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  • 1 University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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Thermal bridging caused by exposed concrete balcony slab is a major source of heat loss through energy efficient building envelopes. Moreover, thermal bridging can also create moisture management and indoor comfort challenges. Numerous investigations have been carried out to reduce heat transmittance through exterior building envelopes and minimize the energy use in buildings. The most effective way to minimize heat transmittance of exposed concrete balcony slabs is to thermally separate the exterior structure from the interior structure using thermal breaks. To enhance thermal separation, this paper investigates the effects of replacing high conductive materials such as reinforced concrete or structural steel with a multilayer composition of high-performance hybrid insulating systems. Reinforcing bars, such as fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs), having lower thermal conductivity than steel are used to connect interior to exterior and transfer loads. Numerical simulation tool THERM is used to study the effects of thermal breaks on energy performance of the concrete slab balcony joints. Simulation results indicate significant thermal performance improvement while high-performance hybrid insulating systems were used for exposed concrete balcony slab constructions, compared to traditional insulating systems used in similar constructions

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