Continuous insulation is: “Insulation that runs continuously over structural members and is free of significant thermal bridging.” - Building Energy Codes (USA)
Continuous insulation has become a phrase that has gained traction in the industry in recent years, and for those who have implemented it, it has returned some great results.
Continuous insulation is an effective way of combatting most forms of thermal bridging. It has the ability to limit the amount of heat transfer through thermal bridges and increases the overall thermal performance of the building.
Heat will naturally follow the paths of least resistance and travel to cooler temperatures often using thermal bridges as their path and without addressing thermal bridges, heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer can be a big problem.
Where continuous insulation is not able to be achieved (such as around windows and doors) other methods should be used to limit the amount of thermal transfer occurring at these points, in order to deliver a performing building.
A high performance building can provide huge benefits to the occupants including saving energy costs that could be incurred by the use of heating or cooling systems, and a more comfortable and healthy environment.