = 3.040 = 0. R3 and R4 are the corresponding total thermal resistances of the sections.845 (93.783 m²K/W . F2.132 = 0.5%) Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total thermal resistance (R1) Fractional area F1 = 0.

050 = 0.089 (93.060 0.114 = 2.988 m²K/W Lower resistance limit When calculating the lower limit of thermal resistance.130 = 2.342 = 0.180 = 0.5%) Resistance through section containing mortar and timber External surface resistance Resistance of bricks Resistance of air cavity Resistance of mortar (6.685 = 0.126 1.130 = 1.6%) Resistance of mineral wool (90.5%) Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total thermal resistance (R3) Fractional area F3 = 0.5%) Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total thermal resistance (R2) Fractional area F2 = 0.180 = 0.040 = 0.050 = 0.006 F1 F2 F4 + + + + + + 3.988 2.5%) Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total thermal resistance (R4) Fractional area F4 = 0. F3 0.132 = 0.685 = 0.114 = 0.4%) Resistance of timber (9.450 m²K/W. the resistance of a bridged layer is determined by combining in parallel the resistances of the unbridged part and the bridged part of the layer. The resistances of all the layers in the element are then added together to give the lower limit of resistance.845 0.783 2.040 = 0.331 R1 R 2 R 3 R 4 = 0.6%) Resistance of timber (9.5%) Resistance through section containing AAC blocks and timber External surface resistance Resistance of bricks Resistance of air cavity Resistance of AAC blocks (93.Resistance through section containing mortar and mineral wool External surface resistance Resistance of bricks Resistance of air cavity Resistance of mortar (6.130 = 2.040 = 0.180 = 0.126 m²K/W = 0.6% × 90.060 (6.4% × 9.089 0.331 m²K/W = 0.132 = 0. .006 (6.050 = 0.6% × 9.909 = 0.5%) Combining these resistances we obtain: R upper = 1 1 = = 3.132 = 0.

904 = 0.shown below: 3(a) external surface 1 2 3(b) 4(a) 5 4(b) internal surface Figure 3.132 = 0.040 = 0.934 0.066 + 0.114 Resistance of second bridged layer 1 R second = 0.058 m²K/W .050 = 0.622 = 1.909 0.905 0.342 0.180 = 0.130 = 3.095 + 2.3 : Conceptual illustration of how to calculate the lower limit of resistance The resistance of the bridged layer consisting of AAC blocks and mortar is calculated using: R first = 1 Fblocks F + mortar R blocks R mortar and the resistance of the bridged layer consisting of insulation and timber is calculated using: R second = 1 Finsul Ftimber + R insul R timber The lower limit of resistance is then obtained by adding together the resistances of the layers: External surface resistance Resistance of bricks Resistance of air cavity Resistance of first bridged layer 1 R first = 0.685 Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total (Rlower) Total resistance of wall The total resistance of the wall is the average of the upper and lower limit of resistances: = 0.

Since the cavity wall ties do not penetrate any insulation no correction need be applied to the U-value to take account of them.450 + 3.31 W/m²K. The overall U-value of the wall should include a term ∆Ug. where ∆Ug = ∆U’’ × (RI / RT)² and where ∆U’’ = 0.307 W/m²K.01 (referred to in BS EN ISO 6946 as correction level 1). Since ∆Ug is less than 3% of (1 / RT).003 W/m²K and 1 / RT = 0. U = 1 / RT + ∆Ug U = 1 / RT (if ∆Ug is not less than 3% of 1 / RT) (if ∆Ug is less than 3% of 1 / RT) In this case ∆Ug = 0. RI is the thermal resistance of the layer containing the gaps and RT is the total resistance of the element. Note 1.254 m²K/W 2 Correction for air gaps between the timber studs Since the insulation is entirely between studs (ie.058 = 3. 2. If the noggings (or dwangs) do penetrate the whole of the insulation thickness they should be included as part of the timber percentage used in the calculation.254)² = 0.01 × (1. there is no continuous layer of insulation) a correction should be applied to the U-value in order to account for air gaps. .904 / 3. ∆Ug is therefore ∆Ug = 0. In the above calculation it is assumed that the noggings (or dwangs) do not penetrate the whole of the insulation. U = 1 / 3.254 = 0.RT = R upper + R lower 2 = 3.003 W/m²K U-value of the wall The effect of air gaps or mechanical fixings should be included in the U-value unless they lead to an adjustment in the U-value of less than 3%.

Layer 4 is thermally bridged and two thermal conductivities are given for this layer.13 0. 38 × 140 mm timber framing with 120 mm of insulation between the timbers and 2 sheets of plasterboard each 12. a clear ventilated cavity. Layer Material Thickness (mm) 102 50 19 120 20 (140) 25 Thermal conductivity (W/m·K) 0.13 0.5 mm thick.5 mm plasterboard (conductivity 0. as illustrated below.038 0. For each homogeneous layer and for each section through a bridged layer.090 0.100 0. together with the thermal conductivities of the materials in each layer.77 0.040 0.13 W/m·K) at 400 mm centres 2 × 12. The construction consists of outer leaf brickwork.077 0.158 0. 102 mm brick outer leaf (conductivity 0.130 1 2 3 4(a¹) 4(a²) 4(b) 5 external surface outer leaf brick air cavity plywood mineral wool between timber studs air space next to mineral wool 38 mm × 140 mm timber studs at 400 mm centres plasterboard internal surface Both the upper and the lower limits of thermal resistance are calculated by combining the alternative resistances of the bridged layer in proportion to their respective areas.1 : Timber framed wall construction The thicknesses of each layer.13 W/m·K) mineral wool (conductivity 0.31 W/m·K Figure 4. the thermal resistance is calculated by dividing the thickness (in metres) by the thermal conductivity.77 W/m·K) 50 mm ventilated cavity (thermal resistance 0. are shown below.25 Thermal resistance (m²K/W) 0. The method of combining differs in the two cases. one for the unbridged part and one for the bridging part of the layer.4.146 3. The external and internal surface resistances are taken from Table 1 of this document.180 1.25 W/m·K) heat flow Total thickness 336 mm U-value 0.132 0. b) This construction provides satisfactory sound insulation .09 m²K/W) 19 mm plywood (conductivity 0. 19 mm plywood.038 W/m·K) between 38 × 140 mm timber studs (conductivity 0. Timber framed wall In this exampleb) there is a single bridged layer in the wall. involving insulation bridged by timber studs.

