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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Schöck reinforcement

Alphadock is the latest addition to the Schöck portfolio of products that aims to reduce thermal bridges in the architectural build phase.

The Alphadock is an innovative new addition to the Schöck range of solutions for minimising thermal bridges in building structures.   

This new product thermally insulates connections for reinforced concrete walls and columns, providing optimum thermal insulation and maximum load bearing capacity. Thermal bridges in concrete wall and column connections cause significant energy losses, making it difficult to achieve the highest energy standards in new buildings. Additionally they present a risk area for condensation and mould growth that can cause structural damage and occupant health issues. The Schöck Alphadock dramatically reduces the effect of thermal bridges in those areas where previously the problem was very difficult to combat.

The first product installation in the UK is at the landmark Keybridge residential development, in the heart of London’s Vauxhall regeneration area.  The scheme  combines elements of Manhattan architecture with London’s prestigious mansion block style, offering 595 new homes across six individual buildings.   One of the buildings, Keybridge Lofts, which stands at 37 storeys, is the UK’s tallest residential brick tower and there are exposed brick-clad columns which span two floors and tie-back into the structure at the very top of the building.   

The requirement was to provide a thermally broken base fixing for the columns. Previously Schöck have offered a hybrid solution involving the steel-to-steel modular Isokorb, combined with a specially designed base plate. This formed a thermally broken base fixing, which was cast into the slab and to which a further Isokorb product was attached.  Allowing a steel column to be installed, which was then clad in brickwork. The top of the column being retained and tied-in using standard Isokorb elements to provide a fully thermally broken solution. The method was effective, but not the most efficient in terms of time and cost. Now with the Schöck Alphadock, installation is easy and really effective. It is an important new solution as linear thermal bridges at reinforced concrete walls and columns are often neglected – and the resulting energy loss simply compensated for in the thermal calculations. In the case of building envelopes with thick thermal insulation,  modern heating and ventilation strategies, the negative effect of linear thermal bridges can be greatly exacerbated and can be responsible for as much as 25 percent of the total energy loss. Planners should aim to optimise this weak point.

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