When it comes to cold storage facilities, they’re responsible for the preservation and storage of everyday items we wouldn’t even think of, making them an essential part of day-to-day life that is often overlooked. As temperatures inside need to be kept low, sometimes below freezing, it’s imperative that they’re built with efficiency in mind so interior temperatures can be isolated effectively.

Substantial energy is needed to help maintain cool temperatures inside these facilities, which can result in costly bills for owners. To attempt to reduce the amount of energy needed to prevent temperature fluctuations, thermal breaks can be incorporated within the build stage at any application where the continuous insulation is interrupted.

With a whole range of industries relying on cold storage, from pharmaceuticals and fresh produce, to cosmetics and farming, there’s a lot riding on the temperatures being maintained as accurately as possible including the quality of perishable goods. 

Innovative thermal modeling has helped to identify locations where heat is lost or enters a building, with major culprits including any application that penetrates the building envelope. If a location has the potential to transfer temperatures, warm energy can travel into the cold building, creating an opportunity for condensation which can have detrimental effects on the produce inside, as well as causing structural damage internally depending on the construction materials used. 

To minimize the amount of energy used and the carbon footprint of maintaining these temperatures, the building needs to be as efficient as possible which starts in the planning stages. Armatherm manufactures thermal break materials which can be used throughout a construction to ensure each application or location where the building envelope is compromised is thermally broken to avoid bridging opportunities. 

A project completed across the pond for Armatherm saw a cold storage distribution center constructed in Wales for a major supermarket chain, Aldi. With the nature of the project, and the need for an energy efficiency design, it was imperative that a high-quality, effective thermal bridging solution was specified so the cold store room and its contents wouldn’t be in jeopardy. 

The main concern was bridging between the building columns and the slab insulation, and sourcing a solution which could support the desired load. With the future of the structure in mind, hardwoods had been dismissed – although previously used within thermal bridging locations, they can absorb moisture over time. If the timber does become damp, the insulation is reduced and there’s a high risk of rotting which can put the integrity of the building at risk. 

Our team provided an alternative that didn’t harbor these disadvantages, and also provided additional benefits. The makeup of our materials mean they won’t wick moisture, allowing the insulation performance to continue throughout the lifetime of the building. Armatherm 500, was installed directly under the steel column bases which bridge the floor slab insulation. Support columns pass through the non-load bearing slab insulation to warm ground beneath, short circuiting the insulation barrier and transferring warmer temperatures into the building. 


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