180 = 0. The upper limit of resistance is calculated from: 1 R upper = F1 F2 + R1 R 2 where F1 and F2 are the fractional areas of the two sections and R1 and R2 are the total resistances of the two sections.146 = 3.130 = 3.976 m²K/W .158 = 0.905 (90.Upper resistance limit When calculating the upper limit of thermal resistance. The method of calculating the upper resistance limit is illustrated conceptually below:F1 external surface F2 1 2 3 4(b) 5 1 2 3 4(a) 5 internal surface Figure 4.132 = 0.100 = 0.2 : Conceptual illustration of how to calculate the upper limit of thermal resistance Resistance through the section containing insulation External surface resistance Resistance of bricks Resistance of air cavity Resistance of plywood Resistance of mineral wool (90.040 = 0.5%) Resistance of air space next to mineral wool Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total (R1) Fractional area F1 = 0. the building element is considered to consist of two thermal paths (or sections).5%) = 0.090 = 0.

the resistance of a bridged layer is determined by combining in parallel the resistances of the unbridged part and the bridged part of the layer.132 = 0.095 + 3.Resistance through section containing timber stud External surface resistance Resistance of bricks Resistance of air cavity Resistance of plywood Resistance of timber studs (9.100 = 0.040 = 0.130 = 1.533 m²K/W = 0.095 (9.715 = 3.905 0.715 m²K/W Lower resistance limit:When calculating the lower limit of thermal resistance.077 = 0.3 : Conceptual illustration of how to calculate the lower limit of thermal resistance .5%) Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total (R2) Fractional area F2 = 0. The resistance of the bridged layer is calculated using: R= 1 Finsul F + timber R insul R timber The method of calculating the lower limit of resistance is illustrated conceptually below.5%) The upper limit of resistance is then: R upper = 1 F1 F2 + R1 R 2 = 1 0.976 1.090 = 0. F1 4(a) external surface 1 2 3 F2 4(b) 5 internal surface Figure 4.146 = 1. The resistances of all the layers in the element are then added together to give the lower limit of resistance.

04 × (2.783 Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total (Rlower) = 0.100 = 0. In this example RI is 2.026 W/m²K U-value of the wall The effect of air gaps or mechanical fixings should be included in the U-value unless they lead to an adjustment in the U-value of less than 3%.146 = 2. The correctionc) for air gaps is ∆Ug.077 = 0.090 = 0.040 = 0.477 m²K/W 2 Correction for air gaps If there are small air gaps penetrating the insulating layer a correction should be applied to the U-value to account for this. where ∆Ug = ∆U’’ × (RI / RT)² and where RI d) is the thermal resistance of the layer containing gaps.180 1. RT is 3.132 = 0.130 = 3.The lower limit of resistance is then obtained by adding up the resistances of all the layers: External surface resistance Resistance of bricks Resistance of air cavity Resistance of plywood Resistance of bridged layer = 1 0.095 + 3.477 m²K/W and ∆U’’ is 0.1 of BS EN ISO 6946 In this example RI is the same as the resistance of the bridged layer used in the calculation of the lower resistance limit d) .783 m²K/W. U = 1 / RT + ∆Ug U = 1 / RT c) (if ∆Ug is not less than 3% of 1 / RT) (if ∆Ug is less than 3% of 1 / RT) Using Table D. The value of ∆Ug is then ∆Ug = 0.421 m²K/W Total resistance of wall (not allowing for air gaps in the insulation) The total resistance of the wall is the average of the upper and lower resistance limits: RT = R upper + R lower 2 = 3.783 / 3. RT is the total resistance of the element and ∆U’’ is a factor which depends upon the way in which the insulation is fitted.421 = 3.477)² = 0.158 + 0.905 0.04.533 + 3.

1 0. Insulation installed in such a way that no air circulation is possible on the warm side of the insulation.01 W/m²K. In this example correction level 2 is appropriate because air may circulate on the warm side of the insulation.477 + 0. If. the noggings (or dwangs) penetrate the whole of the insulation thickness they should be included within the timber percentage used in the calculation. U = 1 / RT = 1 / 3. The possible correction levels are summarised as follows: Description of air gap Correction level 0 ∆U’’ W/m²K 0. In the above calculation it is assumed that the noggings (or dwangs) do not penetrate the whole of the insulation. 3. Air circulation possible on the warm side of the insulation. 4. and the additional timbers surrounding openings are taken account of in the treatment of such details and so are not taken into account in the calculation of the U-value of the wall.In this case ∆Ug = 0. 2. wall/floor.026 .00 ∆Ug W/m²K 0.04 0.31 W/m²K.04 W/m²K. for example wall/wall.026 = 0. Note 1. and wall ceiling junctions. Air gaps may penetrate the insulation. correction level 1 would be appropriate.01 0.288 W/m²K. Since ∆Ug is not less than 3% of (1 / RT). air circulation is possible on the warm side then it should be set to 0. If 140 mm of insulation was used instead of 120 mm so as to fill the space between the studs.006 2 0. Air gaps may penetrate the insulation layer. The additional timbers at the junctions of plane elements.000 Insulation installed in such a way that no air circulation is possible on the warm side of the insulation. If. No air gaps penetrating the entire insulation layer. however. The Standard (BS EN ISO 6946) states that if the insulation is fitted in such a way that no air circulation is possible on the warm side of the insulation then ∆U’’ is set to 0.026 W/m²K and 1 / RT = 0. on the other hand.

18 W/m·K) 290 mm U-value 0. a cavity filled with mineral wool batts.038 m²K/W) 100 mm AAC blocks (conductivity 0. The external and internal surface resistances used are those given in Table 1 of this document.1 : Insulated cavity wall (fully-filled) with metal wall ties The thicknesses of each layer.974 0. The third layer contains AAC blockwork bridged by mortar with the mortar occupying 6.77 0. The metal ties are not treated as repeating thermal bridges but instead are accounted for at the end of the calculation.4%) mortar (6. 102 mm brick (conductivity 0.11 m²K/W) bridged by mortar (conductivity 0.114 0. Insulated cavity wall with metal wall ties In this examplee) an insulated cavity wall has stainless steel double triangle wall ties penetrating the insulation layer. The construction consists of outer leaf brickwork.32 W/m·K heat flow Figure 5.132 1.130 e) This construction provides satisfactory sound insulation from neighbouring dwellings . (conductivity 0.18 - Thermal resistance (m²K/W) 0.5. 100 mm of AAC blockwork and 13 mm of lightweight plaster.88 W/m·K) Total thickness 13 mm lightweight plaster.072 0.6%) lightweight plaster internal surface Thermal conductivity (W/m·K) 0.88 0.909 0. are shown below. The wall ties are spaced 900 mm horizontally and 450 mm vertically. together with the thermal conductivities of the materials in each layer.040 0.038 0. Layer Material Thickness (mm) 102 75 100 (100) 13 - 1 2 3(a) 3(b) 4 external surface outer leaf brick mineral wool batts AAC blocks (93.77 W/m·K) 75 mm cavity filled with mineral wool (conductivity 0.6% of the cross-sectional area.11 0.

