Let's find what you're looking for

    Thermally broken skylights
    The BIG question

    arrow Back to blog 13th December 2017

    At Sunsquare, we’re still asked by some clients about thermal breaks, what they are and why they are such a necessity for homes and workplaces installing rooflights into their properties. Put simply, they will help your property stay warmer, drier and more energy efficient all year round.

    All of the industry leading rooflights we manufacture in-house at Sunsquare are made using a lightweight aluminium framework which saves a considerable amount of weight – both for transportation and the stress on a property’s overall structure. Furthermore, it’s a very strong and durable material, requiring minimal maintenance during years of use.


    Combating aluminium’s conductive properties


    Nevertheless, the one drawback of using aluminium frameworks for our BSI Kitemarked flat roof skylights is that aluminium is a very effective conductor of heat. Consequently, the framework can become a very large area of heat loss in colder, winter months, with heat generated internally transferred outside via direct transfer through the rooflight framework.


    In addition, if a rooflight is installed above a living space where humidity levels are somewhat higher than usual e.g. a bathroom or kitchen-diner, condensation risks forming on the inside of the aluminium framework. For rooflights without a thermal break, the humid air touches the cold surface of the aluminium frame and immediately turns into water droplets – a process known as cold bridging.


    Polyamide thermal breaks


    To negate the prospect of cold bridging occurring and to minimise the amount of heat lost from residential and commercial environments, thermal breaks have been adopted within the framework of industry leading rooflights to minimise the conduction of heat. The framework of Sunsquare’s fixed, walk-on and opening rooflights now feature polyamide insulating sections within the aluminium framework, acting as thermal breaks and a barrier between internal and external temperatures. The polyamide sections are designed to be fitted straight into the aluminium extrusion and rolled together to ensure a strong and durable structure whilst keeping the internal section of the aluminium framework separate from the external part.


    Low-emissivity glass units and argon-filled cavities


    With Sunsquare rooflight frameworks we also go one further by filling window cavities with argon gas to further improve internal insulation and prevent condensation affecting the unit. Furthermore, the frameworks are factory glazed with soft-coat low-emissivity insulating glass units which work by reflecting interior heat back into rooms below; helping property owners to reduce energy bills and the size of their carbon footprint.


    Thermal bridging and Part L Building Regulations


    Thermal breaks or bridging play an important role in ensuring new-builds and redeveloped properties meet Part L Building Regulations – regarding the conservation of fuel and power in new and existing dwellings – and the Code for Sustainable Homes. Buildings are required to meet minimum U-value levels of 2.00 (W/m²K) for rooflights, windows and doors as part of a new Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE) standard. This standard is designed to make new and existing buildings more energy efficient, minimising the amount of CO2 produced and protecting the wider environment for future generations.


    A quick note for would-be buyers: beware of unscrupulous companies advertising so-called ‘thermally managed ’ products. Marketers can be tricky about finding ways to make you hand over your money, and ‘thermally managed’ is just one example of deceptive language being used to signal a level of quality that isn’t there. Remember: only products which utilise proper thermal breaks can provide energy efficiency up to contemporary standards.


    Sign up for our whitepaper on building regulations


    Written to help architects, surveyors and home improvers alike understand every UK building regulations.

    Download Whitepaper

    Share this guide

    Want to know more

    If you want to know more about this or anything else then get in contact.

    Call us on +44 (0)1284 723377

    Email sales@sunsquare.co.uk

    refine search

    sun square attend brexit business meeting

    11 March 2019

    Sunsquare attend Brexit Business Roundtable

    On 22nd February 2019 Sunsquare took part in a Brexit business roundtable. This prestigious event was attended by Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union.

    Read morearrow
    RIBA Architects Optimistic About Future Workloads

    21 October 2018

    RIBA Architects Optimistic About Future Workloads

    Continuing positive trends recorded in 2018 so far, the latest RIBA Future Trends Workload Index rose from +13 in April…

    Read morearrow
    UK Builders and Homeowners Support Licensing for Construction Industry

    16 October 2018

    UK Builders and Homeowners Support Licensing for Construction Industry

    Approximately 80% of builders and consumers would support the introduction of a mandatory licensing scheme for the UK construction industry. This was revealed in a research report titled License to Build: A Pathway to Licensing UK Construction, recently published by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

    Read morearrow
    Sun square at Homebuilding and Renovating Show 2018

    12 September 2018

    The Sunsquare team are heading to the Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2018

    We’ll have an exciting exhibition stand at the show from the 21stth to the 23rd September at the ExCeL centre, showcasing a selection of our thermally broken, BSI Kitemarked skylights and roof lanterns.

    Read morearrow
    Sunsquare to attend grand designs live 2018

    19 April 2018

    Sunsquare set to attend Grand Designs Live 2018

    We’ll be setting up our exhibition stand from the 5th to the 13th May at the ExCeL centre, taking the opportunity to showcase our full line of thermally broken, BSI Kitemarked skylights and roof lanterns.

    Read morearrow
    BSI Updates Standard with Guidance on Inclusive Buildings

    23 February 2018

    BSI Updates Standard with Guidance on Inclusive Buildings

    Business standards body BSI has announced revisions to BS 8300:2018 Design of an accessible and inclusive environment.

    Read morearrow

    Sunsquare Accessories

    Find out morearrow

    Sunsquare Skylights

    Find out morearrow

    Since 2004, Sunsquare Limited has been pioneering skylight design

    Call us on +44 (0)1284 723377

    Why choose Sunsquare