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Thermal Imaging of the Building Fabric

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BSRIA uses Thermal Imaging to check the thermal performance of a building envelope. It lets us assess the amount of energy lost through the walls of the building. Decreasing the amount of lost energy is good financially and environmentally.

Thermal Imaging Surveys of the Building Fabric focuses on three things:

  • Continuity of Insulation
  • Thermal bridging
  • Air leakage

Each survey will report on any anomalies (potential defect) found relating to these factors. The level of analysis given to each anomaly is dependant on the circumstance of the survey.

If you are unsure as to the level of analysis required, please contact us.  We will assess your situation and advise which approach would be best for your circumstances:

Thermal Imaging: Methods of analysis

Checking a building for faults in the building fabric can generally be done with a qualitative survey. This is often the quickest and cheapest option. It will report on visual differences in temperature but cannot advise on the severity of a fault or anomaly.

If it is important to know the severity of an anomaly, then a quantitative analysis of surface temperature can be performed. BSRIA has developed a novel way to quantify the severity of an anomaly using temperature differentials between areas. This is the most common survey performed. BREEAM surveys and most residential surveys are assessed using this methodology.

In advanced cases, the Minimum Internal Surface Temperature (MIST) values can be used to determine snapshots of the U-value of each of the construction components. This allows us to perform in-depth analysis of an entire building to isolate which component or area is failing to meet the designed specification. This is an advanced survey often used in conjunction with other Building Performance testing in wider investigations.

Continuity of Insulation

The amount of insulation within the walls of a building is crucial to maintaining a comfortable environment that is both energy-efficient and cost-effective. 

Thermal imaging surveys are used to assess the continuity of insulation installed within building elements. Given the correct conditions, the Engineer can see if there are any breaks in the insulation line within the walls, ceilings, partitions, and any other component designed to separate the inside from the outside. 

Clients can also use the results of this thermographic survey to compare the measured values against the models created at the design stage to ensure that the building is built to specification. An example of this can be seen in this case study   

Thermal Bridging

Thermal bridges are building components that form direct links between the internal and the external environment, these include things like window and door lintels that bridge the gap between the inner and the outer leaf of a traditional cavity wall. 

These thermal bridges can be significant locations of heat loss from a building as they are generally impossible to insulate. 

Thermal bridges can also lead to a significant reduction of the surface temperature of a wall which can, in turn, lead to damage to the internal environment through condensation and mould formation.  

A thermal imaging survey can locate these thermal bridges and can assess their severity, commenting on the likelihood of potential damage to the building.

Air Leakage

Air leakage is a significant contributor to the poor thermal performance of a building. If air can squeeze between unsealed penetrations in the building fabric, it will take the heat energy with it. A reduction in air leakage results in a notably lower energy bill in most cases.

Thermal imaging surveys identify the locations of air leakage paths. When used alongside air permeability testing, thermal imaging provides the ultimate tool to ascertain the thermal performance of your property. 

Contact Us

If you'd like to know how your building is performing, let us know and our team will get back to you soon.