066 + 3.066 (6.974 0.257 .6%) Resistance of lightweight plaster Internal surface resistance Total (R2) Fractional area F2 = 0.974 0.4%) Resistance of lightweight plaster Internal surface resistance Total (R1) Fractional area F1 = 0. the building element is considered to consist of two thermal paths (or sections).040 0.132 1.4%) Resistance through section containing mortar External surface resistance Resistance of bricks Resistance of mineral wool slabs Resistance of mortar (6.934 (93. The upper limit of resistance is calculated from: 1 R upper = F1 F2 + R1 R 2 where F1 and F2 are the fractional areas of the two sections and R1 and R2 are the total resistances of the two sections.072 0.114 0.132 1.6%) Combining the resistances in their appropriate proportions the upper limit of resistance (Rupper) is given by: R upper = 1 F1 F2 + R1 R 2 = 1 0.2 : Conceptual illustration of how to calculate the upper limit of resistance Resistance through section containing concrete blocks External surface resistance Resistance of bricks Resistance of mineral wool slabs Resistance of AAC blocks (93.934 0.257 2.040 0.130 3.Upper resistance limit:When calculating the upper limit of thermal resistance.462 0.072 0.189 m²K/W 0.462 = 3.909 0. A conceptual diagram of the upper limit of resistance is shown immediately below F1 external surface F2 1 2 3(b) 4 1 2 3(a) 4 internal surface Figure 5.130 2.

The resistances of all the layers are then added together to give the lower limit of resistance.934 0.970 = 3.072 = 0. They are arranged at 900 mm .Lower resistance limit:To calculate the lower resistance limit the resistance of the bridged layer is determined by combining in parallel the resistances of the unbridged part and the bridged part of the layer.974 = 0. be taken into account. Since wall ties of low conductivity. The method of correction is the same for both fully filled and partially filled cavity walls. or part of it.75 mm².7 mm in diameter giving a cross-sectional area of 10.130 = 2. do not affect the U-value significantly. the Standard (BS EN ISO 6946) only requires a correction to be made if the conductivity of the tie.066 + 0. A conceptual illustration of the method of calculating the lower limit of resistance is shown below:F1 3(a) external surface 1 2 F2 3(b) 4 internal surface Figure 5. In this example the wall ties are of stainless steel (double triangle) and are 3. is more than 1 W/m·K. such as plastic ties.189 + 2.3 : Conceptual illustration of how to calculate the lower limit of resistance External surface resistance Resistance of bricks Resistance of mineral wool slabs Resistance of AAC blocks & mortar = 1 0. In practice this means that plastic wall ties can be ignored in the U-value calculation but metal wall ties generally need to be included.132 = 1.040 = 0.114 = 0.622 Resistance of lightweight plaster Internal surface resistance Total (Rlower) Total resistance of wall (ignoring wall ties) = 0. such as cavity wall ties. The corrections are only applied where wall ties actually penetrate the insulation.909 0.080 m²K/W 2 Correction for cavity wall ties The method of calculating U-values as given in BS EN ISO 6946 requires that mechanical fixings. The following describes how the effect of the wall ties is incorporated into the U-value.970 The total resistance of the wall is the average of the upper and lower resistance limits: RT = R upper + R lower 2 = 3.

is 0.003 W/m²K is obtained using the above formula: ∆Uf = 6 × 17 × 2. Since ∆Uf is less than 3% of (1 / RT).32 W/m²K.003 W/m²K and 1 / RT = 0. which is 17 W/m·K in this example.003 W/m²K) to the U-value which would be obtained without any correction for wall ties (0. If vertical twist wall ties are used instead of double triangle ties the correction to the U-value can be considerably larger than that shown above. is less than 1 W/m·K. due to their greater cross-sectional area. and λf is the conductivity of the fixings.00001075 = 0. The Standard (BS EN ISO 6946).horizontal centres and 450 mm vertical centres. ∆Uf.3247 W/m²K. permits the effects of mechanical fixings to be ignored if they lead to an increase of less than 3% in the U-value.32 W/m²K Note 1. f) see Table 3 of this document . no correction is applied and ∆Uf is taken to be zero. which is 6 for wall tiesf). is given by ∆Uf = α λf nf Af where α is the scaling factor for mechanical fixings. is calculated as follows using the above information on the wall tie spacing.003 W/m²K) is less than 3% of (1 / RT) the correction need not be applied. obtained by rounding the (uncorrected) U-value to two significant figures.080 = 0. A value for ∆Uf of 0.008 W/m²K. or part of it. If the thermal conductivity of the tie.47 × 0. 2. nf = 1000 000 = 2. Using the procedure in BS EN ISO 6946. however.47 900 × 450 Af is the cross-sectional area of the wall tie. U = 1 / RT = 1 / 3. 4. If instead of stainless steel ties.003 W/m²K U-value of the wall The effect of air gaps or mechanical fixings should be included in the U-value unless they lead to an adjustment in the U-value of less than 3%.00001075 m². 3. in the case of plastic wall ties. nf. which is 0. The final quoted U-value. expressed in m². for instance. Since the ∆Uf correction (0. this will increase ∆Uf from 0. By adding ∆Uf (0.328 W/m²K. The number of wall ties per square metre which penetrate the insulation. U = 1 / RT + ∆Uf U = 1 / RT (if ∆Uf is not less than 3% of 1 / RT) (if ∆Uf is less than 3% of 1 / RT) In this case ∆Uf = 0. galvanised steel ties of conductivity 50 W/m·K are used.325 W/m²K) this would imply a U-value of 0. the adjustment to the U-value. This would apply.003 W/m²K to 0.

4 : Conceptual diagram illustrating how the U-value is corrected for the presence of wall ties. The U-value calculation is firstly carried out ignoring the effects of the wall ties and an adjustment is then applied in order to obtain the final U-value.The following is a conceptual diagram showing how the effect of the wall ties. is incorporated into the overall U-value calculation: U-value in absence of wall ties effect of wall ties Figure 5. . where applicable.

8 mm². The external and internal surface resistances used are those given in Table 1 of this document.1 : Insulated cavity wall (fully-filled) with metal wall ties The thicknesses of each layer. together with the thermal conductivities of the materials. the mortar joints between the bricks and concrete blocks could be taken into account.1 m²K/W the mortar parts may be ignored.13 m²K/W) Total thickness 335 mm 13 mm dense plaster (conductivity 0.6.77 W/m·K) 120 mm cavity filled with mineral wool (conductivity 0.30 W/m·K heat flow Figure 6.57 W/m·K) U-value 0. Wide cavity wall with vertical twist ties In this exampleg) a wide cavity wall is fully filled with mineral wool insulation with stainless steel vertical twist wall ties in the filled cavity. The wall ties are spaced 750 mm horizontally and 450 mm vertically. The vertical twist wall ties have a cross sectional area of 60. however since the resistances of the mortar parts do not differ from the brick or block parts by more than 0. Strictly speaking. are shown below. To obtain the U-value allowing for the wall ties the thermal resistance (RT) should first be calculated ignoring the effect of the wall ties and then a correction should be made for the presence of the ties. In this example there is no distinction between the upper and lower limit of resistance because all of the layers are considered to be sufficiently homogeneous (for the purposes of thermal calculations).038 m²K/W) 100 mm concrete blocks. 102 mm brick (conductivity 0. g) Due to requirements for sound insulation this construction may only be suitable for detached dwellings . (conductivity 1.

