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Eliminating Fastener Thermal Bridging in Low Slope Roofs: Energy Efficiency Savings versus Installation Costs

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: Low-slope roofing assemblies include a wide range of insulation and single ply membrane attachment methods. Previous studies have shown that mechanical attachment using metal fasteners leads to significant thermal bridging and consequent loss of insulation value and reduction of long term thermal efficiency. This study calculates the costs associated with mechanical attachment in terms of lost insulation value, increased long-term energy costs, and the material and labor costs associated with installation of these common systems. Energy efficiency reductions using metal fasteners were modeled for eight US cities in a range of climate zones. From the data, it was possible to calculate target costs (labor plus materials) that would make adhered systems cost effective. There are many options available to adhere single ply roof system components, such as solvent-based adhesives and low-rise urethane foams, together with different application approaches such as broom, spray, and ribbon methods. The cost targets derived in this study can help optimize the use of such materials and application methods such that the thermal bridging due to fasteners could be substantially reduced or eliminated.

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