The correction to be applied is therefore ∆Uf = 6 × 17 × 2.77 0.57 Thermal resistance (m²K/W) 0. Since ∆Uf is not less than 3% of (1 / RT). This will give a final Uvalue of U = 1 / 3. U = 1 / RT + ∆Uf U = 1 / RT (if ∆Uf is not less than 3% of 1 / RT) (if ∆Uf is less than 3% of 1 / RT) In this case ∆Uf = 0. Af. is expressed in m². of 60. If galvanised steel ties (with a conductivity of 50 W/m·K) are used instead of stainless steel ties.The wall construction may be summarised as follows: Layer Material Thickness (mm) 102 120 100 13 Thermal conductivity (W/m·K) 0. the correction to be applied.280 W/m²K. Using the procedure in BS EN ISO 6946.088 0. which is 6 for wall tiesh).018 W/m²K and 1 / RT = 0.0000608 = 0. the cross-sectional area of the wall tie.158 0.96 / m².038 1.8 mm².040 0. is given by ∆Uf = α λf nf Af where α is the scaling factor for mechanical fixings.571 1 2 3 4 external surface outer leaf brick mineral wool batts concrete blockwork dense plaster internal surface Total (RT) Correction for cavity wall ties A correction has to be applied to allow for the additional heat loss due to the wall ties. ∆Uf.571 + 0.30 W/m²K Note 1. the value of ∆Uf will be 0.018 W/m²K U-value of the wall The effect of air gaps or mechanical fixings should be included in the U-value unless they lead to an adjustment in the U-value of less than 3%. which is 17 W/m·K for stainless steel. is calculated to be 2.054 W/m²K.13 0.96 × 0. and λf is the conductivity of the fixings.132 3. In this example the wall ties are of metal (vertical twist) and have a cross-sectional area. Note that Af.571 + 0.018 W/m²K = 0.023 0.130 3.33 W/m²K h) see Table 3 of this document . U = 1 / 3.054 = 0. nf. The number of wall ties per square metre which penetrate the insulation.

plastic ties) the value of ∆Uf may be taken to be zero and the U-value will be U = 1 / RT = 1 / 3. If the thermal conductivity of the tie. however it is permissible to ignore the mortar in both of these layers because the resistances of the mortar joints differ from the resistances of the bricks or concrete blocks by less than 0. is less than 1 W/m·K (eg.28 W/m²K 3. or part of it. Strictly speaking.1 m²K/W .571 = 0. the mortar joints between the bricks and concrete blocks could be taken into account in the U-value calculation.2.

769 0.050 0.200 2.5 mm of plasterboard.042 0.100 1 2 3(a) 3(b) 4 external surface roof space beneath tiled roof with felt or boardsi) continuous layer of mineral wool mineral wool between 48 × 100 mm timber joists with 600 mm between centres 48 × 100 mm timber joists between insulation plasterboard internal surface Upper resistance limit:A conceptual illustration of how the upper limit of resistance is calculated is shown immediately below F1 external surface F2 1 2 3(b) 4 1 2 3(a) 4 internal surface Figure 7.2 : Conceptual illustration of how to calculate the upper limit of resistance i) Using Table 3 of BS EN ISO 6946 .381 2. The external and internal surface resistances used are those given in Table 1 of this document.7. The roof construction is summarised below.20 W/m·K insulation joist Figure 7.25 Thermal resistance (m²K/W) 0.040 0. The ceiling consists of 12.042 0. Pitched roof with insulation between and over the joists (loft space and pitched roof above) U-value 0.13 0. Layer Material Thickness (mm) 100 100 (100) 12.381 0. The roof is tiled with felt or boards under the tiles.1 : Insulation between and over joists at ceiling level A pitched roof has 100 mm of mineral wool tightly fitted between 48 × 100 mm timber joists spaced 600 mm apart (centres to centres) and 100 mm of mineral wool over the joists.5 Thermal conductivity (W/m·K) 0.

152 m²K/W .100 = 5.200 = 2.100 = 3.152 3.92 0.540 R1 R 2 = 0.040 = 0.08 F1 F2 + + 5.381 = 0.040 = 0.540 m²K/W = 0.92 (92%) Resistance through section containing timber joists External surface resistance Resistance of roof space Resistance of mineral wool over joists Resistance of timber joists Resistance of plasterboard Inside surface resistance Total (R2) Fractional area F2 = 0.971 m²K/W 0.050 = 0.381 = 0.381 = 2.769 = 0.08 (8%) The upper resistance limit is given by R upper = 1 1 = = 4.200 = 2.Resistance through section containing both layers of insulation External surface resistance Resistance of roof spacei) Resistance of mineral wool over joists Resistance of mineral wool between joists Resistance of plasterboard Inside surface resistance Total (R1) Fractional area F1 = 0.050 = 0.

Since there are two layers of insulation. .92 0.381 0.040 = 0. Since the nails or fixings do not penetrate any insulation. a correction for air gaps need not be applied.08 + + 2. 2.3 : Conceptual illustration of how to calculate the lower limit of resistance External surface resistance Resistance of roof space Resistance of mineral wool over joists Resistance of bridged layer 1 1 = = Finsul Ftimber 0.200 = 2. one between joists and the other as a continuous layer covering the first layer.20 W/m²K Note 1.769 R insul R timber Resistance of plasterboard Inside surface resistance Total (Rlower) Total resistance of roof RT = R upper + R lower 2 = = 0.381 = 2.100 = 4.971 + 4.039 = 0.891 m²K/W 2 U-value of the roof U = 1 / RT = 0.050 = 0.810 m²K/W 4.810 = 4.Lower resistance limit:A conceptual illustration of the method of calculating the lower limit of resistance is shown below:F1 3(a) external surface 1 2 F2 3(b) 4 internal surface Figure 7. a correction for mechanical fixings need not be applied.

The construction consists of roof tiles.5 mm of plasterboard.100 *All layers to the cold side of the well ventilated airspace are ignored in the U-value calculation and the surface bounding this airspace is taken to have the same resistance as an internal surface. phenolic foam or polyurethane. Timber packing pieces of the same width as existing 100 mm deep rafters are attached beneath the rafters in order to provide additional room for insulation. laminated to insulation.025 4.1 : Roof construction shown as two cross-sections (fixing nails not shown) The construction may be summarised as follows:Layer Material Thickness (mm) Thermal conductivity (W/mK) Thermal resistance (m²K/W) 0. where the conductivity has an allowance for ageing and variation in manufacture .100 external surface* tiles* 19 roofing felt* 1 ventilated airspace between rafters 50 and spacers* 4(a) insulation boardj) occupying 88% of 100 0.5 mm of insulation bonded to 9.5 0.000 face area (between rafters and spacers) 4(b) rafters (beneath ventilated area) (100) 0.620 6 plasterboard 9. Plasterboard.5 0.025 0. Room in roof construction An existing loft is converted to a habitable space by inserting tightly fitted insulation between the rafters in the roof. felt. Beneath the rafters and spacers there is an insulation laminate consisting of 15.038 internal surface 0.769 occupying 12% of face area 5 insulation boardj) 15. is then attached below the rafters. a 50 mm air gap between rafters and 100 mm of insulation between rafters and spacers. 1 2 3 j) For example.8.27 W/m·K A Plan at A-A A Figure 8. U-value 0. The internal surface resistance is taken from Table 1 of this document.25 0.13 0. A 50 mm space is reserved for ventilation above the insulation. In this example the rafters are 100 mm deep but 50 mm timber spacers have been attached below the rafters in order to extend the total rafter depth to effectively 150 mm.

Conceptual diagrams of the methods of calculating upper and lower limits of resistance are shown below:- F1 external surface insulation F2 external surface insulation rafters rafters insulation plasterboard internal surface insulation plasterboard internal surface Figure 8.100 4.100 1.627 m²K/W The upper limit of resistance is then obtained from: R upper = 1 F1 F2 + R1 R 2 = 1 0.12 + 4.88 0.100 0.038 0.100 4.12 (12%) = = = = = = 0.Since the airspace between the rafters is well ventilated.769 0. all layers above the airspace are ignored in the thermal calculation and the airspace is treated as a surface resistance of 0.627 = 3.620 0.2 : Conceptual diagrams of how to calculate the upper and lower limits of resistance Upper resistance limit:Resistance through the section between the rafters Effective external surface resistance Resistance of insulation between rafters Resistance of insulation beneath rafters Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total thermal resistance (R1) Fractional area F1 = 0.923 m²K/W .038 0.000 0.620 0.858 m²K/W Resistance through the section through the rafters Effective external surface resistance Resistance of rafters Resistance of insulation beneath rafters Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total thermal resistance (R2) Fractional area F2 = 0.10 m²K/W.858 1.88 (88%) = = = = = = 0.

one between rafters and the other as a continuous layer covering the first layer.620 0. 3. only 75 mm) there may be practical problems in achieving the required U-value due to a lack of space being available for the insulation.659 = = = = 0.517 m²K/W U-value of the roof U = 1 / RT = 0. In such cases the insulation beneath the rafters may need to be thicker in order to compensate for the limited rafter depth.88 0. In instances where the rafters are insufficiently deep (e.720 m²K/W 2 = 0. .12 + 4.27 W/m²K Note 1. Since there are two layers of insulation.517 = 3. This example assumes that the rafter depth is 100 mm and that 50 mm timber spacers can be attached below the rafters. a correction for air gaps need not be applied. 2.g.100 3.769 Resistance of insulation beneath rafters Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total thermal resistance (Rlower) Total resistance of roof The total resistance is the average of the upper and lower limits RT = R upper + R lower 2 = 3. In this example the effects of the fixing nails may be ignored since they do not penetrate the main insulating layer.000 0.923 + 3.038 0.Lower resistance limit Effective external surface resistance Resistance of bridged layer 1 = 0.100 = 2.

are not extended in depth but instead a thicker plasterboard-insulation laminate is attached below the rafters. Room in roof construction with limited rafter depth This roof is similar to that shown in the previous example except that the existing rafters.000 face area (between rafters and spacers) 4(b) rafters (beneath ventilated area) (25) 0. Beneath the rafters and spacers there is an insulation laminate consisting of 57. The construction consists of roof tiles.100 *All layers to the cold side of the well ventilated airspace are ignored in the U-value calculation and the surface bounding this airspace is taken to have the same resistance as an internal surface.5 mm of insulation bonded to 12. a 50 mm air gap between rafters and 25 mm of insulation between rafters and spacers. felt. The insulation laminate is nailed to the rafters and the nails have a horizontal spacing of 400 mm and a vertical spacing of 150 mm.9.300 6 plasterboard 12. The external and internal surface resistances used are those given in Table 1 of this document.025 2.025 1. A Plan at A-A A Figure 9.5 0.100 external surface* tiles* 19 roofing felt* 1 ventilated airspace between rafters 50 and spacers* 4(a) insulation board occupying 88% of 25 0. To calculate the U-value a calculation is first carried out ignoring the nails and then a correction is applied to account for the nails.33 W/m·K The construction may be summarised as follows:Layer Material Thickness (mm) Thermal conductivity (W/mK) Thermal resistance (m²K/W) 0.5 mm of plasterboard. As in the previous example the insulation is tightly fitted between the rafters.25 0.5 0. which are only 75 mm deep in this case. The internal surface resistance is taken from Table 1 of this document.050 internal surface 0.1 : Roof construction U-value 0. 1 2 3 .13 0.192 occupying 12% of face area 5 insulation board 57.

100 3.100 1.550 m²K/W Resistance through the section through the rafters Effective external surface resistance Resistance of rafters Resistance of insulation beneath rafters Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total thermal resistance (R2) Fractional area F2 = 0.88 (88%) = = = = = = 0.550 2.100 0.429 .192 2.300 0.88 0.742 m²K/W The upper limit of resistance is then obtained from: R upper = 1 F1 F2 + R1 R 2 = 1 0.12 + 3.10 m²K/W. Conceptual diagrams of the methods of calculating upper and lower limits of resistance are shown below:- F1 external surface insulation F2 external surface insulation rafters rafters insulation plasterboard internal surface insulation plaster board internal surface Figure 9.100 2.050 0.Since the airspace between the rafters is well ventilated.742 = 3.2 : Conceptual diagrams of how to calculate the upper and lower limits of resistance Upper resistance limit:Resistance through the section between the rafters Effective external surface resistance Resistance of insulation between rafters Resistance of insulation beneath rafters Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total thermal resistance (R1) Fractional area F1 = 0.300 0.000 2. all layers to the cold side of the airspace are ignored in the thermal calculation and the airspace is treated as a surface resistance of 0.12 (12%) = = = = = = 0.050 0.

where ∆Uf = α λf nf Af = 5 × 50 × 16. The following describes how the effect of the fixing nails is incorporated into the U-value.7 × 0.100 3.000 0. λf. U-value of the roof The effect of air gaps or mechanical fixings should be included in the U-value unless they lead to an adjustment in the U-value of less than 3%. the plasterboard-insulation laminate is fixed to the rafters using nails.664 = = = = 2.Lower resistance limit:Effective external surface resistance Resistance of bridged layer 1 = 0.12 + 1.050 0. Rf is the thermal resistance of the insulation penetrated by the nails and RT is the total thermal resistance of the roof.000005 = 0.192 Resistance of insulation beneath rafters Resistance of plasterboard Internal surface resistance Total thermal resistance = 0.88 0. Af. where α is 5 for all roof fixingsk).429 + 3. The nails are arranged at 150 mm vertical centres and since the rafters are 400 mm apart the number of nails per square metre of sloping ceiling will be nf where nf = 1000 000 = 16. be taken into account.214 = 3.322 m²K/W 2 Correction for the presence of fixing nails The method of calculating U-values as given in BS EN ISO 6946 requires that mechanical fixings. In this example. U = 1 / RT + ∆Uf U = 1 / RT k) (if ∆Uf is not less than 3% of 1 / RT) (if ∆Uf is less than 3% of 1 / RT) see Table 3 of this document . such as nails or screws for example.300 0.214 m²K/W Total resistance (without correction for the fixing nails) The total resistance is the average of the upper and lower limits RT = R upper + R lower 2 = 3. is 5 mm² or 0.7 / m² 400 × 150 The nails are made of steel with a their thermal conductivity.000005 m². The adjustment to the U-value is ∆Uf.100 = 0. of 50 W/m·K. Their cross-sectional area.021 m²K/W.

021 W/m²K = 0.322 + 0.32 W/m²K. a correction for air gaps need not be applied.021 m²K/W and 1 / RT = 0. Note Since there are two layers of insulation. Since ∆Uf is not less than 3% of (1 / RT). . one between rafters and the other as a continuous layer covering the first layer.In this case ∆Uf = 0.301 W/m²K. U = 1 / RT + ∆Uf = 1 / 3.

where Ru = 0. Using the procedure in BS EN ISO 6946 for unheated spaces.25 W/m·K 12. Ru. 12%) Total thickness 182 mm U-value 0. Timber fraction is 0.5 mm of plasterboard over the unheated space.12 (i.09 + 0.5 mm plasterboard forming the ceiling of the garage.e.10.1 : Floor construction over an unheated space The construction consists of 19 mm of plywood over timber joists with mineral wool insulation (of conductivity 0.040 1 2(a) 2(b) 3 4 internal surface plywood glass mineral wool timber joists (occupying 12%) plasterboard external A conceptual illustration of the calculation of the limits of resistance is shown below: . Below the joists is 12.050 0. The external and internal surface resistances used are those given in Table 1 of this document.040 W/m·K) between the joists and 12.040 0. The floor is situated above an unheated space such as a garage or an unheated corridor. an additional thermal resistance. The total area (Ai) of components between the internal environment and the unheated space is 35 m² and the total area (Ae) of components between the unheated space and the external environment is 35 m².170 0.13 0.5 Thermal conductivity (W/m·K) 0.4 Ai / Ae giving Ru = 0. 19 mm plywood next to heated area 150 mm timber joists with mineral wool between the joists.25 Thermal resistance (m²K/W) 0. is added as if it were an additional homogenous layer. Layer Material Thickness (mm) 19 150 (150) 12.490 The floor consists of 19 mm plywood over 150 mm timber joists with 150 mm glass mineral wool between the joists.5 mm plasterboard above unheated area Figure 10.154 0.750 1.146 3. Floor of heated room above an unheated space In this example a floor has insulation between timber joists.13 0.

050 m²K/W = 0.750 = 0.170 = 0.050 = 0.2 : Conceptual illustration of how to calculate the upper and lower limits of resistance Upper resistance limit:Resistance through the section containing the insulation: Internal surface resistance Resistance of plywood Resistance of mineral wool insulation Resistance of plasterboard Ru External surface resistance Total thermal resistance (R1) Resistance through the section containing joists: Internal surface resistance Resistance of plywood Resistance of timber joists Resistance of plasterboard Ru External surface resistance Total thermal resistance (R2) The upper limit of resistance is then obtained from: R upper = 1 F1 F2 + R2 R2 = 1 0.050 = 0.170 = 0.033 m²K/W = 0.490 = 0.050 = 4.040 = 4.12 + 4.154 = 0.646 2.146 = 1.88 0.F1 internal surface plywood plywood 2(a) plasterboard Ru external surface 2(a) 2(b) plasterboard Ru external surface 2(b) internal surface Figure 10.040 = 2.646 m²K/W .146 = 3.490 = 0.

490 = 0.01 × (2.254 W/m²K.12 + 3.154 Resistance of plasterboard Ru External surface resistance Total (Rlower) Total resistance of floor The total resistance of the wall is the average of the upper and lower resistance limits RT = R upper + R lower 2 = 4. U = 1 / RT + ∆Ug U = 1 / RT (if ∆Ug is not less than 3% of 1 / RT) (if ∆Ug is less than 3% of 1 / RT) In this case ∆Ug = 0.040 = 3.941)² = 0.849 = 3.953 / 3.033 + 3. U = 1 / RT = 1 / 3.750 1. RI is the thermal resistance of the layer containing the gaps and RT is the total resistance of the element.01 (referred to in BS EN ISO 6946 as correction level 1).Lower resistance limit:Internal surface resistance Resistance of plywood Resistance of bridged layer 1 = 0.849 m²K/W Correction for air gaps Since the insulation is entirely between the joists a correction should be applied to the U-value in order to account for air gaps. . Since ∆Ug is less than 3% of (1 / RT).953 = 0.146 = 2.88 0. where ∆Ug = ∆U’’ × (RI / RT)² and where ∆U’’ = 0.005 W/m²K U-value of the floor The effect of air gaps or mechanical fixings should be included in the U-value unless they lead to an adjustment in the U-value of less than 3%. ∆Ug is therefore ∆Ug = 0.050 = 0.941 = 0.941 m²K/W 2 = 0. The overall U-value of the floor should include a term ∆Ug.005 W/m²K and 1 / RT = 0.25 W/m²K.170 = 0.

18 1. 440 mm wide concrete beams. The surface resistance for the lower side of the floor deck is taken to be 0.159 2. The construction of the floor deck can be summarised as follows: Layer Material Thickness (mm) 65 100 100 (100) Thermal conductivity (W/m·K) 0.17 m²K/W.088 0.6 metres and its area is 79.45. In order to calculate the U-value. BS EN ISO 6946 is applied to determine the thermal resistance between the dwelling and the underfloor space.41 0.1 m² giving a perimeter to area ratio of 0.170* 1 2 3(a) 3(b) 4 internal surface screed polystyrene light concrete blocks.11.040 0. 70 mm wide lower surface * The internal surface resistance is taken from Table 1 of this document.13 Thermal resistance (m²K/W) 0.500 0.556 0. 70 100 440 U-value 0. The perimeter of the ground floor is 35.1 : Beam and block suspended floor . The beams protrude below the blocks by 75 mm.170 0. Beneath the beams and blocks there is an underfloor space over sandy soil. Above the beams and blocks is 65 mm of flooring screed and 100 mm of polystyrene insulation. Suspended beam and block floor A beam and block floor consists of blocks of lightweight concrete which are 100 mm thick and 440 mm wide suspended on T-beams which are 70 mm wide.24 W/m·K Figure 11. as this is the value that applies for downwards heat flow in a non-external environment.

087 = 3.170 = 0.555 3. as follows: Upper resistance limit (of floor deck) Resistance through section containing lightweight blocks Internal surface resistance Resistance of screed Resistance of polystyrene Resistance of light concrete blocks Resistance of lower surface of floor deck Total thermal resistance (R1) Fractional area F1 = 0.088 = 0.087 m²K/W . 86.e.170 = 3.137 (i.7%) The upper limit of resistance is then obtained from: R upper = 1 F1 F2 + R1 R 2 = 1 0.159 = 2.159 = 2.555 m²K/W Resistance through section containing concrete beams Internal surface resistance Resistance of screed Resistance of polystyrene Resistance of beams Resistance of lower surface of floor deck Total thermal resistance (R2) Fractional area F2 = 0.170 = 3.e.863 0.137 + 3.500 = 0.483 = 0.170 = 0. 13.556 = 0.0 W/m·K the part of the beam which protrudes below the blocks is ignored.2 : Conceptual diagram of how to calculate the upper and lower limits of resistance Since the conductivity of the beams is less than 2. as indicated in BS EN ISO 6946.500 = 0.3%) = 0.internal surface screed insulation beams lower surface blocks beams internal surface screed insulation blocks lower surface underfloor space & soil underfloor space & soil Figure 11. The U-value between the dwelling and the underfloor space is calculated using BS EN ISO 6946.863 (i.

402 = 0.863 0. calculated above.294 W/m²K This gives a U-value (Uf) for the floor deck of 0. The overall U-value of the suspended floor is then calculated using the following: U= 1 1 1 + − R si. . equal to 0.170 = 3.402 m²K/W 2 = 0.321 m²K/W Uf = 1 / R = 1 / 3. Resistance of the remainder of the floor For determining the resistance of the remaining part of the floor.483 + 3. and Rsi.321 = 3.159 = 2. part 3.2).20 m²K/W (see CIBSE Guide A3.088 Resistance of lower surface of deck Total (Rlower) Total resistance of floor deck The total resistance of the floor deck is the average of the upper and lower resistance limits R= R upper + R lower 2 = 3.17 m²K/W (see Table 1 of this document).556 0. This table gives the U-value of an uninsulated suspended floor.upper is the surface resistance of the upper side of the floor deck. Rdeck.lower is the surface resistance of the lower side of the floor deck.500 = 0. Since Uf. U0.170 = 0. equal to 0.upper − R deck. where the U-value of the floor deck has been calculated using standard assumptions about the thermal resistance of the floor deck and the surface resistances at the upper and lower sides of the deck.17 m²K/W (see Table 1 of this document).uninsulated − R si. It should be borne in mind that Uf includes the surface resistances for the upper and lower sides of the deck.322 = 0. equal to 0. already includes surface resistances the surface resistances need to be subtracted from U0.5. Table 4 of the Appendix is used.Lower resistance limit (of floor deck):Internal surface resistance Resistance of screed Resistance of polystyrene Resistance of bridged layer 1 = 0.lower U f U0 where Rsi.5.137 + 0.uninsulated is the thermal resistance of a notional uninsulated floor deck.294 W/m²K.

5.24 W / m²K Explanatory note: The value of 0.294 0.The remaining calculation is now carried out below. showing how the resistance of the remaining part of the floor is combined with the U-value of the floor deck calculated above.17 + 0.6 m 79.2 + 0. Rsi.76 W/m²K (see Table 4 of this document) U-value of the floor The U-value of the suspended floor is therefore U= 1 1 1 + − (R si.015 m²/m The U-value of the floor in the absence of floor insulation is U0 = 0.lower ) Uf U0 = 1 1 1 + − (0.1 m² 0.lower.upper and Rsi.17 ) 0.upper + R deck.uninsulated + R si.3 m sandy 0.45 m-1 0.2 used in the above equation is based on the CIBSE Guide A3 (3.2) and represents the thermal resistance of a notional uninsulated floor deck. . which represent the surface resistances of the upper and lower surface resistances of the (notional) floor deck are obtained from Table 1.5. Summary of floor details exposed perimeter (P) floor area (A) perimeter to area ratio (P/A) wall thickness (w) soil type ventilation parameter (ε) 35.76 = 0.

The surface resistance for the lower side of the floor deck is taken to be 0.146 3.17 m²K/W.154 0. The timber joists are 150 mm × 48 mm at 400 mm centres giving a 12% timber fraction.13 Thermal resistance (m²K/W) 0.170* 1 2(a) 2(b) internal surface chipboard glass mineral wool on netting timber joists (occupying 12%) lower surface *The internal surface resistance is taken from Table 1 of this document. Layer Material Thickness (mm) 19 150 (150) Thermal conductivity (W/m·K) 0. Between the joists there is 150 mm of tightly fitted mineral wool (with a conductivity of 0. The perimeter of the ground floor is 40 metres and the area is 100 m².170 0.13 0. Suspended timber ground floor U-value 0.2 : Conceptual illustration of the methods of calculating the upper and lower limits of thermal resistance .750 1.1 : Suspended timber floor A suspended timber ground floor consists of 19 mm of chipboard over timber joists. BS EN ISO 6946 is applied to obtain the thermal resistance of the floor deck.040 0.12. as this is the value that applies for downwards heat flow in a non-external environment.040 W/m·K) suspended on netting. The methods of calculating the upper and lower limits of resistance are illustrated conceptually below:- upper surface chipboard mineral wool lower surface underfloor space and soil underfloor space and soil joists mineral wool upper surface chipboard joists lower surface Figure 12. Beneath the floor deck there is an underfloor space over clay soil.22 W/m·K Figure 12.

236 m²K/W Lower resistance limit (for floor deck) Internal surface resistance = Resistance of chipboard = Resistance of bridged layer 1 = = 0.170 0.146 2.560 + 3.e.88 0.154 Resistance of lower surface of floor deck= Total (Rlower) = Overall resistance of floor deck The resistance of the floor deck is the average of the upper and lower resistance limits RT = R upper + R lower 2 = 3.170 3.170 0.560 m²K/W 0.953 0.12 + 3.146 1.500 m²K/W 2 0.88 (i. 88%) Resistance through section containing timber joists Internal surface resistance = Resistance of chipboard = Resistance of timber = Resistance of lower surface of floor deck= Total thermal resistance (R2) = Fractional area F2 = 0.170 1.439 = 3.236 1.750 1.170 4.Upper resistance limit (for floor deck):Resistance through section containing mineral wool on netting Internal surface resistance = Resistance of chipboard = Resistance of mineral wool = Resistance of lower surface of floor deck= Total thermal resistance (R1) = Fractional area F1 = 0.439 m²K/W .e.12 (i.146 3. 12%) The upper limit of resistance is: R upper = 1 F1 F2 + R1 R 2 = 1 0.154 0.88 0.640 = 3.640 m²K/W 0.170 0.12 + 4.750 0.

17 ) + − (0.2 + 0.01 (referred to in BS EN ISO 6946 as correction level 1). the U-value of the floor ignoring insulation is U0 = 0.286 W/m²K.65 = 0. RI is the thermal resistance of the layer containing the gaps and RT is the total resistance of the element. the area 100 m. ∆Ug is therefore ∆Ug = 0.007 W/m²K and 1 / RT = 0. where ∆Ug = ∆U’’ × (RI/RT)² and where ∆U’’ = 0. and the ground of clay soil.17 + 0. The figures 0.5.500 = 0.953 / 3.Correction for air gaps Since the insulation layer is entirely between joists a correction should be applied to the floor deck U-value in order to account for air gaps.17 represent the surface resistances of the upper and lower surface resistances for the same notional floor deck (taken from Table 1 of this document).2 used in the above equation is based on the CIBSE Guide A3 (part 3. Since ∆Ug is less than 1 / RT the U-value of the floor deck is Uf = 1 / 3.22 W/m²K Note The value of 0.5.500)² = 0.007 W/m²K U-value of the floor deck (Uf) The effect of air gaps or mechanical fixings should be included in the U-value unless they lead to an adjustment in the U-value of less than 3%.2 + 0.286 0.2 of the 1999 edition) and represents the thermal resistance of a notional uninsulated floor deck.65 W/m²K (using Table 4) U= 1 1 = 1 1 1 1 + − (0.286 W/m²K U-value of the floor Since the floor perimeter is 40 m. Uf = 1 / RT + ∆Ug Uf = 1 / RT (if ∆Ug is not less than 3% of 1 / RT) (if ∆Ug is less than 3% of 1 / RT) In this case ∆Ug = 0.17 and 0.01 × (2.17 ) U f U0 0.17 + 0. . The overall U-value of the floor deck should be adjusted by adding a term ∆Ug.

.

13 10 0.00 0.11 0.11 7 0.16 0.16 0.18 0.04 underfloor space* 0.04 0.13 0.17 outside resistance 0.15 0.Appendix : Data tables Table 1 Surface resistances for roofs. walls and exposed floors (m²K/W) from BS EN ISO 6946 Direction of heat flow Upwards Horizontal Downwards inside resistance 0.00 5 0.17 25 0.21 100 0.15 0.13 0. walls and exposed floors (m²K/W) from BS EN ISO 6946 Thickness of air Direction of heat flow layer (mm) Upwards Horizontal Downwards 0 0.13 0.18 0.17 0.11 0.15 15 0.10 0.16 0.16 0.00 0.18 0.19 50 0.04 0.16 0.13 0.17 *These values should be used for the upper and lower surfaces of the underfloor space according to BS EN ISO 13370:1998 Table 2 Air space resistances for roofs.22 300 0.23 Table 3 Scaling factors for ceiling fixings and wall ties from BS EN ISO 6946 type of mechanical fastenings scaling factor (α) 5 roof fixings 6 wall ties between masonry leaves .18 0.

05 1.76 0.003 0.94 0.35 0.76 0.63 0.93 0.15 perimeter/area 0.14 1.97 0.44 0.08 1.27 0.25 0.0015 0.00 1.63 0.88 0.82 0.06 0.00 1.02 1.98 1.91 0.77 0.58 0.01 0.90 0.81 0.93 0.52 0.00 1.56 0.62 0.99 1.02 1.51 0.03 0.99 1.12 1.72 0.19 0.98 1.89 0.95 0.04 1.85 0.94 0.69 0.29 0.40 0.01 1.98 0.87 0.87 0.78 0.003 0.32 0.72 0.11 1.96 0.0015 0.27 0.83 0.16 0. Table 4 U-values of uninsulated suspended floors (from CIBSE Guide A3) Soil type and ventilation opening area per unit perimeter of underfloor space (in m²/m) clay/silt sand/gravel homogeneous rock 0.05 0.92 0.64 0.54 0.10 0.74 0.44 0.97 0.17 0.55 0.71 0.30 0.60 0.56 0.83 0.The following table provides U-values for suspended floors without insulation.79 0.28 0.65 0.96 0.65 0.46 0.95 0.43 0.20 0.61 0.79 0.95 1.33 0.88 0.85 0.13 0.69 0.88 0.92 0.67 0.45 0.07 1.75 0.42 0.43 0.79 0.55 0.90 0.70 0.03 1.85 0.82 0.85 0.10 1.70 0.06 1.05 1.76 0.00 .36 0.20 0.11 1.73 0.91 0.58 0.15 0.49 0.50 0.68 0.91 0.95 0.80 0.64 0.09 1.003 0.82 0.86 0.85 0. For a detailed calculation of the thermal resistance below the deck of a ground floor the reader is referred to the procedure in BS EN ISO 13370.76 0.94 0.0015 0.97 1.38 0.91 0.50 0.

57 0.18 50.3 1.18 0.57 0.25 1.0 1.77 0.18 500 2100 1100 1200 2000 2000 2100 500 0.23 0.57 0.33 1. soft Limestone.0 17.18 1.1 1.13 1.3 0.1 0.93 2.Table 5 Thermal conductivity of some common building materials Density (kg/m³) Walls Brickwork (outer leaf) Brickwork (inner leaf) Concrete block (medium density) Concrete block (low density) 1700 1700 1400 600 Conductivity (W/m·K) 0.70 0.56 0.10 .94 0.5 0.30 0.16 0.0 Concrete (medium density) (inner leaf) 1800 2000 2200 Concrete (high density) : 2400 Reinforced concrete (1% steel) Reinforced concrete (2% steel) Mortar (protected) Mortar (exposed) Gypsum 2300 2400 1750 1750 600 900 1200 900 2600 1800 2200 400 900 2300 500 700 7800 7900 Gypsum plasterboard Sandstone Limestone.25 2. hard Fibreboard Plasterboard Tiles ceramic Timber (softwood) Steel Stainless steel Surface finishes External rendering Plaster (dense) Plaster (lightweight) Roofs Aerated concrete slab Asphalt Felt/bitumen layers Screed Stone chippings Tiles (clay) Tiles (concrete) Wood wool slab 1300 1300 600 0.7 0.0 1.13 0.43 0.3 2.59 1.5 0.88 0.41 2.

025 Note: If available. chipboard Insulation Expanded polystyrene (EPS) board Mineral wool quilt Mineral wool batt Phenolic foam board Polyurethane board 2000 7800 1200 700 500 1000 15 12 25 30 30 1.038 0.41 0.24 0. .35 50.025 0.Floors Cast concrete Metal tray (steel) Screed Hardwood timber Softwod timber.18 0.040 0. certified test values should be used in preference to those in the table.0 0.042 0.13 0. plywood.

CIBSE Guide A3. 1997 2. Environmental design : Thermal properties of building structures. BS EN ISO 6946:1997. London. Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers. prEN 12524 Building materials and products – Hygrothermal properties – Tabulated design values .References 1. 1999 3. British Standards Institution. London. Building components and building elements – Thermal resistance and thermal transmittance – Calculation method.